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Thoughts on letting agent liability after finding a fraudulent tenant

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Author Topic: Thoughts on letting agent liability after finding a fraudulent tenant  (Read 106 times)
Newbie
Posts: 1

I like property

« on: June 27, 2021, 09:50:43 PM »

Hi everyone  :)
I used a national chain of letting agents 'tenant find' service for my first venture into buy to let mid last year. As a newbie to this and with COVID I left them to vet the tenants and carry out referencing and went with a couple they recommended. Problems started 2 weeks after moving in with violence and police visits and no rent was paid after the first month. When things started to go wrong I retrospectively looked closer at their referencing report and make contact with their last 2 landlords and it was clear employment details and previous landlord references had all been falsified. I eventually got them out 6 months in arrears and after a lot of legal costs and the articles on this site helped a great deal.

I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts or experience as to whether the letting agent can/should be held responsible at all. I complained to them and made a case to at least have my fees refunded but they refused and claimed they had done a perfectly good job  :(

I suspect this will be a case of lesson learned the hard way for me and to be more careful in future but if anyone has had success in a situation like this I would love to hear about it.

Many thanks.

Sam
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2021, 09:57:24 AM »

Oh,this still rankles with me.I had what I thought was an excellent relationship with my local independant agent.Then key people left,and it became all about targets and selling services.I questioned the information about this particular man, contradictory strange comments,all a bit pat.I was made to feel I was being racist.Long story short, no rent,they never moved in,just using the place as a drop address for crime. The lease was being used to get onto the electoral roll , showing applications for 15 fictional people in one studio flat within days.Gormless council person spotted nothing.Anti-terrorism got involved,then passed to fraud.
 He was being sought by several police authorities.Got a long sentence. I had a horrible few months before they caught him,getting threatening phone calls.They had my address on the lease.
The agents denied any responsibility, did not even express concern for me. The Ombudsman took several months to tell me I had to go after the credit check company,not the agent. I gave up,moved agents when they refused to even waive the fee for the next person to move in.The agents don't give a shit about you when it comes down to it. Rant over.
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2021, 11:08:39 AM »

HeavyKarma has had a hard 'lettings' life... it's a wonder there's still any sanity left within.

I also think it's a case of lesson learned the hard way. Every time you take a new Tenant on it's a game of cat-and-mouse as to whether you'll be the mug to get fleeced... an Agent doesn't help you in that game whatsoever. I've had my own trials but I've always done my own viewings and I've looked people in the eye to assess then as best I can before even moving to referencing. If it goes badly wrong I really only have myself to blame. I know many don't want to be "hands-on" with their lettings investments... but I think if you want hands-off then buy Bitcoin or FTSE or something you can just watch. Lettings isn't as lucrative as people think and even with an Agent it is hardly ever "hands-off". While not being as lucrative as some think... it also has the potential to bring you a crapload of hassle... the kind of stuff that keeps you awake at night.

Why do so many people think it's so romantic?

I'm going to visit an apartment today where my two student Tenants have singularly (and together-ly) failed to change a light bulb in the windowless bathroom again. I wouldn't mind because GU10s in bathrooms are tricky. I mind 'cos I've done this before and I've showed them before... and they told me they'd "got it" before... and they lied because now they're pissing (all over) in the dark, or something... also, as it's LED why did it even pop in the first place!!! I am digressing... my own particular absence of sanity.
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2021, 12:27:02 PM »

I have never claimed to be sane.
Newbie
Posts: 47

Landlord - always learning

« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2021, 05:16:11 PM »

I have never claimed to be sane.
Oh, yes you did - but according to the attached, only relatively so  :)
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2021, 05:31:31 PM »

I must have been having one of my good days.Anyway,this is the forum for oddballs and eccentrics, or hadn't you noticed?
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