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Urgent help re letting agent problem

(14 Posts)
HouseTrouble Sun 08-Feb-15 10:13:25

I have Power of Attorney for my dad. He is unwell and in a nursing home, and I am therefore renting out his home on his behalf. I used a letting agency to find a tenant, and to manage the property. The tenant has lived there for more than a year, and he is a good tenant.

However, various things have suddenly come to light, meaning that I am unhappy with the letting agent. As a result, I no longer want him to manage the property. I plan to take over management of the property myself. My question is, what do I need to sort out? Is this correct:

1) The tenant will need to sign a new Assured Tenancy Agreement directly with me?
2) The letting agent will need to return the deposit to the tenant, and I will need to take the deposit and register it with the tenancy deposit scheme. Have I got that right? I can't just transfer it?
3) Is there anything else I should be thinking about? Obviously, I will arrange the annual gas certification etc. The contract I have with the letting agent doesn't mention terminating the contract. I would like to terminate it immediately.

Thank you in advance for any help. I'm just trying to get it all straight in my head.

bastardagent Sun 08-Feb-15 10:24:51

Your tenant has been there more than a year, so has he signed a new 12 month tenancy or has the tenancy rolled over to periodic?

HouseTrouble Sun 08-Feb-15 10:27:11

He is about to sign a new 12 month tenancy. (He's been there just over a year.)

bastardagent Sun 08-Feb-15 10:37:40

Would you consider keeping the agent on in a "let only" capacity?
You would manage.
The advantage being that they could sort the contract and the deposit for you.
It would be cheaper than management but they would do the hassley bits.
Also the tenant is "their" tenant. I think they could argue that you can't just dump them and keep the tenant.
Unless the relationship has completely broken down , this is the path I would choose.

HouseTrouble Sun 08-Feb-15 10:49:55

I don't want to go into any identifying details, but I've just discovered he has falsified quotes for work. He has a great reputation and appears very convincing. sad

As a result, I want to terminate any connection to him asap. Having subsequently spoken to my tenant, he also has not had a great experience.

At the start, we were offered the option of just finding the tenant, or finding the tenant and managing. We chose the latter.

bastardagent Sun 08-Feb-15 11:03:04

I understand that you will have been offered the various options at the beginning.
I worry that by severing connection you will be heading for a fight as the agent found you that tenant in the first place. He won't just meekly say "ok you take over" . Hence my advice is to try and negotiate.

Toughasoldboots Sun 08-Feb-15 11:09:06

That doesn't surprise me at all, in all my years of being a tenant and a landlord, I have never come across an honest letting agent.

What is in the contract? There is probably a clause about this?

If you can prove that the quote is false, I would use this as a bargaining tool. It's misconduct.

HouseTrouble Sun 08-Feb-15 11:14:17

Yes, bastardagent, I think your advice is good, thank you. I hadn't even thought of your suggestion. However, I feel in view of what I have uncovered, he is unlikely to fight it. (I may be wrong, of course.)

Toughasoldboots - I can prove the quote is false. I found it almost impossible to believe myself. But I do have proof. We are talking hundreds of pounds here. sad

The contract doesn't seem to cover the situation!

specialsubject Sun 08-Feb-15 11:19:20

the tenancy will be between you and the tenant anyway. But you do need a new one.

make sure you've sorted the deposit and have all the right insurances. Getting rid of the agent is a separate issue.

but you can bet they will want more money.

Toughasoldboots Sun 08-Feb-15 11:21:52

It might be too risky in your opinion but I would drop them, stop all payments and let them take you to court then.
They have been dishonest, therefore you will not use them anymore.

I am 18 mths in to a similar situation, LA charged for cleaning after I moved out of a house, he used the address of his son and I can prove that the invoice is false.

I quite enjoy taking these fraudsters on to be honest.

Toughasoldboots Sun 08-Feb-15 11:23:11

As the landlord, you can release the deposit, not the LA.

So you release the deposit and start a new tenancy with new deposit protection.

HouseTrouble Sun 08-Feb-15 11:52:54

ss - If they want more money, I'd rather pay and sever contact really. But my preferred option would be not to pay, of course!

Toughasoldboots - how awful re cleaning. Yes, hopefully there won't be a problem with him releasing the deposit on my say-so.

Well, I feel a bit clearer having discussed this now. Thank you for your replies. Much appreciated.

Toughasoldboots Sun 08-Feb-15 11:59:24

House, the deposit should be in an approved scheme, so LA will have nothing to do with whether the deposit gets released or not.

You need the name of the scheme and the ref number.

It is entirely up to you as to the releasing of it.

HouseTrouble Sun 08-Feb-15 12:03:32

Thank you, that's really good to know. I can't think that the agent'll make a fuss. But I just want to be totally prepared. I am so disillusioned. He really does talk a good talk.

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