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Problems with Landlord and Letting Agents! Advice please...

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by janmars, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. janmars

    janmars
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    In mid June we found a new property we wanted to rent - as we had sold our house. We couldn't move into the property until the 11 July as we were waiting for completion on our property.

    On the 9 July, we went into the property to sort a few things out before we moved in; and these are the problems we found:

    1) The carpets smelt of cat pee

    2) The house was infested with fleas, I was totally covered in them

    3) The house still contained furniture - despite the fact we had repeatedly asked for it to be removed. The Letting agents had also verbally told us it had been removed. But on the 9 July, they told us we would have to move it.

    4) The shed was full of furniture - again the Agents had told us it had all been removed.


    So there and then we decided not to move into the property, and phoned up the agents up and told them we are no longer interested due to the state of the place.

    We had only paid £100 deposit.

    A few weeks later we were told my people to get that £100 back as the agents and landlord were in breach of their agreement with us. So against our better judgment we wrote them a letter telling them the situation and wanted the money back.

    Today we got a letter from them saying, that the landlord had the "alleged" infestation of the fleas treated immediately; but found none. And as they held the house for them for 3 weeks, the landlord lost £398 in rent. As we have "paid" £100, we now owe them £298, and they have asked for a cheque to cover this.

    We should have let sleeping dogs lay. Now I am unsure what to do...personally I think we should just ignore the letter.

    Now we did not sign any agreement or contract with them. In fact we didn’t sign anything. Further they are the ones that were in breach any agreements. Finally, as we were not renting the place during the period he was “holding” it for us – he would not have been paid for that period even if we did move in.

    So what are your suggestions? Should we reply; could doing so make this worse? As we haven’t done anything wrong – and they are at fault – should we just ignore this as they now cannot legally do anything? Or could that lead to them sending a letter from their solicitor?

    Thanks for any advice…
     
  2. Miyazaki

    Miyazaki
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    See a solicitor mate. They love dealing with these sort of cowboys. You can see one for around 1/2 hour for about £50 including a letter.
     
  3. Razor

    Razor
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    If you didnt sign a AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) they havent got a leg to stand on.
     
  4. janmars

    janmars
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    Yeah good idea. But hopefully there may be no need for that yet...

    So because we didn't sign anything - they can't do anything? In that case we should just ignore the letter?
     
  5. Steve N

    Steve N
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    Yes.
    I entered into an agreement some years ago to rent a flat but changed my mind.
    The landlord tried to get "lost potential rent" from me.
    I got legal advise and was told that as I had "signed an agreement" to rent the flat monthly I was liable to reimburse lost rent for one month, but only if he had not been able to re-rent within this period.
    I discussed this with the landlord and he settled for one weeks rent which I thought was fair.

    In your case I think they are responding to your attempt to retrieve your deposit.
    I would ignore their letter.
     
  6. janmars

    janmars
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    They had not said anything to us at all about "lost potential rent" until we attempted to get the deposit back. So I agree with you that they are merely responding to that.

    So thanks - we will ignore them... :)
     
  7. Razor

    Razor
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    Allot of Estate Agents are snakes, I work in the property buisness and am a Landlord. They will try and get what ever they can out of you. They are trying to save face with their client (landlord) I wouldnt worry about it. Ask them to send you writen proof of your acceptance of the flat and show you a signed AST. This should shut them up.
     
  8. stevegreen

    stevegreen
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    Personally, I wouldn't ignore the letter, I would definitely respond, putting you side of the case. This just ensures that they don't just take you to court for the money saying that they worte to you without getting a reply.

    As has been said, ask them to send you your copy of the agreement that you signed, if they can't do this then they will soon leave it well alone.
     
  9. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    You handed over a £100 deposit without signing anything?

    Contrary to the old saying a verbal contract is as binding as any other but is more difficult to prove. Whilst I am not a legal expert on contract law I would imagine that the landlord would have a fairly strong case on the basis that you paid him £100.

    As Steve N says - it is a legal requirement for a claimant to mitigate their losses (in this case meaning trying to a new tenant as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of lost rent)

    Did you keep copies of your correspondence with the landlord/agent saying what your requests were re the furniture? Did the issues over the smells/infestation not exist when you first viewed the property?

    With all these things it is always best to confirm all things in writting and when sending your offer to clearly state that your offer is conditional on 1), 2), 3) etc (not that that is much help now)
     
  10. stealther

    stealther
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    Sounds to me like there just trying to scare you off from pursuing your deposit.

    I dont think you have anything to worry about if you have signed nothing.

    Ive rented of a number of landlords over the last few years and have found the best experiance is when Letting agents are not used. I ve found Landlords who deal directly with there tennants are often much better and will respond to your complaints in a timely manner. Every single letting agent I ve dealt with has shafted me when its time to get the deposit back. :rolleyes:
     

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