Agents – My agent tells me that I’m not allowed to see the results of the credit checks and references he did on my tenant. Is this right? I suspect he may not have done these as my tenant has turned out to be the tenant from hell!
Letting agents, like many other organisations, will often use the auspices of the Data Protection Act as an excuse for not disclosing confidential information.
Whilst a credit check report is indeed confidential information, there is no reason why an agent should not be fully transparent with their principal – the commissioning landlord – in this and all other documentation.
What many landlords (and agents) often fail to appreciate is that an agent acts in a legal capacity on behalf of their principal (the landlord). Agents have the power to form binding contracts on the principal’s behalf, but ultimately the principal is responsible for the agent’s actions.
Agents sometimes believe that because of their expertise they are able to force their will on their landlord and sometimes this leads to actions which are ultra vires (beyond their legal powers). It can lead to claims for damages by their principal.
Good agents, and it’s always preferable to use qualified agents that are members of one of the main professional bodies, will always deal in a fully transparent and professional manner. They will fully respect the wishes and instructions of their landlord principal and disclose all information on request.
©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved – never rely totally on these standard answers which apply primarily to England and Wales. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of the case and all documents to hand.