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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 10174
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am currently not happy with the Estate agents and unsure

Customer Question

Hi,
I am currently not happy with the Estate agents and unsure of my rights and what I can do - my current situation is they have issued a section 21 to be out by the 15th of December.
It all started when I received an email from our estate lettings asking when a convenient time was to have viewings at the property. I replied stating I think you have the wrong email we are tenants at the property still. They replied saying an Section 21 was issued a few weeks ago - which I never received! They mentioned it was sent via Royal Mail Postage and so is fine - to this date I have still not received it.
I emailed to ask why as the estate agents have been threatening this section 21 a few times by text and email to us but when I asked the actual landlord he said he had no intention of it. They mentioned they are the Superior Landlord and can do it.
Anyway not wanting to stay in a house of stress from this, we had a look and I found a house and went through the application process with this estate agents and put my current estate agents through as a reference.
Unfortunately when I chased the estate agents to give a reference they gave us a bad reference based on the condition of the property!
Immediately I phoned them to see what is going on here as the property condition is fine. The person who wrote the reference mentioned regarding damage to the fence and porch - both of these were structural from wind and damp which were the landlords job to fix and also he was coming to fix them!
She stated that, it is the landlords job but it is our right as tenant to let them know of any repairs that need doing and that is why she put the property condition as POOR. I said that's surely not right but also I cannot accept that as I have been letting you know about repairs, every inspection they are told and also I have email proof of repairs I have let them know about - and still nothing.
I said I have proof of these emails and also how one time I let them know about the damp in the porch and bathroom and someone from the estate agents came round to drop off some sealant paint and anti mould spray….
She said said she is just going on what she has been told by members in the office…. She said she would phone the new estate agents in the morning to retract the statement.
Of course this was too late as the new landlord had already been informed and I can fully understand him just wanting to know about that reference! But a reference based on wrong information and also £300 lost on the application fees.
Immediately I phoned the landlord direct as I managed to get the phone number previously. He explained the situation that he was never aware of any of these repairs needed doing and that he is currently in a dispute with the estate agent regarding this and he's sorry to hear that it appears we have been caught in the middle of it all! He said that the agents never made him aware of any repairs, I told him exactly what I told north wood and there is some email proof that we did inform them of the repairs too - emails which I forwarded onto him immediately. He was looking to get backdated money as he is currently on the agents guaranteed rent scheme which means the agents were meant to give detailed inspections to him and also repairs that needed doing - which for the past 2-3 years he had no idea.
I phoned the agents back the next day immediately to try be civil and see what we can sort out. As an estate agents they want us out but as an estate agents they are providing bad references on wrong information. (which they deny completely of us letting them know of repairs even though I have proof of letting them know of the repairs!) She said you need to find an estate agent that does not need a reference or if a reference comes in then she can just ignore it… I asked her why not just put information that is correct on it? Again I just got the this is information based on other members from within the office.
Im finding the situation very stressful and frustrating. I do not even want to stay here anymore and I feel I have been caught up in a dispute with the estate agents and the actual Landlord, when it seems I have been making them fully aware of the repairs.
I am chased every month for the rent when my standing order is set to the 1st of every month - from the 24th I receive text, phone calls etc until I end up paying early by bill payment just to shut them up and leave me alone. I tell them every month that the standing order is set the 1st of every month and this is the best date due to when I am paid! They mention it is in the contract that I pay on that date. Well I have not had a contract renewal since 18 months maybe more! I used to pay 6 months up front until we asked to go monthly repayment and we stated if we could do the 1st at this time. Never did we receive a contract to renew our tenancy or anything.
I just want to know my rights here as I feel I am stuck in a hole! :(
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

1. It is an actionable defamation to write an incorrect reference based on false information about a tenant to a prospective new landlord. So here, I would advise you to sue the estate agents for defamation. You should get yourself a solicitor and get the solicitor to write to the estate agents getting a full and proper reference for you and also damages for the defamation which has occurred. It is simply not good enough to become the meat in a sandwich between these estate agents and your landlord.

2. Essentially, the estate agents have acted unlawfully here. You can make a complaint to the Property Ombudsman Scheme about your estate agents as they must be a member of a complaints resolution scheme. Go to www.tpos.co.uk and make a complaint there.

3. However, there will be substantial damages for what the estate agents have done. There might be more money in this than simply getting a new correct reference. However, first you should get yourself a good solicitor and reach some fee agreement to take proceedings on your behalf.

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