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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have a property which was leased out by an Agent, on a fully

Resolved Question:

I have a property which was leased out by an Agent, on a fully managed contract. The Agent did not oversee work and carry out repairs to the property as instructed and approved by me, and as a result the interior of the property has deteriorated, thus reducing the sale price.
The agent agreement states they will carry out all repairs as approved by the owner. This has not been done.
I have requested compensation and return of the management fee, over three months ago. 7 weeks ago I was told a proposed settlement solution would be sent to me. Please can you advise me what I can do next as I am desperate to resolve this stressful situation. Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

If you instructed them to do something in accordance with the contract and they failed to do that, it seems like this should be a simple breach of contract claim.

tdlawyer :

In other words, if you sustain financial loss due to this, then you should be entitled to recover it.

tdlawyer :

However, were they going to do the repairs without charge?

Customer:

The work would be carried out under the management agreement, for which they took a monthly commission. I would then pay the workmen direct once the Agent was satisfied the work was completed satisfactorily.

tdlawyer :

So they were responsible for the cost of arranging the work repairs in effect?

Customer:

I arranged the work and approved it. The agent then was to ensure the work was done . Their agreement states ... deal with the day to day management of the property which may involve arranging (at the Landlords cost) general repairs or maintenance to be carried out,....

tdlawyer :

Okay. You are the landlord, and would still have to pay for the actual repairs to be done, just not the arrangement of labour etc. Is this your understanding too?

Customer:

Yes

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then the most you're likely to be able to sue for here is the cost of coordinating the repair works, i.e. a project manager.

tdlawyer :

You can't sue for the cost of the works - because you always had to pay those.

tdlawyer :

You're unlikely to be able to sue for the diminution in value of the property if the repair works rectify that issue now.

Customer:

The work still has not been done.

tdlawyer :

I appreciate that.

tdlawyer :

What do you want to sue for though?

Customer:

The work was to repair internal plaster and damp damage, caused by a leaky gutter. The repairs to the plaster was not done and the mould has spread causing areas of plaster damage which looks quite major, in the upstairs rooms.

Customer:

The sale price of the property had to be reduced because of the internal damage. This is what I would seek compensation for.

Customer:

Aside of this, the agent is in breach of the contract, and I have requested the refund of the management fee.

tdlawyer :

But the problem with the internal damage aspect is that the agent didn't cause it, did he?

tdlawyer :

His contract obligation was to repair - not be liable for the damage.

Customer:

His lack of action caused the damage, as he did not fulful his contract obligation

tdlawyer :

Okay, if he caused the damage then through lack of action that he should have taken, then I agree with you, that he would be liable and then I see the basis of claim.

tdlawyer :

I appreciate you want to resolve this amicably if you can.

tdlawyer :

Have you tried mediation?

Customer:

The majority of contact has been via emails. The agents manager telephoned and we discussed the matter, and he accepted that the agent was at fault and should have ensured the repairs were carried out. He said he was discussing a settlement proposal and would send it that week. That was 7 weeks ago.

tdlawyer :

Eeek. Okay, maybe the only thing to do then now is focus their minds. I would suggest you consider instructing a solicitor to send a letter before action to get their attention. Then they can deal with you again if you wish to negotiate a settlement.

tdlawyer :

But you need to do something to get their attention.

tdlawyer :

The next step would be to issue court proceedings.

tdlawyer :

I wouldn't encourage you to issue proceedings lightly, and certainly not without getting a solicitor involved, as I expect you're going to be claiming more than £10k, right?

Customer:

Sadly no, I would like to but undersell myself I guess. I feel I missed out on £6,000 on the sale price. I would settle for less, just to get closure. Are you able to offer any wording I can include in an email to the agent and his manager, as I don't think I could afford to go down the full solicitor path.

tdlawyer :

Solicitors are expensive, but not to do an initial letter of claim - maybe £100 plus VAT if that.

Customer:

They have also not returned the deposit they hold for repairs - £250, despite asking them to return this tome

tdlawyer :

But it would get their focus - that's the key thing.

tdlawyer :

As for wording, it's difficult for me to be effective like that for you, because it really needs somebody to see the contract and refer to the various obligations etc.

tdlawyer :

That's what will make a difference - the fact there is no defence being spelt out in correspondence to them.

Customer:

Is there a specific "type" of solicitor I should see?

Customer:

Do you feel I have a valid case and realistically what chance of obtaining compensation, and to what amount?

tdlawyer :

See a general litigation solicitor.

tdlawyer :

I can't say if you have a case because it's all about the contract, and it wouldn't be fair of me to speculate for you.

Customer:

Ok I appreciate your point.

Customer:

Thank you for 'talking' to me. It has clarified my case which is what I needed and advise to go forward.

tdlawyer :

Great, I'm pleased it's been helpful.

tdlawyer :

Can I just check then that you're happy with the service today?

Customer:

Is the £33 a one off payment?

Customer:

yes I am happy with your advice

tdlawyer :

This, it's a one off payment.

Customer:

Thank you.

Customer:

I can't think of any further questions so thank you and goodbye

tdlawyer :

Thanks. Have a great day.

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