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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 818
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I am a landlord and I am seeking advice regarding an estate

Customer Question

Hi. I am a landlord and I am seeking advice regarding an estate agent that failed to put my tenants deposit in a protection scheme. The tenants went to a solicitor and the solicitor got both myself and the estate agent to sign an agreement for pay 3 times the deposit and legal expenses. The agent had admitted the liability and paid 3 times the deposit but is now facing fianacial problems and has been struggling to pay the legal costs as requested .
The agent was paying these legal costs in installments now having missed a few repayments the solicitor has demanded that i as the lanlord pay these costs in full. having spoken to citizens advice and shown them all involved paperwork they have told me i have a case against the solicitors but need specialised legal advise to proceed, is this something you are possibly able to assist me with.
I eagerly await you reply
Kind regards
Parvin Faramarzi
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
I can't see an obvious cause of action against the solicitor. He seems to have done his job for his clients well. Your action would be against the agents for negligence. Bur if they are in financial difficulty you may struggle to enforce against them.
What did the CAB say was the nature of your action/defence because I can't see one based on what you tell me.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So please advice what is the best course of action for me? The solicitors telling me you are responsibel as a landlord and you must pay the remaining legal cost which is about £5400. And my agent says that he will repay me if we make payment plan. What Is best to do? If I pay solicitor can I get my money back from agent? What will happen if the agent says that haven't got money???
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please let me know asap as today I have to let the solicitor know what I want to do. Many thanks .
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
You as the landlord will have primary responsibility to pay the tenants. But obviously this is the agents fault so you have right to indemnity from them. But if they can't pay then the tenants' solicitor can come after you directly.
Why did you agree to 3 times the deposit? That is the maximum that could be ordered and often less is ordered.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We were not informed about the legal cost till later after we paid the 3 times deposit. I guess we just wanted to deal with it as soon as possible. We didn't think the legal cost will be so much...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please advise what is the best course of action for me now? Please reply my quastion I asked previosly. Many thanks
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Did you agree to pay their legal costs and were there any actual proceedings issued.
If you didn't agree then why should you pay? How much are they?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The solucitor send us a form to sign which was the agreement to pay the 3 times deposit and the legal cost. So we both signed. We didn't ask how much is the cost.
The legal cost is £6400 .
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Wow that is high for something routine. Were there court proceedings?
Do you have a copy of the agreement?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes it is very high..
No. No court. We didn't want it to go that far. So we just agreed to pay the 3 times and the legal cost without asking for how much is the legal cost.
Yes I have a copy of the agreement.
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
does it say what the legal costs are or use a general phrase like "reasonable costs".
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Its only said legal cost without saying how much.
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
You should demand a breakdown of the costs.
You should say that for a simple piece of work the level of costs he is charging seems extremely high and before you pay you want to see what work was actually done therefore ask for a breakdown of their costs.
His only way of enforcing this order against you is by way of a money claim and if his costs are unreasonable he might well fail to do so.