PDA

View Full Version : Have the letting agents fulfilled their role?



Mully
23-01-2008, 14:40 PM
Hi Folks,

Just need some advice on whether you think my letting agent has fulfilled their roll in finding me a 'suitable' tenant or whether you think I should be knocking at their door asking for another tenant free of charge or my money back?

Basically I asked a letting agent to find me a suitable tenant for my property. They found a girl who'd need income from the local councils revenues and benefits. They carried out a 'Pre Tenancy Determination' and informed me by email that the council would be paying the lions share of the rent (£498.38 of the £575.00 due each month)

Great! They gave me and my tenant a date to move in and she did so shortly after the PTD.

I then contact the council to see when I will recieve the first payment, as it is to be paid direct to me. The Council inform me that they are still considering the application and don't know when they'll have a result.

Two and a half months later I'm still waiting to hear from the council... The tenant pays her top up of £76.62 and after sending the guarantor letters asking for the rent to brought up to date I finally get my first months rent a month late. The guarantor also paid the next months rent in full so they are up to date.

The council have now informed me that the tenants application has been concluded and she'll recieve £116.00 per month towards her rent. A far cry from the £498.38 the letting agent informed me about before moving the tenant into my property.

The tenant has now given me a months notice and will be packing her bags mid February due to the fact that she simply cannot afford this on her wage.

Now due to the fact that I've paid the letting agents £575.00 (1 months rent) plus VAT to find a 'suitable' tenant am I within my rights to go back to the letting agent and request they find a suitable replacement tenant at no extra cost or ask for my money back based on the fact that the tenant was not suitable and could not afford the rent?

My £675.63 got me a tenant who caused me a load of mither for 3 months and then bailed out!

I'd appreciate your thoughts how and if I should approach the letting agents?

Thanks

Mully

justaboutsane
23-01-2008, 18:15 PM
A PTD is a guide NOT an accurate assessment. The form usually says that the council will pay a MAXIMUM % of the rent, ie her claim will have been assessed on say 90% of the rent, ie the council think you are charging too much! If the LA did not inform you of this then I would say they have cocked up and you are entitled to some of the money back. But you will have to fight for it!

Good luck xx

Surrey
23-01-2008, 21:04 PM
Do bear in mind that if the tenant welches on the deal, she is probably still liable for the rent, even if she can't afford it, unless you give her permission to end the tenancy early without further liability. Note therefore that the agent may say you should just pursue her in the courts for your money and as you would get judgment, the agency is not liable as you can't get the same money twice.

All that said, I'd still go for it, so good luck!

Esio Trot
24-01-2008, 09:39 AM
... and informed me by email that the council would be paying the lions share of the rent (£498.38 of the £575.00 due each month)

I would hardly call a PTD of around 85% being the lions share.

Where benefits are concerned, anything more than £5 - or £10 at the most - will be a struggle, and is asking for trouble.


Now due to the fact that I've paid the letting agents £575.00 (1 months rent) plus VAT to find a 'suitable' tenant am I within my rights to go back to the letting agent and request they find a suitable replacement tenant at no extra cost or ask for my money back based on the fact that the tenant was not suitable and could not afford the rent?

It all comes down to the agreement signed between you and your agent.

For example, if it says "undertaking comprehensive referencing by an independent company including financial, employment and address status" this is specific and thus easier to complain about. On the other hand, if it says "undertaking status enquiries which may include the obtaining of financial, employment and address status" then this is more woolly and nebulous.

You will need to study your agreement and look at that to see if they have fulfilled their duties.

pcwilkins
24-01-2008, 10:37 AM
I think you'll probably find that the agent has very carefully covered their backs in their t+c's.

And in any case, you asked them to find you a tenant, and they did; you chose to accept that tenant based on what LA told you about council's contributions (which was a mistake); so I'm not sure if you have much of a case.

The moral of the story is, don't trust LA's until they've proved themselves worthy of trust.

Peter

Mully
24-01-2008, 13:21 PM
For crying out loud why do people do this?

One months rent = £575.

Agents commission (if fully managed) of 12.5% = £84.45 (inc vat).
That is only £338 a year more than the one-off tenant finding service and they get to not worry (As much) about managing your property. I think one months rent is WAY too much to charge for tenant finding. We normally do it for 3/4 of a months rent - enough to make it worthwhile for both parties.

The only plus side to a tenant find only service is you are ahead if the tenant stays on more than 1 year. Many tenants do not.

Thanks for your responce but 'for crying out loud' some people (like me) are very new at this and are just learning... sometimes from our mistakes. We all start off with no experience and gain it as we go along, which is why I always look for help on here from experienced people like yourself.

Thanks again for the advice, I certainly understand your point and it takes people like yourself to point these things out.

May be next time you could start your response with.... 'Have you every thought of doing it this way? I'll explain'...

It won't make me feel like such a fool when I seeking advice and being open and honest about my errors!;)

Skengland
24-01-2008, 13:25 PM
It's your money!! Maybe you should have read up properly before you try letting out your house?

Mully
24-01-2008, 16:25 PM
It's your money!! Maybe you should have read up properly before you try letting out your house?

What's wrong with some people on here? I ask for some honest advice and get made to feel like a fool. I currently run another business and didn't have the time to read and memorize the whole law on residential letting. I have done quite a bit of reading on the matter but not everything can be gained from books. Forgive me for not being a genius.

The reason I'm on here is to learn from other people experiences and to try and save myself some dosh.

justaboutsane
24-01-2008, 16:41 PM
OI Children Play nice and leave the poor newbie alone!

Mully I think you have been led up the garden path a little and I hope you were not taking offence to my post! I just wanted to post the facts!

pcwilkins
25-01-2008, 07:58 AM
What's wrong with some people on here? I ask for some honest advice and get made to feel like a fool. I currently run another business and didn't have the time to read and memorize the whole law on residential letting. I have done quite a bit of reading on the matter but not everything can be gained from books. Forgive me for not being a genius.

The reason I'm on here is to learn from other people experiences and to try and save myself some dosh.

Mully,

Don't take it personally --- sometimes its easy to get the wrong impression from posts on here, I'm sure people don't mean any offence.

I think people do get frustrated because there are some LLs (and I'm not suggesting this is you) who think letting property is an easy game, so they jump in without knowing the rules, then get stung, and then complain about it. Letting is a complicated business --- someone once posted the number of laws that apply to it but I can't remember the exact number.

Hope you get your problem sorted

Peter

Skengland
25-01-2008, 08:06 AM
I'm sorry. :)

I'm currently trying to get my deposit back from a LL with no clue about the law (he's trying to charge me for fixing the boiler and the complete replacement of perfectly working fridge).

Actually the LA we dealt with were pretty cr*p too....