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Letting Agent - Contract Breach

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Author Topic: Letting Agent - Contract Breach  (Read 255 times)
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« on: April 25, 2022, 05:45:40 PM »

Hi All,

This is my first post for  this wonderful forum where hope is alive to get some knowledge and support as a landlord.

My life is new as landlord - I used one letting agent on high street ( small family  run business)..i had 1 year contract which we renew last year around Nov-21, it was guaranteed rent scheme ( you  can agreed rent from agency on agreed date)  first year was okay no issue but since the contract has renewed i did not get rent on time several reminders ,phone call, msg and office visit!!!! every month!!... Agency has sub let flat to other tenant.. Now i am fed up with  this drama and I gave  02 month notice ( email to Agency) which was due on end of march.. Agency agreed to give back flat in march but last moment says sorry tenant hasn't found property so we cant give you keys back!!! So , i allow to extend month as human heart but  again this month also same issue...    So,   What should i do ? What is the legal way to get my flat back from  Letting Agent.?

1) Agency has breached the contract , as i gave now more then 3 month notice.
2) Very poor service never pick the phone not reply to email or text msges.
3) I also found out that they are not registered with any redress scheme as well.

Please guide me ..

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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2022, 09:21:04 AM »

Hello Anyone? I genuinely need some advise here.
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2022, 10:01:27 AM »

I would visit the offices in person.I would go to the flat to ascertain if anyone is actually living there.Are you still getting rent? 
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2022, 11:05:33 AM »

Yes,  I have visited Agent office and they said we are trying to move out tenant.    The property is occupied by tenant not empty. Yes  ,I am getting rent but not on agreed date but very late at least 7-10 days.
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2022, 11:55:55 AM »

I don't think there is much you can do except wait it out for now.I have used agents in the past who transfered the rent to my account much later  than 7/10 days after they had it from the tenant.There is no reason why you can't  try to contact the tenant yourself by  mail,to see if you are getting the right information. They may not respond of course. Have you spoken to a solicitor about this?
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2022, 12:55:19 PM »

Since my contract is with Agency , does talking to tenant directly  without Agency involvement will impact my case  ? I am not sure what to do that's the reason seeking some advise here. I haven't reached to solicitor yet. I know tenant is making late payment as agency showed me conversations between tenant and Agency.
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2022, 03:05:44 PM »

It could confirm that the agency is telling you the truth,as you seem to imply that they are misleading you,using tactics to avoid the contract ending? Do you have proof that they served notice to the tenant?
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2022, 04:11:03 PM »

Honestly no i haven't seen detail about Agency has sent notice /email to Tenant to vacant the flat... but they showed me conversation with tenant which proves that they already told tenant to vacant property/... Since it is middle of the 1 year  contract ,Does agency should have just sent notice email or they have to serve sec 21?
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2022, 04:22:20 PM »

Is there a break clause in the contract? They have to serve S21 correctly.,not just an email or text.
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2022, 04:55:44 PM »

Yes, Contract says either of the party can break the contract with 2 month notice....So both tenant and Agency can break it with 2 month notice...
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2022, 05:11:07 PM »

Read the agreement carefully then if you can go for breach if you find any.

I did & got rid of my blood sucking leach
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2022, 06:10:09 PM »

Yes, I do see few breach of contract agreement by Agency.

1) Since the agreement is fixed guaranteed rent ( Which means same rent throughout contract on agreed date ) Which not happens since last 6 month.
2) Tenant has altered the property without landlord agreement. (removed the furniture..)
3) Even after 2 month notice period property not given back.

Now, the question what should i do to take property back. what is the correct process step to follow.
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2022, 07:52:50 PM »

This is one of the reason by the way why rent to rent is a bad idea for the owner.

It's all very well stating that they're in breach of contract by failing to return possession etc., which may well be correct legally, but if the occupier refuses to leave there's not actually a lot the "Agency" can do here to make it happen within the time period required.

Let's start this off, from what you described the "Agency" is not your agent. They are your tenant. The occupier is their sub-tenant. You had no relationship with the occupier. When you served, whether break notice or notice to quit, assuming it was valid, the mesne tenancy ended on its expiry and the sub-tenant (the occupier) became your direct tenant (since the sub-let was legal). However, since you're all acting as if the original owner-tenant-subtenant relationship is still ongoing, you may have ended up granting the "Agency" a periodic tenancy with the occupier remaining their sub-tenant.

You have the choice of beliveing the Agency (and in turn the occupier) that the occupier is seeking to leave and will do so soon, go for a clean break ending the mesne tenancy and then evicting the occupier (now your tenant) yourself, or some hybird make the Agency prove they are actually attempting to evict the occupier so they can give back vacant possession.

Proper advice is recommended.
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2022, 10:20:49 AM »

Thanks KTC for your reply.. So, some  clarity needed based on what you mentioned.

1) since my contract with Agency ( my direct tenant) has officially now ended. &  My tenant (Agency) contract with their Tenant (current Occupier) has also now ended assuming Agency has give notice to them two months ago.  Does that mean i can directly deal with Sub- Tenant (Occupier) now?  is it legal?  I haven't seen contract copy between Agency and occupier so not sure what term they have.

2) Also As  per my contract with Agency , I  kept the term  that they ( Agency) will be responsible for any eviction of occupier  and bare all legal cost for it. So if I take control then ,I  have to bare cost of it Agency will go clean here.

Also,  Deposit money is in  deposit scheme which is managed by Agency, I got the copy of certificate ( I was stupid to let  agency to manage deposit money )

So any more advise here?



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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2022, 12:51:59 PM »

Thanks KTC for your reply.. So, some  clarity needed based on what you mentioned.

1) since my contract with Agency ( my direct tenant) has officially now ended. &  My tenant (Agency) contract with their Tenant (current Occupier) has also now ended assuming Agency has give notice to them two months ago.  Does that mean i can directly deal with Sub- Tenant (Occupier) now?  is it legal?  I haven't seen contract copy between Agency and occupier so not sure what term they have.
If your agreement with the agent has now ended (which it might have done), the tenant is now your tenant (which is a bit of a disaster for you). The agent's contract with the tenant hasn't ended and can't be ended other than by the tenant giving notice or surrendering the tenancy.

You are now in a real hole, because it's quite likely that the agent will be unable to evict the tenant, because if a possession hearing understands what happens, the agent is no longer the landlord.

Quote
2) Also As  per my contract with Agency , I  kept the term  that they ( Agency) will be responsible for any eviction of occupier  and bare all legal cost for it. So if I take control then ,I  have to bare cost of it Agency will go clean here.
That's helpful, but that contract is no longer in force, so it's touch and go whether you can enforce its terms.

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Also,  Deposit money is in  deposit scheme which is managed by Agency, I got the copy of certificate ( I was stupid to let  agency to manage deposit money )
If you mean the occupant's deposit, that's where it should have been, up until very recently, they were the agent's tenant, not yours.
If you're now the landlord, you have to protect that deposit (and serve the Prescribed Information) with 30 days of your becoming the landlord.

Quote
So any more advise here?
Either resolve it amicably by working with the agent or get a good solicitor.
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2022, 09:17:36 PM »

If you're now the landlord, you have to protect that deposit (and serve the Prescribed Information) with 30 days of your becoming the landlord.

Within 30 days of receiving the deposit technically. I think it can reasonably be argued the associated obligations never applies if the previous landlord never transferred the deposit over, especially if one becomes landlord through the end of a mesne tenancy rather than say they bought the place.
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2022, 11:09:25 AM »

I think, as per Superstrike, that the deposit is "received" when the liability to repay it arises.

I've never seen this decided in a situation like this, so that's my reasoning, but I can't point to anything that supports it.
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2022, 12:37:34 PM »

thank you everyone for your help and support.  I see the best way to work with Agency and make them work to vacant " The occupier ". Lets see how it goes.  But now i have decided to manage property by my own !
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