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Huge problems with letting agent - help needed


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Hi - being new to the buy to let market, and a first time landlord I appointed the services of a professional property management service. Due to conditions of my mortgage and landlord insurance I had made clear to the agent that the let was for working persons only. The agent has led me to believe via bare faced lies that the tenants were a married working couple with a small child.

I have today discovered to my horror (by inadvertently having contact directly with the tenant) that she is in fact a single parent receiving Housing Benefit for rent! This surely invalidates my landlords insurance, and jeopardises my mortgage. In addition to this major deceit by the letting agent, rent has been consistently up to 20 days late to me, no inspection reports (promised monthly), and generally a bad attitude.

Can anyone advise me what to do, where I stand, and maybe where I can turn to for help. I advised Trading standards of my situation today, and they said they don't have duristiction for letting agents.

All help gratefully received.

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Might I suggest you have a face to face contact with the LA and ask them to explain themselves as to why they went against your express terms of letting your property.

See what they have to say.

Keep us all informed.


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Hi Rebojones,

I agree that you should have a meeting with the Letting Agent but I would also remind you that the Housing Act does not allow a landlord to evict on the grounds that they are a single parent claiming Housing Benefit!

What this means is that you are going to be stuck with this tenant for at least 6 months - unless she decides to leave peacefully and give up the tenancy - and you must be careful not to harrass or illegally evict her otherwise you will be guilty of a criminal offence!

As the recession bites - more and more working tenants are going to lose their jobs and start claiming housing benefit. This is going to be a big problem for the mortgage lenders to police because a tenant (who was working and not claiming benefits at the start of the tenancy) can lose their job overnight and need Housing Benefit to pay their rent.

Finally - I would respectfully suggest you get the full details of what has happened before deciding that your LA is a bare faced liar. Is it not possible, at the start of the tenancy, that a working couple + child took up the tenancy and is it not possible that shortly afterwards the couple split up, the man left, leaving a vulnerable single mother + child to fend for herself and claim Housing Benefit.

The above scenario would certainly fit your description of events ... and I am not sure what a LA could do in the above circumstance.

Be grateful for the fact that your property is being looked after and you are getting paid your rent (albeit a little late).


PS: Jurisdiction begins with a J not a D !

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