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What to expect from Letting Agent


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My LA is useless and I intend to terminate the agreement with him at the end of this month. The agency agreement is only a verbal one, so there is no notice period, but I have given him notice that unless his service improves then we will terminate on 31st July.

I currently have NO paperwork with regard to the tenancy that's in place - credit checks / guarantors / references etc, not even a copy of the AST. I have no idea what has happened to the tenants deposit - although I have asked the LA to transfer it into my TDS account.

Although the tenants have only been in 2 months, they are already behind on the rent and so I have asked for a section 8 to be issued. I have little confidence that it will be. LA claims T have applied for housing benefit - Housing Benefit say they have no records! LA then claimed that the JobCentre are dealing with it.

You get the idea?

What info should I get from LA on termination - should I get copies of all the agreements etc? What do I do if he doesn't send them - both practically and legally?

I don't even know when the rent is due - in a conversation with the LA before I took him on, he said that he collected all rents on the 1st of the month for simplicity - but the tenancy started mid-month so that could be rent-day too. How do I ensure rent is paid to me, not the agent in future? If, after 31 July, they pay the agent and he doesn't pay me, have they paid the rent?

Would I have any extra protection if, instead of taking the management on myself, I employed another agent - would they have ways of making sure everything is in order?

Okay, enough questions for now! Thanks


I have discovered this morning that the Agent let the property without guarantors and he let them move in without a deposit. Although he claims the deposit is now in situ and will be in the TDS within the required 14 days, I have no proof of this.

I get the feeling the tenants are his 'friends' or at least he has some history with them and I suspect there were no references or credit checks carried out.

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Your letting agent might be useless and the evidence presented looks compelling (against the agent) BUT if you are dealing with Benefit Assessors and Job Centre officials and Council employees then 8 weeks to get a claim sorted out (that involves income support, job seekers allowance and housing benefit) is not that long ........

Section 8 notices after such a short time is really over-reacting and won't get you possession anytime soon anyway because you need to give the tenant 2 weeks to pay prior to commencing court action, then you need to file the Section 8 claim with the Court then you need to wait for a hearing date etc etc etc

So ... rather than upsetting the agent, the tenants etc etc ... it might be more prudent to visit the tenant and then jointly visit the Benefit Office to understand the precise status of the claim ....

Section 8 notices are all well and good .... but they will rarely get you the rent from a DSS tenant ..... and you also need to wait a long time to get possession as well ....

If you are this jumpy ..... you should have stuck to professional tenants !

Good luck,


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Why did you proceed with this LA? Before any tenant is given the keys an AST is signed by both Landord and tenant so where was yours? All very strange imo.


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Your letting agent might be useless and the evidence presented looks compelling

Letting agent is useless, and I can't keep too close an eye on him because I'm 300 miles from the property! I do agree with you though about the section 8, in fact it turns out the s8 that the agent issued may not be valid anyway :unsure:

I guess I was jumpy ... I knew I had a problem with the agent and with the rent becoming overdue as well, it got a bit panicy. Expecially when, 2 weeks after the 1st rent problem, the Housing Benefit office had no information about their supposed claim.

I have a contact at the HBO, so will pursue it with him. As long as I know there is rent at the end of the tunnel - I'll be okay.

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All very strange imo.

Mel, you're telling me! As a 1st timer, I was taken in by the agent - I have the greatest respect for his ability to 'talk the talk'.

For whatever reason, agent never got around to sending me an Agency Agreement and proved difficult to contact - that should have been my warning, but again, he had done a good job at convincing me.

First thing I knew about the letting was when a potential tenant told me that the property was shown as 'let' on Rightmove. Eventally getting hold of agent, I discovered new tenants were already in! AST had been signed by Agent on my behalf. There were some irregularities about deposit and advance rent so I think Agent specifically kept me out of the loop so he could present it as 'a fait a complis' - if I'm spelling my french correctly!

As I said in my OP, agent will be gone soon and I just need to make sure I make the best of a bad job. It's not a pleasant way to learn - but I will be MUCH wiser next time ;-)

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It worries me when Agents let a property and do not inform the owner.

A few years ago I was working for a national firm of surveyors owned by a Bank and the Lettings Manager was letting properties to short term tenants, pocketing the money and telling the distant owners that there was no interest in the property. It had been going on for a year and we only found out when the manager took an unexpected holiday and little brown envelopes arrived!!

I'm not saying this happened in your case, but distant landlords do seem to be extra vulnerable to dodgy LAs.



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