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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70526
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I let my home via an Estate Agent. They charged a monthly

Customer Question

I let my home via an Estate Agent. They charged a monthly Fee to manage the property. The tenants took my goods from the property and after they left the Agent dumped thhe items ((furniture bed chests of drawers etc.They claim they did not know.A repair was required in year 2. They appointed a contractor he did the work they paid £546. He worked on or around 27th May 2015 they paid him 22.06.2015 and inspected the work 2.07 2015.
I had insurance but too late for claim etc. The tnant did not attend gardens so I spent 300 plus on them and recovered 212.They say they warned the tenant(single tenant now it was 2) that they saw a couple of mould spots. They took no further action on this. Tenants left 31.05.2016 and we found entire property had mould in every room on soft furnishing and the smell is overpowering. It cannot be let. I hired Rentokil to investigae NO damp just mould due to lack of ventilation and in part heating.There are a number of other issues but the agent say they are blameless and it is the tenants fault
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

How can i help with this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you give me advice as the property is unlettable and will be for another month or so I will lose 1875 rent. It will have to be completely redecorated. Curtains blinds and other item have gone missing and it will need recarpeting but agent not interested
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The agents say they could not see any problem due to furniture but mould is on walls,around windowsw and on ceilings and coving so how could they miss it. It is also a health hazard
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Ok. So are you asking if they are liable?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
as I think that they had a duty of care to manage the letting.They took £80 from deposit money to dump the items removed from the property and never told me what they dumped and how they missed the items from the property on their inspection visits
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, there is an argument that they are.

You have a contract with them and they have a duty to act with reasonable care and skill. If they have missed something of this nature then they have not.

The question is what is the point?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You would only have a claim for the actual loss arising from their negligence and they cannot be fully responsible for the conduct of the tenant.

A better claim would be against the tenant who is responsible for his behaviour.

However, there is an argument.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They never reported the mould spots at any time until after tenant left. They further admit they should have maybe got an estimate for the work they had done. They add insult too injury by claiming that they tenant wanted to redecorate and recarpeting 2 rooms. Their director indicates this suggests it was not very well presented. It had been decorated and cleaning before they moved in. The point is do they have a case to answer
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How would it be best too proceed bearing in mind they clearly failed on some issues and the tenant just carried on as if all was well. The place is a mess and smells yet they did nothing. Realising this they spent 300 cleaning it and then said it needs redocorating and recarpeting. How can they have failed to realised £1000 plus of furniture was missing
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, they do as I have said.

However it would be better to claim from the tenant for the reasons above.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The agent has just emailed to say the property was inspected 27th May when they discovered the furniture in the brick built shed wrapped but not weatherproof. They say I was informed of this at the time. That same day 3 years later and it was dumped as they later told me. At last they have sent a copy of the lease the single tenant signed given me his address details etc. They now say the items were put back in the rooms they came from but it was not fit for purpose so they dumped it and now add the took photos. After 2 months they tell me
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

yes, there is a claim against them in negligence effectively.

It would be better to pursue the tenant.

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Jo C
You kindly helped in this matter but I am unsure how to proceed.The Agent had work done without my knowledge in May paid in June inspected in July.They say they did not know a number of items of furniture had been removed but after 3 years realised but it was spoilt so they dumped it.At this point they told me but refuse to answer questions or send photos of the dumped items. They further pointed out to the tenant that there were mold spots but he did nothing nor did they. The carpets curtains and soft furnishings were as a result all ruined by it and they do not accept any responsibility. It means I have to redecorate and fit all new carpets and soft furnishing around £5000 gross. Because of the mess inside the property it cannot be let so I will lose 3750 rental income. They still do not send a final account of the use of deposit money and have not paid me £212 that I expended as tenant did not do gardens. Can you please consider this and when you have time give me further advice Thankyou John Freeman
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, remind me, the issue here is that the tenant caused the problems and the agents did not pick them up?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The tenants removed the furniture but told nobody. Agents did not realise it had gone. The mold was seriously widespread they never ever told me. The work carried out was organised by the agent £586 they paid failed to advise me so 3 insurance policies for buildings,plumbing electrical damage etc were unable to be used. They had the policies from day 1. The work, I first learned about it in the June, when 4 or 625 rent was received. Is it not their duty to advise me of any serious issues such as the mold in every room so I could have acted immediately as I could with furniture. These losses are substantial and were at their hand. How can an agent check out a property and allow tenants to leave when so much is missiing. That is surely negligent as the curtains blinds and other items where fitted to give the property kerb appeal. It now looks s very dowdy place
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One other issue the agents failed to redress., The 2 Chest of drawers they dumped were part of a bedroom fitment with wardrobes overhead cupboards beside drawer units lighting etc etc. They are irreplacable so a complete new set will be needed