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We are after some advice regarding referencing of tenants and rent guarantee. We have the unfortunate issue of a tenant not paying and are currently going down the route of sections 8/21 to evict.
Our main issue is the AST initially set up was with a different agent (which we changed 6 months into the tenancy). The new agent managing this was requested on a Fully Managed property with Rent Guarantee. All paperwork was signed but fast forward a few months and the tenant was behind on payments, we requested the rent guarantee but was told this did not apply in our case because they had inherited the tenants and had not undertaken their own referencing?
My question is whether we have any come back to either one of these agents, the first for appearing not to have undertaken relevant checks or the second for not checking the paperwork we signed requesting the rent guarantee?
Any advice greatly appreciated.
I think the main issue you have here is when you changed the managing agent for the tenant what evidence have you got that you requested Rent Guarantee for this Tenant ?
If I understand it correctly - when you had your property with this Tenant in at the outset you had Rent Guarantee and the original agent had referenced the tenant. Presumably if Rent Guarantee was in place at this point the tenants had passed referencing.
Fast forward and you change managing agents for the property - again, I am presuming here, but you then request Rent Guarantee for the tenants again - and this is where it gets murky.
What evidence have you got to show you requested Rent Guarantee for the Tenants when you changed agents ?
What evidence have you got from the agents to show they acted on your request and placed Rent Guarantee on the tenants ?
These two points would be key in showing the agent either did or didn't act on your request, and whether you had any confirmation that Rent Guarantee was in place ?
To my knowledge most companies offering Rent Guarantee would request to see (or have knowledge of) the referencing that was completed at the time the initial Rent Guarantee was put in place. They then have discretion as to whether they would accept the tenants on their policy based on that referencing.
Thanks Mark, the first agent we didn't pay for the rent guarantee but when we moved to the new agents we ticked a box on their paperwork requesting this service which they subsequently signed. They did not ask at any stage for any referencing paperwork from us nor bring to our attention this would be required, it appears they may have missed that we requested this and the first time we knew was when the tenant didn't pay and they stated it was not their policy. The frustration is on both accounts the first agent has presumably not done referencing which you pay them to do and would think you have some comeback if theres and issue and to the second agent they have not checked the paperwork requesting this service.
OK so separating this out - It's unlikely the first agent didn't complete referencing but I don't think this matters in your current situation.
If you can show that you requested a Rent Guarantee from the Agent at the time of the Managed service being put into place - then I would suggest you may have a case against the agent for not completing on your request.
It would be something you'd need to challenge legally and take advice for, especially as this would be an action directly against the agent for negligence.
As it's unlikely the agent has not acted upon your request, then there will be no Rent Guarantee policy in place and so no insurer to contact. I know there are more and more legal cases now where landlords are successfully taking legal action against Agents for this type of oversight and if the agent is correctly insured they potentially have PI insurance in place for this eventuality.
In the first instance you have seemingly requested a service from your Managing Agent and they have failed to deliver on your request. You have paid them to undertake this service and therefore have not delivered what you requested.
In the first instance though you need to try and evict the tenant ASAP as your liability on your rent is increasing every day. So an action against the letting agent may not be prudent yet - but again I'd suggest legal advice to move this forward against your current agent.
If you have the original request for Rent Guarantee etc it would be prudent to start collating the evidence for what you originally requested.
""""My question is whether we have any come back to either one of these agents, the first for appearing not to have undertaken relevant checks or the second for not checking the paperwork we signed requesting the rent guarantee?"""""
Well, only if you have taken court action against tenant for any rent owing, won and then utterly failed to collect, possibly after a couple of years trying, otherwise you won't know your loss.
But, nothing to stop you lobbing off an LBA and see what you are offered, if anything.
NB Agent (or tenant..) may be viewing....