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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi, My property was let out to a DSS family for the past few

Resolved Question:

Hi,
My property was let out to a DSS family for the past few years on a yearly contract which they renewed on 30th July each year.
This year they indicated they would renew but instead left with a weeks notice at the end of July.
The property is fully managed by a letting agency as we live abroad.
When the agency went to do the final property inspection after they departed (no other inspection was done when they were there) there is a LOT of work to be done, I have been quoted nearly £5k to get it to lettable condition.
The contract with my agency states that for full property management regarding inspections - 'Three inspections to be carried out during tenancy, the first at the beginning of the tenancy, the second one month before the
end of the tenancy, and thereafter following the end of the tenancy'
So my question is does this mean that if a tenant renews their agreement this is considered the same tenancy?
I ask because it turns out that no inspections have been done throughout hence damage has occurred. Just want to know if there is any recourse with them on inspections or they are in the contract basically saying even if a tenant renews for 20 years they will not inspect during those years, only one month before the end and then after they leave!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

I would expect that the wording would be interpreted as meaning that they will make inspections three times within each individual tenancy agreement and not over the course of the total tenancy agreements which have been renewed.

the reason being exactly as you have stated in the final part of your question. They have a full management agreement with you. They earn a commission percentage of part of the rent on this basis. would expect their duties to extend beyond visiting beyond the very narrow interpretation of all tenancies together.

Therefore I would say that if you are not able to recover damages from the tenant then you will have a claim against the letting agent unless they can explain how to damage was caused in between all the multiple viewings made in accordance with the correct interpretation of the clause.

In addition even if the clause were interpreted narrowly they would still be under an implied term under the supply of goods and services act to supply the service to you with a reasonable care and skill. To my mind this would imply visitations at least a couple of times a year within each individual tenancy agreements

If this is useful please kindly click accept and rate my answer as okay service or above. If you do not then I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question.

Kind regards

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your reply.


 


How would I go about pursuing this to reclaim costs from the agency.


 


They have told me that they have no forwarding address for the ex-tenant and she is not answering her phone & I am assuming never will.


 


Therefore without her details I believe I cannot pursue her in the small claims court?


Do I pursue the agency in the small claims court instead?


 


Also I have accidental damage insurance for contents and buildings on the property so will contact my insurer to see if anything is covered.


But would I need to wait until the insurer does their bit before I can start on the agency or is it the other way round.


Would appreciate advise on where to start on it and what is the best plan of action!


 


Thanks

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

If you do not know where the tenant is working or living then I would employ a tracing agent to attempt to find them. Really you should pursue your report against a tenant first before the agent.

however if you are not able to pursue you action against the tenant then there is nothing stopping you pursuing action against the agent.

I would contact your insurance first and explain what happened before issuing a claim against I did the tenant or the agent. I would also give the agent an opportunity to settle mclean prior to issuing proceedings.

please remember to rate my answer

Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6395
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 3 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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