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I'm currently in the process of evicting my tenants due to rental arrears.
I have insurance cover however it seems that part of the policy is to have obtained bank statement/utility bill at the start of the tenancy. Which As I understood was a legal requirement of my letting agents.
It turns out that the lettings agents did not obtain this at that time, they did a full credit and reference check which was fine, however due to the lack of bank statement/utility bill the insurers are not willing to validate our claim.
Do I have any rights with regards to agents not doing their job, and now effectively causing our insurance policy to be invalid?
You have no statutory rights with regards to your agents, there is no obligation in law for them to obtain Bank Statements / Utility Bills.
Though if you instructed them with clear terms, that they are required to obtain Bank Statement/ Utility Bills you may have. Especially if such requirements is noted in the contract you agree with your agent.In such circumstances you would start with a complaint to your agent, then proceed to there independent dispute resolution company.
If it is worth the legal costs, you may wish to consult the solicitor regarding pursuing the insurer for losses. Perhaps it is unfair contract terms?Solicitors would form an argument, perhaps on the likes of - your agent would have obtained ID and Credit Reference - which is enough to confirm identity and residence. So what is the increased risk by not obtaining a bank statement/utility bill?
A lesson to all reading this, is to check your insurance policy. Ensure you are meeting the requirements, this time it's about eviction. What if it was a fire and the insurance co uses this as an excuse not not pay out?
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Simplest solution would be to ask your tenants for the docs required from the time of referencing and forward them to insurers, If they'll cooperate.
Unfortunately they are not answering any of our calls and haven't paid rent in almost 4 months now, I somehow doubt they are going to provide bank statements. =(
You could consider reducing their rent arrears in return for supplying the docs you need.
That's not a bad idea!
I'll give that a go. Thanks Pete
Let us know how you get on........
That didn't work unfortunately.
And now it turns out that the agents did obtain the documents. But they've been destroyed for some reason!
Not sure if I need to put this in a new topic, but does anybody know how much it will cost me to get the tenants evicted?
Notice has already been served, I assume I'm going to need to pay for a solicitor off my own back given insurers are not likely to pay out now that they've found a nice little technicality they can latch on to! (do I sound bitter?)
Sorry to hear your bad news. I use this person:
Liz Downing - DirectorLiz@agent-smart.co.uk / 07492855610
Agent Smart The Waterfront, Salts Mill Road, Shipley, Bradford, BD17 7EZ
Telephone: 01274 028460https://www.agent-smart.co.uk – check our website for all services we have available
to handle eviction and debt collection. I have found her useful and reasonably priced. She has successfully evicted a non paying tenant, and signed her up to pay me back at £100 per week, so I am pleased.
PT Mods, I hope it is ok to post this, apologies of not. I am not connected with the company, but have used the successfully.
Do we take it this insurance is some "Rent Guarantee" scheme/scam ? And you'd ( ...presumably ?) not thought it appropriate to check on the conditions?
Who sold you the insurance/suggested it? If it was the agent you may have a case..
"And now it turns out that the agents did obtain the documents. But they've been destroyed for some reason!"
"Some reason" would have been GDPR. I am surprised the insurers expect something as sensitive as tenant bank details being retained any longer than is absolutely necessary. If the agents are prepared to sign a statement saying this was done and/or have records to show that it was, then I think you may have a case.