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hi all i want to share this story with you all and would welcome any advice

i own a flat in norfolk and have been letting it out for about four years with very few problems just recently our letting agents got taken over by a new firm new staff etc i saw no reason to change agent as i've always been happy with the service i recieved .My latest tennant moved in about 9 months ago and it soon became clear he was'nt the most reliable of tennants late payments broken door lock that he broke and tried to get me to pay for the window got smashed (he had a few enemies) again which he asked me to contribute to costs

unknown to me the letting agent never took a deposit but had an agreement with an organisation called the purfleet trust to pay for any indiscretions and to act as a garentor (excuse my spelling)

the tenant was a known drunk and had drug problems (again unknown to me) he went missing three months ago last seen going to my agent asking for the spare key as he had locked himself out my agent gave him there spare keys the police rang me to ask for my set of keys as they wanted to gain entrance to the flat as the tennant has been reported missing and they were very concerned i live 100 miles away and told them i could bring my spare set next day this was not quick enough for the police so they broke the door down the tennants belonging were there but no sign of the tennant but the police were very concerned apparently the man was unstable

this went on for about 3 weeks the rent was due and i recived no word from the police or the letting agent i contacted the letting agent to ask for a progess report and they knew nothing and told me they would have to seek legal advice because all his belongings were still in the flat i left it a week and contacted them again after taking my own legal advice they still wasnt sure what they could do so i told them what they have to do which was to serve notice and he had 2 months to remove his property or we could go in and skip his stuff(silly me i thought that was there job to advise me)

notice was served another month passed the tennant turned up dead washed up in the river a freind rang me up to tell me the news which was on the local radio station another day passed i then rang my letting agent to get there input and to ask what was going on they informed me they knew but wasnt allowed to tell me untill next of kin had been informed (even though it was on the radio) they gave the new key (as the police had broken the last lock) to a family friend to clear the property they had it 1 week then returned the key and said they never had time to clear the flat the mans sister then said she would clear the flat and the key was given to her again a week later returned not done just a few personal items removed the letting agent arranged for a clearance apparently paid for by next of kin we went on holiday for 2 weeks upon our return i recieved a letter from our agent telling us the flat is in no state to rent the walls are diferent coulours the window is smashed again the carpets are worn and untill this work is done they wont rent it out when i told them to claim back from the garentor they told me they didnt think they should be responsible and are refusing to try and claim back

we have gained access ourselfs today and agree the flat cant be rented in its current condition but the carpets were new before the tennant moved in the decoration was good and of course our front door had not been broken down by the police how can they tell us we cant pursue the purflet trust for the full amount of our losses new door frame decoration carpets window and loss of rental income if this tennant had not moved in this flat would still be in good condition

obviously if our letting agent wont pursue for costs then we will .I feel let down by our agent who just havent helped much at all (they call themselves property mangers) and for letting my flat to this known unstable person in the first place without informing me of the facts

sorry for the long story belive me this is the shotened version has anyone got any advice for me can i sue my letting agents can i claim back all of my losses can i report my agents to ARLA etc your opinions would be welcomed


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I have to say that I have an intense dislike of most estate and letting agents.

I am currently being sued by and counter suing one Foxy mini-loving agency down south for non-payment of exorbitant fees for failing in their duty of care towards me as a Landlord and sticking me with a tenant that has caused me a lot of grief and money. I would personally suggest re-reading your contract and noting any areas where you think they might be in breach of that contract and seeing a solicitor. Sometimes, you can get an hour free to meet and discuss whether you have a real case for small claims court. Also, what about your insurance? Is there anything that you can claim from the policy?

Again, I am not keen on insurance companies or their agents and find that basically the buy-to-let policies are hardly ever worth the paper they are printed on but that could be just my experience and you might actually have a good policy and insurers, in which case, let me know who they are.

Good luck with it all. Have to say that I will never use an agent, insist on guarantors and try to cover my behind as much as possible as the law is on the side of the tenants who are cheaters, scammers and the dodgy agents that find them and where possible penalise decent tenants of whom there are loads and Landlords who want to provide a clean lovely place for decent tenants to live.


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thanks for your input

im currently looking for a good landlords policy my flat needs a total referb before its relet obviously at cost to me let along loss of rental income hope i get a better tennant next time not sure if i know enough to let out myself might have to find another agent or maybe a housing association

good luck with your case

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What an unfortunate saga!

Letting agents rarely do what they say on the tin and the big mistake here was letting to someone who had a drug problem and not telling you. No insurer is going to protect you from this sort of tenant or agent. You are ultimately responsible for the property but Im sure if you approach Purfleet Trust they will pay up something. I was unwittingly in this situation once myself and only got £250 for a wrecked house. Just right it off.

Get over it and get property refurbed youself and back out there renting to sensible working people. Specify that with new agent and have some control by insisting you see refs of potential tenants - even taking a day out to see them and learn the business.

You have made money - so spend some, learn from this nasty experience and don't walk into the same trap again. No one is going to sort this out but you so get on with it.

Good Luck


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ok thanks for that Mortitia

i know your right and that is exactly what im planning to do im currently still pursuing some kind of compensation but my agent tells me the purfleet trust want to inspect the property but cant come out for three weeks 've told them this is unexceptable i will take photos and get on with doing the place up ready to rent again

And i take on board your comments about getting working people to rent it i feel i need to insist on this with my new letting agent unless i go it alone

thanks for your advise

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