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Can I sue my Letting Agent?


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I have lurked for a while and found great advice in the past on other issues.

 

I will try to keep this brief, with the key facts:

 

1. I signed a contract for a 12 month AST in Feb of this year.

The contract clearly stated that the landlord has all the required consents to let the property

 

2. In May of this year I received a letter addressed to the tenant/occupier advising that there was a possession order on the property.

 

3. After further investigation I discovered that the landlord had not been paying their mortgage, and also that they had never received consent to let the property from the lender. Had I known this I would never have entered the agreement.

 

4. The agents were most unco-operative, unresponsive (calls were ignored, emails ignored) and eventually they just told me that they were cancelling their management of the property and to seek alternative accommodation.

 

 

This has cost me a significant amount of money in terms of fees (to them initially, and to my next agent too), moving costs, additional expenses associated with the new property (I now have to pay for a car parking space for example)

 

I have written a letter of claim to the agent, outlining the reason for the claim (breach of contract) and the amounts I was claiming from them.

 

However, they have responded and said that it is between me and the landlord and I should pursue him/her.

 

The problem with this is that the breach is in the actual contract itself which the agent drew up for us. Signed by myself and the agent.

They obviously did not carry out adequate checks, and obviously did not ask to view the landlord's status in terms of permissions to let the property (the contract states that he/she has all the permissions)

 

Please can you let me know your thoughts on the above and whether I should continue pursuing the agents, or is this something I shuld take up with the landlord (who may or may not be bankrupt due to the property being repossessed) ?

 

Many thanks!

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What does your agreement with the letting agents say? If you are making a breach of contract claim, you need to be clear about which specific clauses of the contract have been breached.

 

I'm not sure its standard practice for tenant's letting agents to ask the landlord for a copy of his mortgage agreement - that is essentially the check you are saying should have been carried out.

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"5.4 That he is the sole owner of the leasehold or freehold interest in the property and that all necessary consents to allow him to enter into this agreement (superior lessors, mortgage lenders or others) have been obtained in writing"

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But that is from your Agreement with the landlord ... you are suing the letting agent here so need to check your agreement with them (which may just be a copy of their T&Cs).

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