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Really stressed about rental flat :(

(15 Posts)
TheCuttingRdge Sat 07-Nov-15 20:28:23

Ok. In summary. We have a rental flat, was our family home but DH is in the army as was posted abroad so we rent it.

We have a property manager. In the last few months we became increasingly frustrated with them. There were lots a occasions when jobs were reported, authorized, but then never completed...but we only found out about them months later. Parts were ordered, not fitted and then charged for again when the work was actually done.

In sort, a total break down of trust. Tenants have handed in notice and the PM has said he doesn't want to manage the property anymore. It was supposed to end in December but this week the PM has basically stopped managing. I asked him to tell the tenants I had a plumber coming to fix a bathroom problem. He didn't, so the plumber waited outside, then went home. Since then the PM hasn't responded at all apart from to tell me to set up a deposit protection account so the deposit could be transferred.

I've done this, and told him, but not had a reply. Feeling very stressed as I don't have the details of the tenants. I want to sort out the plumbing issues but I can't as the PM won't reply to my emails.

Basically what should I do sad I'm sure I'll get loads of reply saying I'm too incompetent to manage a property and all LL are evil, but I want to do my best. I just don't know what to do now. I've emailed the boss of the PM company to ask what is happening, but again, no response.

lalalonglegs Sat 07-Nov-15 22:43:34

Do you have the tenants' phone numbers? Can you liaise with them direct? When they move out, I would suggest coming back to the UK for a couple of days to assess what jobs need doing and sort out a new agency to let and manage your property.

Fizrim Sat 07-Nov-15 22:47:45

Can you get new letting agents to act for you? Do you have anyone nearby (family or friends) who could perhaps get the locks changed when the tenants leave and give the new keys to the new letting agents?

You can write directly to the tenants and let them know that the PM isn't doing his part of the deal and ask if you can have their contact details.

I would recommend changing the locks though!

lighteningirl Sun 08-Nov-15 10:15:14

Ask your tenants if they want to stay maybe offer them a free month get them to liaise with number etc?

specialsubject Sun 08-Nov-15 12:07:33

you need to find a decent managing agent pronto. They do exist although with the unregulated letting industry they take some finding. Are you in the UK? Is anyone near enough to visit the tenants? What happens about re-letting when they leave?

you can contact them, you know where they live!!

BTW what's this about the deposit? Wasn't it protected from the day they moved in?

I'm a landlord so feel free to ask any more questions without fear of abuse.

TheCuttingRdge Sun 08-Nov-15 13:47:18

Thank you all.

Deposit is in a protected scheme, but under the letting agents accounts. They asked me to set up my own account, in the same protected scheme and they would transfer the deposit, I have set one up but the deposit hasn't been transferred.

I'm in Germany with a husband away on a long exercise so coming back right now itsnt really an option. I will write to the tenants on Monday but I was hoping to get an email address or phone number for quicker contact, hopefully they will email me when they get the letter and give me their details.

specialsubject Sun 08-Nov-15 13:52:29

I think that's all you can do for now.

you have been royally ripped off but someone who has taken money and not delivered, so name and shame!

you could also try on landlordzone for a recommendation of a decent agent in the area concerned.

TheCuttingRdge Sun 08-Nov-15 14:12:19

I'm just so stressed that the tenants are thinking badly of me sad the plumber is pissed off they waited for an hour outside the flat, the tenants probably think I don't give a shot about fixing the bathroom issue. It's all such a mess!

specialsubject Sun 08-Nov-15 14:21:21

your letter will resolve that so get writing!

whataboutbob Sun 08-Nov-15 15:53:05

I get where you're coming from,being a landlord can be stressful especially when you are not nearby. I manage my dad's 2 properties, he can't do it himself through illness. it's been a steep learning curve. Here's what I learnt
The letting agents are OK but when they can make money out of me they will.Eg by suggesting their contractors to do a job, they always overcharge
Plumbing issues always seem to pop up in autumn or winter
Tradesmen will often try and overcharge and i now suspect it's because I'm female and don't live locally.
Every year some issue will pop up: electrics/ plumbing/ damp and has to be dealth with
Here are things i have found helpful:
An account with Landlordzone forum (altho I find the hardened landlords on there can be quite condescending)
Being registered with Which? which helps find tradesmen
Joining the national Landlords' Association for about £80pa and so i can phone them anytime I need for advice on legal aspects of being a landlord.
Growing an extra layer of skin to deal with stress, frustration and anger!

PettsWoodParadise Sun 08-Nov-15 15:56:14

I am a LL and I haven't heard of a deposit being transferred. I think your agent needs to return it to the tenants and then you need to resubmit it and issue the prescribed information to the tenant - if they are leaving imminently then I would question resubmitting.

We manage our properties ourselves as ultimately the responsibility lies with us even if we were to have an agent. Laws changed recently including about carbon monodic sensors etc. I presume a bad agent probably didn't even arrange this. I am so angry at your agent on your behalf. Your DH is defending this country and you've been royally ripped off. We use Openrent to advertise a property as it puts adverts on Rightmove etc and have a good list of handy persons so we can do a lot from a distance but it will be a challenge for us to not be able to pop there physically from time to time.

LIZS Sun 08-Nov-15 16:01:09

Can't you write to the tenant, ideally recorded. Did you not have to sign a lease which would have their names? If the management agent claimed affiliation of ARLA or similar they may be able to advise you re, deposit.

lalalonglegs Sun 08-Nov-15 16:13:58

Deposits can be transferred, it's quite simple and takes minutes. Phone the scheme and ask them if there is anything they can do - they might just want to see proof of ownership and then do it for you.

TheCuttingRdge Sun 08-Nov-15 18:43:00

I do have their names, so I could maybe find them on Facebook or something but I sort of feel that's a bit of a violation? I would have rathered it had been done properly. I asked the letting agent to forward the tenants all my details as well and I hopes they would get in touch, but I don't think this had been done either.

I am cringing a bit about messaging them on Facebook...'Hi, this is your LL'.

I will send the letter recorded and tell them the situation and that I will do my best to resolve all the issues as soon as I can. It's just almost impossible to without their details as I don't have the legal right to just send tradesmen round to do the work without giving them notice, and that is just importable to do by post so I really need a quicker form.

wowfudge Sun 08-Nov-15 19:53:36

Just a thought - are you in touch with anyone who still lives in the area? Could they print out and post an emailed letter from you through to your tenants?

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