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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70197
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hello, I arranged a tenancy for my property through an Estate

Customer Question

Hello, I arranged a tenancy for my property through an Estate Agent who as part of the agreement and for a fee drew up an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.

It was agreed that they would take the deposit from my new tenants and deposit it into the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

At the end of the year long lease, I took over responsibilty for drawing up the contract and at this time spoke to the estate agent about the deposit. They told me that there was no need to do anything with it as it was in the independent TDS and would remain there until either myself of my tenants contacted them.

My tenants have now given me notice to move out and as such we have made enquiries regarding the deposit. My tenant contacted the TDS who told her that they had no record of the deposit. She then contacted the agent to whom she paid the deposit and they have admitted that they did not deposit it into the scheme. She has been advised that she has a legal right to claim compensation from the agent.

I am clearly very frustrated with the fact that my agent was so lapse and had my tenants been an issue to me, the agent not depositing the funds could have caused me real issues. Please can you let me know if legally I have any grounds to make a claim from the agent, specifically I am thinking of a refund against the arrangement fee that I paid to them?

Many thanks in advance for your help,
Laura Herbert
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is your tenant reasonable? Or is she likely to bring a claim for the money?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


 


My tenant is absolutely fine with me however she is going to make a claim against the estate agent as she physically handed them the cash deposit and is, to use her words 'livid that they've had it in their bank account'. I spoke to her earlier today and she has already asked a solicitor to write her a letter to the agent.


 


Kind Regards,


Laura


 

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

You do have a claim against the agents but I would wait to see the outcome of your tenant's actions first.

Your tenant actually, I'm afraid, has a claim against you for three times the sum of the deposit. The fact that the agents were responsible for doing this is no defence. You are the landlord and its for you to do it and if the agents default then you are responsible.

The practical reality is that your tenants will only get the sum of the deposit from you anyway though because courts never order three times the sum.

You do obviously have a claim for that amount the agents.

in terms of the fee you paid them, you could reclaim that on the basis that the contract has not been performed with reasonable care and skill. Its not often I say this but I do think you have a fairly good claim just because of the risk to which they have exposed you. You are vulnerable to a claim for three times the amount under the Localism Act and, indeed, you are not able to serve a valid S21 notice had you wanted to do so because of this.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi Jo,


 


Many thanks for that. Is it definitely the case that I am liable as the agent signed the first contract and took payment from the tenant?


 


How would you suggest that I go about making a claim for from the agent?


 


Kind Regards,


Laura

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
If you ae the landlord then you are liable I'm afraid.

You can issue here

www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Remus2004 and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.

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