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Estate Agent Dispute

Questions & AnswersCategory: Letting AgentsEstate Agent Dispute
MATTHEW CHAUDHRY asked 2 months ago

I would like some advice on a property matter and would be very grateful if anyone could help me.
In 2015, we put a house we were living in onto rent, and move into another house. The tenants were originally shown the property to us by the estate agents, and then declined renting the house. However, one of the Tenants found my details online and emailed me about undertaking a tenancy without the estate agents.
Regrettably, we agree to this, and formulated a contract with them, and they began a three year tenancy with us, renewing each year. We were very stupid to do this, but were desperate to get a tenant in as we were moving to a new house and needed the money.
In the past 6 months, these tenants turned into a nightmare. We tried to be the best landlords around and were very attentive to their needs. After the dishwasher broke, I waited on a renewal of an appliance warranty to make a claim (they had a sink which could be used for the washing) they refused to pay rent for three months, and eventually I claimed on the insurance to gain possession and seek rent arrears. They also accused us of theft as the house was broken into too. They left the house without telling us, leaving it in a diabolical state, for us to take care off. We are still in legal dispute with them.
This brings us to the current day. We were asked a couple of months ago for a reference to the tenants from the estate agents as they were looking at other places to live. We told them of the issues we were having with the tenants, and t had not paid their rent and we were in legal dispute. The estate agents continued their relationship with them and they are now clients of theirs, renting a property in their name. The agents have now intentionally informed Foxtons of the rental agreement we undertook between the parties for the three years and the estate agents have issued us with a 3 year fee claim.
I would like some advice on this matter:

  • We are deeply sorry about this, admit wrongdoing, and regret this, we were desperate at the time to get the house onto rent before we moved, as we couldn’t afford two mortgages. Is there any way we could reconcile with estate agents and offer a counter proposal, rather than full payment which we cant afford?
  • The tenants are the ones that contacted us first (I have proof of this), and made the proposal, and are still with estate agents. Aren’t the agents obliged to issue them with legal proceedings too for breach of their contract? Does it make any difference that they contacted us first?
  • Do I have any legal rights to request a copy of a ‘tenant’ contract?
  • They are in legal proceedings with us, and have previously been convicted and bankrupted on occasions of various, which they may not of declared. Do I need to inform the estate agents, so they are aware?
  • Other?

I have to respond to this within 30 days  (31/08/18), so any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated. Its such a large amount of money we don’t have.

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