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Help! Our letting agent want to walk out on our contract


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Advice needed please...

We have rented our house as my husband had moved work locations and we have had problem after problem with the letting agent.

1. The letting agent placed a couple in the house who I found out had been declared bankrupt 3 days before residency was handed over but yet, they assured us that a credit check had been carried out. We asked to see a copy of the credit check but have seen nothing.

2. The keys to the house were handed to the tenants before all outstanding money had been paid.

3. A 12 month tenancy was written up instead of 6 months.

4. We have never been sent an inventory.

5. We have only once received our rent on time.

6. We have never received any paperwork or invoices regarding the rent payments.

7. We suspect that the tenant might be paying his rent on time but the letting agent is sitting on the money for up to 3 weeks.

Because we have sent an email explaining that this is unsatisfactory and we expect a better service, the letting agency want to give us a months notice to end the contract with us and allow us to self manage. I'm so fed up as they placed a bankrupt tenant in our property and now want to walk away, leaving us to sort out the mess.

Does anyone know where we stand legally? Are we within our rights to contact the tenant directly without sabotaging any future court case? Advice would be really appreciated.

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Hi katep1,

I am sure this posting will get lots of replies!

Firstly, a bankrupt tenant is not, necessarily, a bad tenant. I have many bankrupt tenants who always pay their rent on time and in full. You also comment that the tenant is probably paying their rent on time to the letting agent ....... the thing to remember is that good bankrupt tenants tend to rent (hopefully from you) long term - as no-one will give them a mortgage - and if they are paying their rent I am not sure why you are discriminating against them ESPECIALLY (with the current state of the housing market) when you consider that many landlords are getting made bankrupt at the moment.

ie: But for the grace of god - go you !

With regard to the letting agent - you will need to check their terms and conditions of contract but I would guess that they are entitled to give you 28 days notice to terminate the agreement. The level of service that you have received from the letting agency is poor and you would almost certainly be better off without them.

Good luck,


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We are not discriminating against the tenant. It is the letting agent that has let us down. I realise that due to the tenants financial circumstances, it may well be a good long term prospect but we need to prove that they are paying on time and in full.

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Hi Katep1

Remove agent from equation ......speak to tenant to ascertain facts re rent payment dates ...receipts,bank statements etc.....If happy with T then proceed to manage your self (or find a GOOD loacl agent ...good luck they are few and far between!)..

LA ..sit down and negotiate a mutually acceptable closure package taking into acc history of performance ....

if all rent is upto date ...altho late ..not a lot you can do wit LA ............other than point out sloppy service..

If LA cannot produce inv get Inventory done by professional and Bill LA accordingly

I would ask for 100% return of fees .as a negotiating start point on the basis that LA is seriously in breach re referencing etc ...looking to settle at 50% of monies paid over ........

test the water with LA and see where you go .......If a complete Ahole as it would apppear ...threaten DC (plus fees) to recover ...........

The other thing you need to ascertain fairly quickly is the location of T deposit and whether it has been protected as this will bring a new set of problems if it hasn't ..........

keep us up to date

The Rodent

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Agree with Mark and Simon here, you have been let down miserably by the agent.

Bankrupt Tenants are not all bad as Mark points out, it is really important in this instance to get a fully referenced, credit checked, Guarantor in place.

I'd be tempted to go and see the Tenant, explaining that you are either going to manage this yourself or find another agent and transfer over the management of this to them.

Simon points out that the Tenants 'should' have the proof of rent payment, from this you will be able to identify if it was the LA who was paying you late or indeed the T paying late.

Demand full refund from Agent for poor performance and shoddy workmanship, lack of paperwork and inventory is unacceptable.

It does sound like you are discriminating against the tenant when you say

" I'm so fed up as they placed a bankrupt tenant in our property and now want to walk away, leaving us to sort out the mess."

I think you'll find the 'mess' as you call it was brought on by the Agent and not the Tenant. What mess have you got anyway? Once you clarify that the tenant is paying their rent, let the agent go and manage yourself. You have got a whole year to go so I'd be keeping the Tenant on my side to be honest.

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