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Can Lettings Agents do this?

(6 Posts)
somuchforanindiansummer Fri 29-Mar-13 08:08:58

I am a landlord letting out a property through a lettings agent. When I signed up with them last year I asked them to let me know of any repairs etc that were needed so I could decide whether I wanted to arrange for them to be done myself or get their maintenance staff to arrange it for me. They have done this in the past (and I have always made any repairs as soon as I have heard about them <good landlord emoticon>)

However, yesterday I received an invoice (for £100+) for a locksmith to change the lock because apparently 'it was defective'. I don't know any more than this atm (eg whether the tenant was locked out so it was urgent) and although I understand that lock issues may require immediate attention, I still think they should have contacted me, so I could tell them to go ahead or sort it myself.

I am going to speak to them when the office is open again but would like to know if they are even allowed to commission work on my behalf without me approving it, which I then have to pay for? That in itself seems questionable, without even going into the fact they didn't contact me about works when I had asked them to.

Anyone know if they can legally do this? It is not referred to in my agreement with them.

TIA smile

Crutchlow35 Fri 29-Mar-13 10:02:53

My agreement with my agent has a £150 max for repairs without them consulting me first.

I am not sure about the locks though as they could class that as being an emergency repair, particularly if tenant was locked out or couldn't secure the property.

If there is nothing in the agreement did you say anything verbal or may be in an email? Definitely check with them though.

Crutchlow35 Fri 29-Mar-13 10:03:46

Not sure about legally though.

specialsubject Fri 29-Mar-13 10:36:51

any decent agency contract should define their authorised spend in an emergency.

nothing in the contract, no authorisation. Start arguing.

somuchforanindiansummer Fri 29-Mar-13 19:36:06

Cheers - yes, they are certainly pretty crappy generally which I need to talk to them about - but before I do I want to be clear whether I am complaining that they haven't done as I asked, or whether I can threaten to escalate the complaint legally if they don't back down re the unauthorised spend...

bookishandblondish Sun 31-Mar-13 09:55:16

As a tenant who had a problem with the lock on the front door - couldn't lock it, I don't expect my agency to spend time trying to get hold of someone to authorise. I expect them to send someone pronto. My very crappy agency did so I expect this to be the norm. By the way, £100 to change a front door lock is possibly on the cheaper side here - London.

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