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Nightmare situation, advice welcome

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Author Topic: Nightmare situation, advice welcome  (Read 177 times)
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« on: August 12, 2020, 08:39:42 PM »

Hello everyone,

I am reaching out ask advice on what is guaranteed to be the worst tenant story you've heard in a long time.

I am the owner of an apartment in Birmingham, and it was rented out in April 2019 on a one year assured tenancy.

Two issues here:

1. The lettings agent was supposed to provide no void insurance but did not do so, claiming this was request lost in the post. The rental income is thus uninsured against default. They would not set this up prior to the tenancy and seemed unwilling/unable to after it had begun. I have my suspicions that the tenant was not properly referenced, hence the lack of availability of insurance and he preferred to say that he had not received the request. This was a service which they were supposed to provide, but that was agreed verbally. Note, this is my intuition, I do not have facts to support this intuition beyond the circumstances mentioned.

My questions: do I have a right to see the references? Do I have a right to see the rest of the information provided by the tenant? (If they are at fault, they will surely argue 'data protection' but I do not know what right I have that I can enforce seeing this documentation.)

2. The tenant stopped paying rent in August 2019. No money has been received since then. The relevant section notices were submitted and the case went to court in February. An eviction order was granted, and a CC judgement for money covering the lost rent. No money of this judgment has been paid to me. Due to the COVID situation, evictions were put on hold. Note: this tenant was NOT affected by the pandemic, he had been 'evicted' by the court before this even began. However as you know, the government has extended the evictions ban. I hear tonight that Scotland is extending this to March 2021, and one assumes England will follow suit. The agent appointed a solicitor to handle this but does not reply to me directly. She only seems to respond to the agent. I sense that he is her client and that all money for this will go to the agency and then he deducts his own part of this before forwarding any on to me.

To clarify: the solicitor has indeed obtained an order of possession, but the warrant of possession for the Bailiff was not completed by the time of mid-March when everything shut down.

My questions: is my destiny here just to keep waiting and paying the mortgage? I feel entirely powerless in this and don't even know what to do. It is incredibly unfair that the tenant is able to hide behind the difficult circumstances that others are facing. I make no reference to those tenants who legitimately have had troubles because of the COVID situation, but this is someone who is just having a laugh at this point. I am considering walking away from the mortgage at the end of the year as it is no longer a fair situation but that is a last resort.

I would happily pursue legal action towards anyone and everyone but I don't even know where to begin or how to prove a case - if there even is a case.

Apart from going back in a time machine and doing something differently, can I ask what you, dear reader, would do in this situation? Constructive feedback is greatly welcomed here. Thank you.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 08:46:21 PM by nigelreid »
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2020, 12:05:16 PM »

I have only used Lettings Agents for Tenant Find... not Full Management... but as your question 1 is front-loaded it should be the same... on every single occasion I can assure you I have seen the reference report. I would not proceed without seeing it... I would not rely on an Agent saying - "yup, everything is OK with this one". I consider the document(s) mine... despite the fact that I didn't used to pay for them (now I do, obviously).

P.S. - and their application forms to the Letting Agent.
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