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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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we rented our house out to a tenant (through a letting agent)

Resolved Question:

we rented our house out to a tenant (through a letting agent) he was in the house nearly 2 years. Last October he lost his job and stopped paying full rent. From October he paid around £700 rents instead of £1,700 owed In January he abandoned the property not notifying the letting agent and posted the front door keys through the letter box of the property. He left considerable damage in the property which has cost £9,500 to put right. The letting agent has refunded to us £596 of deposit which was the full deposit minus admin charges. We have letting insurance and are still waiting to find out how much if any that the insurance will pay out on lost rent. We have now changed letting agents as we were unhappy with our previous agents. They told us that as soon as the tenant vacated the property they were no longer liable so we have to take the old tenant to small claims court.
Our question is do we have a case to go to small claims court and how do we go about finding the tenant as he did not leave any forwarding address and after he lost his previous job he did not give the letting agents any further employement details.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question. My name is Tony.

tdlawyer :

It sounds like you do have a claim against the tenant if they had caused damage to your property. £9,500 is a significant figure and I can understand you wanting to recover that.

tdlawyer :

Plus, the rent amounts.

tdlawyer :

So, you can issue a claim in the small claims court - at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

tdlawyer :

You're right, that you need to find them first though.

Customer:

We know that some of the amount such as having a whole new kitchen cant be claimed but even if we could get some of it back

tdlawyer :

You can use a tracing agent, who will charge a fixed fee if they find the person concerned.

tdlawyer :

There are numerous companies our there that do this.

Customer:

How do we find a tracing agent

Customer:

is there a way of finding a recommended one

tdlawyer :

One such company is: http://www.tracingagents.com/

tdlawyer :

They say that unless they find the person - there is no fee.

tdlawyer :

The fees are pretty small too, about £60 or so, depending on the agent.

Customer:

sorry I was just copying those address

Customer:

how do they search?

tdlawyer :

That's okay.

tdlawyer :

They use public records, like the electoral roll, credit references and things like that. I've known them speak with neighbours and even use facebook in the past!

tdlawyer :

That's part of their secret system though I suppose.

Customer:

so we would contact the search agent first, then once they find him (if they can) then we contact small claims?

tdlawyer :

Yes, exactly.

Customer:

Does the small claims website have costs listed?

Customer:

sorry guess I could look

Customer:

As the letting agent allowed the rent arrears to continue and the damage occured while the house was managed by them would we have any claim against them

tdlawyer :

Yes, it does, I think you'd be looking at around £210 or so to issue a claim

tdlawyer :

I doubt you're likely to have a claim against the letting agents - tenants do this type of thing sometimes and it can be very hard to say it's the letting agent's fault.

Customer:

thats what I thought, but worth checking!

Customer:

thank you for your help, at least we have a positive step even if nothing happens we can feel like we tried

tdlawyer :

You do have a way forward now and I hope you get the right result from your efforts. Good luck with recovering this.

Customer:

Thank you again

tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: 11 years experience of general practice.
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