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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a property that I rent out via a letting agency. I had

Resolved Question:

I have a property that I rent out via a letting agency. I had Students in it last year and they did some damage to the property so I asked the agency to get the deposit back. In the summer I spent a considerable amount of money renovating the property so I could rent it back out to another group of students via the agency. The previous Chinese students have gone back to China and so have not answered any communication. So it is safe to say I will get the deposit returned but I have still not received this money from the letting agency (over £700.00).
We are now in October and the agency have told me that members of staff were on holiday and it takes a long time so I contacted the DPS (deposit protection scheme) to check for myself. The guy from the DPS said the whole process should take about 3 weeks if that. The students left on the 1st of July and still no monies.
The letting agency said that they had received the relevant form via post, it had been signed by a solicitor and sent to the DPS for them to make a decision. I have an e-mail that confirms this dated 19/09/2014.
I have not signed any agreement with the letting agency for this year as it has always been a verbal agreement via phone from the letting agency asking me if I want to market the property again. This has been going on for about 3 to 4 years.
They have always got 3 students however this year they only managed to get 2 and this only just covers my mortgage. They know I really want 3.
They have also increased their fees without saying anything from £50.00 finders fee to £80.00. If I have not signed an agreement where do I stand legally and should I wait until the deposit money has been paid?
Where do this years students stand legally? Could I ask them to leave because the agreement is with the agency and not me?
The letting agency don't seem to be a member of any professional body you can actually complain to, Just a lot of glossy logo bodies i.e. FSB, Zoopla, Right move and North Staffs Accreditation.
So to summarise, the questions I need answering are:
Can I ask the students to leave?
Can I ask for the finders fee back as I was not informed?
I have no written signed agreement with the lettings agency so can I end it or does a verbal agreement count?
Can I ask for the Deposit money from the letting agency whatever the outcome with the DPS or do I have to wait for the DPS to complete the case?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Do they say WHEN they get the form and the reason why it wasn't sent back until 19th September please?

Customer:

They said that they got the form on the 18 of September they said that they had staff holidays

Alex Watts :

What type of tenancy agreement do the students have?

Customer:

shorthold 10 months

Alex Watts :

Assured Shorthold?

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts : when did the students sign the new agreemnt ?
Customer:

On September the first this year

Alex Watts :

Can I ask the students to leave? - No, they have a valid tenancy agreement. If you make them leave you would be in breach of contract

Alex Watts :

Can I ask for the finders fee back as I was not informed? - Yes, they have not done what they said so you are entitled to the fee back

Alex Watts :

I have no written signed agreement with the lettings agency so can I end it or does a verbal agreement count? - A verbal agreement is binding in law.

Alex Watts :

Can I ask for the Deposit money from the letting agency whatever the outcome with the DPS or do I have to wait for the DPS to complete the case? - you can contact the DPS yourself and ask for the money back. If for whatever reason you do not get it back you could sue the agents for the deposit as they were not doing what they were paid to do.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Can I go directly to the DPS myself even though the letting agency have started the claim?

Alex Watts :

Yes because they are just that - agents for you, nothing more

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

well not answers I was hoping but it was what I was expecting.

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