UK Property Law
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What is there position, do they accept the poor standard of service and have the said they shall remedy the matters?
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In the first instance I would wait to see what the negotiations between the managing agents/solicitors bring. If it is the case that the manaing agents agree to compensate them for the situation then let them do that.
In terms of your contract with the agency if you can prove breaches by the agents of express terms of the contract you have with them and the breach is serious enough so as to substantially deny you the benefit of the service they are to provide then you could terminate the contract on the basis of this. It is called a repudiatory breach of contract.
If there are no breaches of express terms of the contract that you can see from looking then you will have to rely on the implied term in the contract that they should carry out the service with a reasonable care and skill. This is implied by s13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.
I would put them on notice in writing that you consider their conduct to have been a breach of the relevant terms above and ask to be kept fully informed on a day to day basis of the negotiations with the tenants to resolved the issue. If you decide that you have a case for terminating the agreement on the basis of a repudiatory breach then you can do so. It would be best to take the contract to a lititgation solicitor to get their specific opinion on the seriousness of the breach and their confrimation that you are entitled to terminate because of the seriousness of it.
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Who is named on the tenancy agreement as landlord, you or the agents?
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Get them to send you it.
They could potentially sue you if you were named on the tenancy agreement but it is probably academic in that you would have a concurrent claim agianst the agency because of their breach of contract and would therefore claim the damages from them.
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