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End agreement with agent and evict tenant

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Author Topic: End agreement with agent and evict tenant  (Read 82 times)
Newbie
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« on: September 09, 2021, 08:57:57 AM »

A family member entered into a letting agent management agreement back in 2016 to let out their property. The agreement was for 3 years  but with clauses which stipulate the agreement can be ended after its term by either party giving the other 2 months notice unless a tenant place by the agent is in the property in which case the agreement will continue to be binding until the tenant vacates.

The agent was instructed to give notice to the tenant to vacate back in August  which he has failed to do so in writing. He says he told the tenant verbally.

The agent has never shared any tenancy agreements with us since the start of the management agreement back in 2016. I asked him to share all the tenancy agreements with us so that we can know what our rights and responsibilities are to which he replied he couldn't due to data protection. When he was challenged that he worked for us and we had a right to see all contracts to which we are party to he provided a tenancy agreement which was for a 6 months fixed term dated Oct 2018 - see attached. Also note the rent was reduced from 485 to 460 back in 2017 yet this tenancy still states the original rent.

He has not provided any other tenancy agreements and has been obstructive in providing one so  I concluded that we now have a periodic tenancy as a result I issued notice to vacate to the tenant myself giving him 4 months from 27 Aug 21. However the tenant states he has a fixed term from April 21 until 13 October 21. I asked him to share the tenancy with me which he is refusing to do so stating agent has advised him not to share the tenancy with landlord. It seems like both the agent and tenants appear to be in cahoots with each other.

When I asked the tenant whose name is on the tenancy agreement he said it was the agents to which the agent also initially confirmed but then retracted his statment when I advised that then both of you are in breach of contract as we are the landlord and only our name should be on there as landlord. The agent still hasn't provided this tenancy agreement.

Is this 'supposed' 6 month tenancy from April 21 valid as we have not seen it despite repeat requests and it possibly still has the old rent of 485? If it is then our 4 months notice to vacate will be unforceableable?

Can the agent issue tenancy agreements based on our original management agreement without seeking permission form the landlord first?

I have also issued a rent increase notice to the tenant with instructions to pay directly to the landlord to which he is refusing to sign and insist he will only pay the old rent and directly to agent as he has been paying previously.

The agent advised he will continue to accept any payments from tenant and continue to deduct his fee and pass on to landlord.

We no longer wish to use the agent for their services as they are behaving obstructively and their service has reduced below acceptable levels. The agent also didnt secure the tenants deposit until Oct 2018 despite the tenancy having started in 2016. Is the agent in breach of contract for not securing the deposit within 30 days of the original tenancy commencing?

Can we terminate contract with agent for not sharing tenacy agreements and for not securing the tenants deposit when the original tenancy commenced in 2016? Howe else can we terminate agreement with agent?

If the latest 6 month tenancy stands do we have to issue another 4 months notice to vacate commencing from when this tenancy ends?

https://landlordbucket.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/management_agreement.pdf
https://landlordbucket.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/tenancy_agreement.pdf
https://landlordbucket.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/Notice+of+rent+increase+Oct+2021.doc
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2021, 09:25:25 AM »

Did you sign any Terms of Business with the Agent? That should have something in there about terminating their services (or lack thereof). Whatever you do - this is where I feel you must start. I don't think you will have a good time if you are trying to super-impose yourself as Landlord above the Agent, when the Tenant (even if in cahoots) may have signed their agreement in good faith with the Agent... the Tenant is right in their refusal to just accept they just change their rent amount and destination to you... I wouldn't.

In the Tenant's eye (and the eyes of everyone, really) your Agent acts for you. Whatever they have done is supposed to be done on your behalf... and whatever they have not done (Deposit protection) is your responsibility.

You need to split this problem into pieces and the first piece of removing the services of the Agent - nothing can be perpetual, of course... so there must be a way to end this agreement... however, be prepared for the Agent to have tried to tie-you-in somehow... possibly with some kind of dubious clause that says the Tenant found it effectively theirs and if you end the Agent agreement you must also end the tenancy... however, while that is not what most Landlords want, that would suit your purposes very well. There may also be some kind of fee... but this can be challenged if not explicit... however, you may think it's a small price to pay to get back on an even keel and back in full control.

If you end up with the Agent gone... and the Tenant remaining... then you can work on the other things... rent, Deposit clarity, eviction with the correct notice... whatever takes your fancy. Right now you have complications.
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2021, 01:48:55 PM »

Why I'm I not allowed to increase the rent in 5 years? If the tenant refuses they can go find a cheaper property or go into arrears and I commence a section 8 notice.

The agreement with agent is for them to manage the property not become the landlord of the property. Any tenancies they draw up should clearly stipulate who the principle is which is the landlord. and why wont they share the tenancy agreement if we are party to the contract?

It would be a fundamental breach of contract if the agent has drawn up a tenancy in which they have referred to themselves as the landlord.
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2021, 03:16:17 PM »

I am probably being a bit thick here,but is the tenant saying they are actually intending to leave 21st next month,when the current contract ends? If so, you don't have any further agreement with the agent.Why then do you want to change the rent at this stage? You will be held responsible for the deposit issue if they decide to sue. I don't see that having copies of old leases changes the current situation.
Accidental Landlord
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2021, 03:24:07 PM »

I can sympathise with you having such an obstructive Agent. I like to think these types of agents are disappearing fast. As far as I know if an Agent has full management control - which it sounds like to me here - they are allowed to put themselves as the 'Landlord' in a tenancy agreement since it usually says Landlord/Agent on it. Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone. In your case, it's not that the Agent has tried to become the 'Landlord', just that they will always be deemed as acting on the Landlord's instructions - rightly or wrongly. The ultimate responsibility is always the Landlord's. There is also a mindset among some tenants that an Agent looks after their interests best and therefore it is very much preferable to deal with them rather than the actual Landlord. It seems your Agent has perpetuated this myth with the tenant.
You may have recourse if the Agent belongs to an ombudsman and you can make a complaint. If not I'm afraid you might need the services of a solicitor who specialises in problems with rental properties. In the meantime I am thinking it could not do any more harm to actually give notice in writing to terminate the Agent's management agreement. If there is a response in writing of any sort then at least you can build up evidence. The same with the Tenant.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 03:26:24 PM by eps501 »
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2021, 03:50:29 PM »

I am probably being a bit thick here,but is the tenant saying they are actually intending to leave 21st next month,when the current contract ends? If so, you don't have any further agreement with the agent.Why then do you want to change the rent at this stage? You will be held responsible for the deposit issue if they decide to sue. I don't see that having copies of old leases changes the current situation.

The tenant doesn't want to leave when the 'supposed' current contract ends on 13 October as they want a few additional months for some visa purposes (an excuse I keep hearing from them and which im not prepared to entertain).

The 4 months notice was given on the ssumption we have a periodic tenancy as neither agent nor tenant is willing to share the tenancy with me  - therefore I've assumed the last tenancy is the one dated 2018 which was for a 6 month period.
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2021, 03:54:45 PM »

I can sympathise with you having such an obstructive Agent. I like to think these types of agents are disappearing fast. As far as I know if an Agent has full management control - which it sounds like to me here - they are allowed to put themselves as the 'Landlord' in a tenancy agreement since it usually says Landlord/Agent on it. Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone. In your case, it's not that the Agent has tried to become the 'Landlord', just that they will always be deemed as acting on the Landlord's instructions - rightly or wrongly. The ultimate responsibility is always the Landlord's. There is also a mindset among some tenants that an Agent looks after their interests best and therefore it is very much preferable to deal with them rather than the actual Landlord. It seems your Agent has perpetuated this myth with the tenant.
You may have recourse if the Agent belongs to an ombudsman and you can make a complaint. If not I'm afraid you might need the services of a solicitor who specialises in problems with rental properties. In the meantime I am thinking it could not do any more harm to actually give notice in writing to terminate the Agent's management agreement. If there is a response in writing of any sort then at least you can build up evidence. The same with the Tenant.

I've posted a link to the management agreement and it doesn't mention anything about them having full control especially nothing to the effect where they can present themselves as the landlord.
Accidental Landlord
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2021, 06:00:51 PM »

Hmm I see that the Agent is not a member of ARLA or any kind of 'professional body' (for what they're worth). I worry is that this contract agreement looks homemade although that does not mean it's not legally binding. As far as I know, I've only known of 2 options with estate agents, a tenant find only and a full management which means they deal totally with the tenants on a day to day basis including rent collection. Your agreement seems to be the latter and that is why I said 'full control'. As far as the tenant is concerned, at the end of the fixed term, you will not be renewing or extending their tenancy. If you have given the correct notice then that is that. Of course if they ignore the notice then it's another matter and you will have to follow the eviction process.

Quote
I've posted a link to the management agreement and it doesn't mention anything about them having full control especially nothing to the effect where they can present themselves as the landlord.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 08:13:56 PM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2021, 08:17:11 PM »

Why I'm I not allowed to increase the rent in 5 years?

I may have speed-read the original entry, but where has this popped-up from? I don't anyone here has said you can't raise the rent... what I have said is you appear to have an Agent who is working either against you, or in cahoots with the Tenant. My suggestion is that you 'clear the decks' by ending your agreement with the Agent... then decide whatever you might want to do with the Tenant.

What is problematic about this for you? By having so many moving parts in front of you it can become complicated and stressful. You should fight one battle at a time. At the moment we simply don't know if the Tenant is operating in good faith or not... they don't seem to be in arrears, they don't seem to have trashed the place... on the face of it they seem... normal... just unwilling to demur to whatever you say (which is quite right when you think about it - you're not the person they usually deal with, or pay rent to).
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2021, 08:24:37 PM »

I've posted a link to the management agreement and it doesn't mention anything about them having full control especially nothing to the effect where they can present themselves as the landlord.

But what do you think an Agent is?

noun
1. a person who acts on behalf of another person or group.

That's what they're doing... so you don't have to and, worse, you pay them to do this. When you want to involve yourself in the mix what else can you expect other than strife? It you turned-up at my side, trying to advise me whether I should use a STH or a STG I would respectfully tell you where to get off... I'd say "let me do my job and you do yours". To all intents and purposes the Agent is the Landlord - in the eyes of the Tenant that is supposed to be their single point of contact. All Tenants understand that Landlords exist, of course they do, but they are magical creatures.
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