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Oct, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default Letting agent forcing tenant to sign new tenancy agreement

    I had a call from a tenant I did a quarterly inspection for last year, on behalf of the letting/managing agent.

    The tenant's fridge (I remember it was leaking)finally broke down, the lady is severely disabled and as it was the w/e was taken by friends to buy a new one that could be delivered that day, so had very little choice on what to buy, she found the cheapest and had it delivered, gave the reciept to the managing agent, who has delayed payment and now said they will only pay out if a new tenancy agreement is signed - at the moment she is on a periodic tenancy - at a cost, no signiture, no money for fridge, the tenant has been in property for five years.

    Where does she stand? What are her rights?

    They have also put up rents without written notice, just charged more.

    Any advise would be good.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by choices View Post
    I had a call from a tenant I did a quarterly inspection for last year, on behalf of the letting/managing agent.

    The tenant's fridge (I remember it was leaking)finally broke down, the lady is severely disabled and as it was the w/e was taken by friends to buy a new one that could be delivered that day, so had very little choice on what to buy, she found the cheapest and had it delivered, gave the reciept to the managing agent, who has delayed payment and now said they will only pay out if a new tenancy agreement is signed - at the moment she is on a periodic tenancy - at a cost, no signiture, no money for fridge, the tenant has been in property for five years.

    Where does she stand? What are her rights?

    They have also put up rents without written notice, just charged more.

    Any advise would be good.

    OK, taking it one point at a time.

    Fridge - This is down to the LL, they were given time to replace and didn't, tenant replaced and is now claiming costs, if the LL doesn't pay this, then deduct it off of next months rental payment.

    AST - You are not obliged to sign a new AST if you do not want to.

    Rent Increase - It depends on what it says in the AST, if there is a clause for rent increases then that is that, if not then your LL sould issue a S.13 notice, however, if they just send a letter and you pay the increased rent, then it is viewed that you have accepted the increase.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Default

    OK as I thought, wanted confirmation.

    The letting agent is going to see tenant next week for management check, I know from having worked for her last year that she can be a bully, this tenant is fairly fragile and feels vunerable, can she report agent - member of ARLA - for refusing to pay for fridge unless agreement signed, I have said she could, and to call me if LA arrives and starts issuing threats about eviction etc unless new tenancy agreement, I have said about periodic and nothing changes from AST it just rolls on, I would just like confirmation of what the agent cannot force her to do, as I guess I shall end up talking to LA next week if tenant does not understand/feels she has to comply.

    LA in question is not too hot on letting laws, although been in the business for 5 years.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colincbayley View Post
    Fridge - This is down to the LL, they were given time to replace and didn't, tenant replaced and is now claiming costs, if the LL doesn't pay this, then deduct it off of next months rental payment.
    We don't actually know that. "It finally broke down" - but had the landlord actually been informed? And what was wrong with it... "the fridge had been leaking" - what does that mean? Fridges don't normally "leak"; unless by something trivial and easily sortable like the auto-defrost drain tube becoming blocked with debris.

    If the LL had been presented with a bill for a new fridge without warning, I'm not sure what his obligations would be there... if it were me, I would certainly not be a happy bunny.

  5. #5
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    Must agree with Eric here .....food debris etc is a very common problem and will result in the whole top of the tube and above icing up..as is also turning fridge to high which causes it the ice up and not chill effectively ....these problems are something i see on a regular basis and are solved very quickly and easily .....

    If this is the case,it certainly does not warrant buying a new fridge...who has decided that the fridge "finally broke down" ? and on what basis ?...was the LL/LA informed before new purchase?
    Tenant could possibly be facing a repair bill for original fridge and no payment for new one.....

    I do not agree with the conduct of the LA at all on this, as 2 simple issues have been very badly managed ..if T is disabled and been in prop for 5 years ...unless she has plans to move in next 6 mths then she may need to consider that periodic works both ways: 2mths notice and she could be out ! Although it does sound like it may be a very positive step to move to a prop under more much professional management..

    Simon
    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
    W.Churchill

  6. #6
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    Come on guys, what are you thinking?

    A letting agent is trying to force a tenant to sign a new AST! Do you think such an agent would even suggest paying for a damaged fridge if it were the tenants fault!!!!
    The OP has already said they gave the agent/LL a chance to inspect/repair the fridge, as this was detailed on the previous inspection vists, what more do these idiots want!!

    How dare any LL or agent FORCE a frail tenant using bully boy tactics into signing a new AST????

    The fridge is not the issue here, the tactics of the agent are! It is people like this that are giving the industry a bad name.

    I say, Name and Shame the agent. This is a disgrace.

    Choices :- If you get stuck with this situation, then I will be more than happy to speak to the agent/LL and 'Advise them' in no uncertain terms

  7. #7

    Default

    Hello,
    Thank you Colin, I would like to name & shame LA here, however, not really very professional as I work as an independant inventory clerk.

    The fridge was an ongoing problem which had been mentioned a few times to LA and ignored, when I did the inspection I was told it had been reported at least twice that there was a problem and could someone sort it, the problem with fridge also went into my report, which then went supposedly to landlord. Tenant has been very reasonable about it all, her health problems are getting worse so she is feeling increasingly vunerable as she cannot fight her own corner, she rang me for advise as I was helful to her last year, because I try to keep up to date with letting laws so can sometimes advise tenants.

    LA also asked my advise on numerous occasions on issues she should have known about.

    I know how this LA work and tactics she uses, a strong character, like me, and I know if I get involved she would back down, I am looking for clarification on what I can tell her - I think I know, but would like to have others agree.

    So far you have all been very helpful

    I take courses on letting laws so that I can help tenants, it also puts me in good position when faced with professional tenants, so I know landlord rights too. Not biased, just like fair play.

    Quite right Eric this is not really about 'fridge' more about LA having control of a situation.

  8. #8
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    Clearly LA is a complete Txxxxxx and should not be allowed to treat T in this manner .......i would direct bill to LA as she should have presented on an earlier occasion to manage problem .....

    If you your involvment will resolve then step in !!

    May be in your capacity as Inventry clerk you could advise T to check drainage pipe if you come accross any problems (as part of the service ) if you find a "leaky" fridge as in my experience this i the problem 90% of the time ...
    When i am doing inventories and checks i show T were to look and tell them to poke it out with a "thin" straightened coat hanger....

    As for the sign if you want me to pay for it ........utter disgrace ....
    Sign only if she wants to continue living there else move..and get a better LL

    Simon
    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
    W.Churchill

  9. #9
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    Deplorable behaviour from the agent!!

    The fridge situation??
    Couldn't the Lady have waited until Monday? Then try the agent again?
    That may have been the easier option because the woman could eventually be paying for this herself.
    The agent needs some harsh words on this. Especially as they'd known about problems prior to this breaking and have done nothing. Maybe they hadn't informed the LL of the leaking problem with the fridge or maybe they had and the LL said to leave it. Either way they are wrong because the Tenant should've been kept in the loop.

    LL going to be mega p***ed off when he receives the bill for the new one i'm guessing. I'll bet he doesn't pay!! I wouldn't.

    One thought to add, I wonder if the LA 'knows' that they may be lumbered with financing this and is trying to cover it with the cost of writing up new agreements for the LL & T, which they'll charge them both for, thus reducing her actual outlay? Maybe wrong here but it certainly sounds as though she's pressuring the Tenant for a reason, could be the answer!

    Shame Tenants can't sack LA's isn't it? haha
    Ambition is Critical

    I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by J4L View Post
    LL going to be mega p***ed off when he receives the bill for the new one i'm guessing. I'll bet he doesn't pay!! I wouldn't.
    I'm a bit surprised by that as the tenant did make the effort to buy the cheapest fridge and cheap white goods are very cheap these days such that replacement is often cheaper than repair. Especially so if the old fridge is getting on a bit. Buy the time the LL's paid for the callout and any spares and then an old fridge may fail again with something else. At least the new one will have a year or two of insurance.

    Unless you think there wasn't a fault, but the tenant did point it out enough times!
    ~~~~~

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