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Letting Agent

Debbie Prysor

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With our first property the letting agency kept us informed of everything they were doing and invited to us meet with the client. We (naively) presumed this would happen with our new letting agent.

We were fortunate to find a tenant ourselves and when we telephoned the letting agent to tell them they told us that they had just taken a deposit from people they had been dealing with. At no point did they tell us that they had shown people around the property and that they had some tenants in mind. They have since sent us a bill for the first week's rent as a penalty for withdrawing our property when a tenant had been found. This came as a bit of a shock to us but in reading their terms and conditions they state that a "found" tenant can be a verbal or written agreement and it doesn't state that they have to inform us either.

We suspect that they are not quite telling the truth as they also told us they had called the second letting agent informing them tenants had been found but the second agents confirm they have not received any communication at all. It seems highly suspicious to us. They are not registered with ARLA (another naive mistake).

We acknowledge that this may not have happened if we had read the t&C property but we think we may have the right to ask for proof that they had "found" tenants before we part with our hard-earned money. :angry: What do you think?

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Hi Debbie,

A couple of thoughts / comments.

1) It is not advisable, in my experience, to appoint multiple letting agents (ARLA registered or not) to find tenants for your property. You will get lots of conflicting advice, it introduces very unhealthy competition, does not guarantee you will find a good tenant and makes it difficult for you to decide "who to trust" - because you will receive lots of conflicting advice.

2) If you are looking for a tenant yourself (as well as instructing multiple letting agents) then you are introducing further levels of complexity. ie: multiple letting agents and you all need to communicate with each other during the letting process.

However, to move forward my advice would be 1) tell all the letting agents that you are not moving forward with ANY of them (as you have already found a tenant yourself) and 2) tell the letting agent (that is trying to charge you a fee) that they did not verbally inform you that they had found a tenant until AFTER you had advised them that the property was already let.

3) Refuse to pay the bill from the (greedy) letting agent because you have not broken any of their terms and conditions of contract.

Hope that helps .....


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When you are faced with a situation like this it is important that you write a letter explaining why you are not paying the LA.

It is fairly obvious that these people are trying it on which is where you have to explain to them that the misunderstanding is entirely their fault in as much they failed to keep you informed of any proceedings regarding prospective Tenants.

I would not pay them a penny and if forced, I would demand to know who exactly was the prospective Tenant so as I could confirm what they are saying is correct (which I very much doubt).....my last sentance would be something like............ well, sue me then!

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