UK Property Law
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Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a HighStreet practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questionsfrom satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and otherusers, I might not always respond inminutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in thatcaseIt is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with mewhile I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able toadvise you fully.
Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answerwould not be accurate.
Does the agent admit the failings?
How much has this cost the landlord?
English law does not award punitive damages, that only happens in the US.
What further info does the LL require.
We need full detailed background please
Yes but only as a "mistake" or "administrative error" - the rent was lowered on the referencing forms so the tenants passed the test otherwise they would not have.
This is the crux of the question. Its hard to quantify. The tenants became a big problem. Didn't pay utilities etc. which caused a lot of time on my behalf to manage the situation and I had to engage and pay a solicitor to deal with the tenants. I guess you could there was indirect loss because of the failings of the agent.
The question is that I'm taking the agent to small claims (after exhausting their complaints procedure) and I believe I'm entitled to compensation for the agents failings. But its hard to quantify the direct loss. But I believe that the agent should compensate for their failure (goods and services act and breach of contract). They did not deliver what I paid them to do.
How do I asses the damages as the small claims wants me quantify?
Currently I've listed the total of the agency fee. But understand that I may not be entitiled to all of this. But I do believe they I should get some of it back.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
This might get moved out ofthe Small Claims Court because there are evidential issues and it is not for afixed sum of money.
At this stage you will alsoneed to come up with the quantum of loss. Unless you can show some loss, thenyou have no claim.
I think their administrativeerror is a breach of contract.
I think you can recover thesolicitors costs.
You can recover any courtcosts.
You can recover anything elsethat you can directly quantify.
I think you will struggle torecover anything in respect of inconvenience of them being the general pain inthe backside.
You could recover any unpaidrent.
Does that answer thequestion?
Only if you can satisfy the court that the agents failing caused the rent loss. I think poor referencing is enough.
If you had other agents fees, add those in. If in doubt, list everything (without being daft about it) and let judge disallow ones he doesn't like
So it appears that the "bonus"was included in the salary although it begs the question as to how an annualbonus allows them to pay the rent every month over the 12 month period!
You can request a statementfrom the employee and to be admissible in court it has to contain a statementof truth in any event. Ask for it.
The latter point is a matterfor the trial although you can ask for it now
I agree with you completely.
The thing is that the bonus reflects salary, not rent. If it is a bonus, it should be stated as such.
I don't think lowering rent is a failing...I think it blatant misconduct..yes, bordering on fraud
Sorry one last question on the same topic;
If the contract between myself and the agent states the following:
"Wherever appropriate, references on prospective Tenants
will be obtained."
- Could it be argued that this is a breach by the agent as "references" were never actually provided? ie that because the references were false due to the the "mistake" from the agent meaning the references weren't delivered as per the contract?
Yes, I would argue that.
Even if it couldn't be argued, argue it anyway and let them either defend it or let the judge discount the argument.
Glad to help.
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