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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am a letting agent who has via a search on Google found that

Customer Question

I am a letting agent who has via a search on Google found that a man who is both a Contractor working for our company and a Tenant in one of our properties is in fact a convicted Sex Offender with a further five years left. I have commenced eviction proceedings under Section 8 grounds 8 10 11 &17 and have also served section 21 notice on him. We have also stopped all works via ourselves (both tenancy application form and contractor agreement forms ask whether the person has any convictions or has been found guilty of any sex offences to both he answered no). My problem now is that I have been made aware that he is working for other letting agents in the vicinity who are not aware of his conviction and has applied for rental property with one of them too. Coupled with this he is dating a Teacher who is fully aware of his convictions and is allowing him to undertake works at the primary school where she teaches without releasing details to her employers. Obviously I do not want to do something wrong here but surely I have a duty of care to make persons aware of his convictions ???
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

For the avoidance of doubt may I clarify that you asked him whether he had any convictions prior to contracting with him and he answered no and you have this in writing. Is this correct please?

Joshua :

Has he admitted the offences to you now?

Joshua :

From what you say the offences are unspent under the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act?

Customer:

Hi Joshua,

Customer:

The offences were prior to him working for us. He was found guilty in November 2011 and starting working for us and applying for property with us in July 2012

Customer:

He has not spoken to us since the knowledge of his offence came to light. the newspaper article also retains his photographs so there is no question as to it being him

Customer:

Yes the offences are UNspent and will not be spent until 2018 November

Joshua :

Thanks. Just reading through your posts...

Joshua :

Thanks. Did he answer anything dishonestly in writing on any application form about offences in relation to a) his contractorship and b) his tenancy? If so do you have this dishonest response in writing?

Customer:

Yes to both

Joshua :

thank you. On the basis he has provided you with dishonest information leading to his been contracted by you, this would be grounds apart from anything else to consider terminating contract the misrepresentation. From what you say, you have already terminated contract.

Joshua :

as you say, there are grounds under section 8 of the housing act for eviction if false information was given to the landlord to lead him to grant a tenancy and I note you are pursuing eviction proceedings.

Joshua :

in terms of disclosing his convictions to third parties, there is no law that prevents an individual disclosing information that is true and in the public domain. The only area which I would be concerned that you ensure you are careful upon is that you do not providing information to third parties which you do not know to be true because if you communicate information which turned out to be incorrect, he may have a claim against you for defamation. Accordingly, if you have found newspaper articles, you may consider, if you decide to communicate his defences to third parties, rather than giving information directly, simply referring them to the newspaper articles you have found because this place as any potential liability for inaccuracy on the papers concerned rather than at your doorstep

Customer:

So if I just ask them to refer to the web page ??

Joshua :

If you are concerned to tip off individuals, you therefore could consider refering them to information you have found about the individual which you consider they may be aware of and giving them the link(s). I cannot see this would lead to any potential liability on your part.

Joshua :

Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

No that is fine, thank you so much. Appreciated.

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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