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  • Landlords in Distress

    Documents not obtained

    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?

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    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.

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    Hi,

    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. =(

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    Mike

    You could consider reducing their rent arrears in return for supplying the docs you need.

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    That's not a bad idea!

    I'll give that a go. Thanks Pete

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