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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 28924
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am a creditor for a managing agent who owes me money.

Customer Question

I am a creditor for a managing agent who owes me money. However the agent acts in the care of the freeholder. SHould i be taking legal action against the agent or freeholder or is this the same thing
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: yes a debt recovery letter which prompted a response from the agent that they will provide a payment plan but they said that I shuold be taking legal action against freeholder not them as I have no contract with them. But why are they also agreeing to a payment plan?
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: london
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: the debt was owed by a previous managing agent who since handed over to the one I am seeking legal action against now
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

  1. may I clarify how the managing agents came to owe you money please?
  2. Was this in relation to a service you carried out for the freeholder?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
we carried out services and were appointed by another managing agent and the new agents starter last September . The freeholder remains the same and these agents manage the site on the freeholders behalf and the funds . This is why we’re requesting payment from them
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

thank you. This would rather depend upon with whom you contracted and whether you had a formal written contract or proceeded on the basis of informal exchanges of emails.

Generally, agents do not contract in their own name but rather the contract as agents for their principal, namely in this case the freeholder. however, different agents have different working practices, some less fastidious than others. In order to identify who contracted with, you may look to any written contract you have too see whether this was made in the name of the agents or the landlord or both. In addition, you can look to see to whom invoices were made out to in the same manner. Finally, you can look to see who actually paid you anything under the contract - if this was the freeholder, that this would be good evidence of a contract with the freeholder.

if all dealings have been with the agent at all times with no reference to the freeholder and the agent paid you directly rather than the freeholder and the agent did not make clear they were acting as agent for the freeholder, then it may be that the contract will be limited to the agent. If you can find evidence that the contract is also with the freeholder on the above basis, then you would have a claim against the freeholder in addition to or instead of the agent