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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My son has been a tenant in various properties in Manchester

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My son has been a tenant in various properties in Manchester for 7/8 years and never had a problem with rental payments or indeed looking after the properties. He has now vacated a property and the landlady has accused him and his friend (both 28 year olds) of smoking on the property (although she never asked them not to do so); not reporting an electrical fault (they did but she changed her phone number and they could not contact her) when they did she had an electrician carry out the repairs; and accused them of not keeping the property clean despite this being 2 weeks before they left the property which was left in an excellent condition. She therefore gave them a bad reference and my son is now in the position that he cannot persuade an agent to rent a property to him, which means he is having to travel from Preston to Manchester daily to get to work - what can we do to get the reference changed?
Hello who was the reference given to?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It was given to a referencing company and it seems that all the letting agents in Manchester link in to this company (I believe its the cheapest) so each time he views a property (which costs him an admin fee) they come back by saying they cannot rent to him because this reference is on the referencing company file (I don't know what they are called but I can find out)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi still waiting for a response - might have to come back to this as I have an appointment quite soon.
Hello, sorry I have t raft my response and research some information before I do that so it may not always be an immediate response. Will get back to you ASAP
Whilst a landlord has no obligation to provide a reference for previous tenants, once they choose to do so, they will automatically owe them a duty of care to ensure that the reference they provide has been prepared in a way that it is factually correct. If they provide a false reference they can be guilty of negligence and be held liable for any direct losses you suffer as a result of this. . First of all you could try and get a copy of the reference to see what has been written and if any of its contents can be challenged. In the meantime you can contact the landlord to make it clear that you are very disappointed an apparently incorrect reference has been given and make it clear that unless a corrected reference is issued or the previous reference withdrawn within a specified time, you will have no option but to pursue him for damages caused by their negligence. This is something you could pursue them for in the small claims court but I would hope that it can be resolved simply by you making it clear that you are considering going down that route, even if you do not actually go that far. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to make a claim for damages, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi BenSorry I was not able to get back to you as I am doing this at work but will respond later today. The advice you have given up to now sounds very useful and I shall discuss it with my son.
Many thanks for getting back to me and all the best for now