just under £2000. This is for repairs and garden work- she left the place ina shoking mess and very smelly, to the extent that it couldn't be let until it was thoroughly sorted out.She didn't empty the septic tank or refil the CH oil tank as per the tenancy agreement.I haven't gone down the route of small claims court yet and am going to ask debt collectors FCC Paragon to try to get some of the money back first - this firm successfully traced this woman after she'd been evicted from the latest tenancy, where she left owing over £7000. I want to get my debt at least acknowledged before her last landlord makes her bankrupt. The agents have been less than helpful, even taking their fee from the deposit of £950.00 after she failed to pay the last month's rent at my property, which I thought was rather sharp practice.
Yes, the "doctored" agreement was signed by the tenant, but not by me or the agent - I am concerned that because I and the agent didn't agree to the crossings out on the tenancy agreement - which was just a standard agreement, nothing unreasonable or out of the ordinary - it was not a proper tenancy. However rent was paid monthly to the agent, until the last month, October, when the tenant didn't pay for that month. I finally received a payment from the deposit in January this year, which covered the rnet owing, but not the damages/maintenance/fuel etc.
I think you are better having a signeddoctored agreement than an unsigned virgin agreement A virgin agreement is noagreement.
However, unless it's signed by you, then youhave not agreed to grant it.
My suggestion would be to sign the agreementnow and date it at the date the tenants moved into the property. I cannotimagine why the agent said to leave it undated. You are not doing anythingfraudulent by dating it, all you are doing is simply confirming the date thatthe agreement came into force.
What does not help you is that the tenantshould be provided with a signed tenancy agreement, details of the tenantdeposit scheme and gas and electricity safety certificates at the start of thetenancy. Without all that, you risk a judge saying that you have not compliedwith all the statutory requirements and therefore the tenancy is not valid.
However, it is small claims are, and there isa chance that the tenant (who seems to do this habitually) will not turn up andif she does not put a defence in, you may end up with judgement in default.
Can I help further?
Please bear with me today because I will beonline and off-line
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Thank you for this advice( I'll be very happy to click on the "excellent" symbol, by the way). The tenant was supplied with an electricity safety certificate and there is no gas at the property - just oil and electricity. When she moved in, I'd just spet £70,000.00 in refurbishment and the 3000 sq ft property was immaculate in every respect - new everything, everywhere, including new ch boiler. Do you think that the agents have acted poorly/negligently in not a) pursuing the tenant to sign an unamended agreement and b) not telling me that they hadn't obtained her signature on the proper agreement? Shouldn't the agents, rather than I, at least sign the agreement albeit that they took over the management of the tenancy in March 2011?
There is no requirement for any gascertificate obviously, if there is no gas and there are no statutoryrequirements with regard to oil surprising though it may seem.
I think you have a possible claim against theagent for failing to exercise a duty of care and also I think they are inbreach of contract. I would probably look to recover any losses that you do notrecover from the tenant, from them.
Keep it under £5000 and then it will be inthe Small Claims Court and even if you lose, you will not have to pay costs tothem.
If the agreement is in your name, it shouldreally be signed by you, although you can delegate it and if signed by theagent it should be signed by the agent and noted "on behalf of landlord.Authorised signatory."
Please could you explain a little more about the possibility of taking action regarding of breach of contract?
Thank you so much for all the valuable advice. Very helpful and has pointed me in the right direction to take further action to recover the debt.
Glad to help.
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Hello again, I would value your opinion on the current scenario. I batted the problem of the unsigned tenancy agreement back to the agents, whose responsibility it was to get the agreement signed on my behalf in the first instance, after all, it's what they've been paid to do (they've done this with the current tenants, I didn't sign the TA, the agents did). I spoke to the director of the company on the afternoon of Thursday, 13th Dec and also pointed out that it clearly states in the tenancy agreement that the deposit "is not to be used by the tenant as payment for any rent due under this agreement.". The agents had used the deposit as the last month's rent and deducted their fee of £114.00. They received the return of the deposit in December 2011, but didn't pay over the "rent" (which was not paid for the final month of tenancy by the outgoing tenant for October, 2011) until mid January 2012. After a bit of a debate, I insisted that the fee be refunded under the terms of the TA and the director reluctantly agreed. He also agreed that the lettings manager should sign the TA and send a scan of the signed document to me by email by Saturday, 15th Dec. This still hasn't happened and the lettings manager hasn't replied to a message from me left on his mobile on Sat at 12.10 p.m., asking him to contact me. This is, after all, a 5 minute job. As a result, I still haven't been able to send off the documents to the debt collectors. What do you think should be my next action? I'd really like to start legal proceedings against the agents if I could, but don't want to make threats of legal action if I don't stand a chance of a successful outcome. You previously said that I could claim the loss from the agents and I wondered if you could explain this a little more.
If you are going to issue proceedings against the agent, youhave to have suffered some kind of loss in most cases.
You cannot sue the agent for money, for not doing something(getting signature, whatever)if that has had no consequence and was simply afailing.
If you require the agent to let you have a copy of adocument, and that is not forthcoming, you can apply to court, either for aninjunction for Delivery Up if it is a document that they should be giving you anywayor Pre-Action Disclosure if it is in anticipation of litigation.
You can ask the court, in both cases, to award legal costsagainst the agent. You must warn the agent that if the documents are notforthcoming by a particular date, you will have no option but to make anapplication to court to compel them to give you the documents and theapplication will include a further application for court costs.
What you are going to need to do is to sit down andcalculate exactly how much in real money. This has cost you.