Letting agent gone bankrupt | Discuss

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Letting agent gone bankrupt
25/01/2017
8:33 am
lister14
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When a letting agent goes bankrupt, who is responsible for giving the deposit back to the tenants. The deposit was not put in a government backed scheme. The landlord is saying the agent was responsible for securing the deposit and will not return the deposit to the tenant. If the landlord is responsible for the deposit how many years has the tenant got to claim the deposit back from the landlord.

Any help or advice please as this couple are now struggling to find a new home.

25/01/2017
11:11 am
Landlord Geoff
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IMO (not advice) the devil is always in the detail (which is the case in all disputes) of the written tenancy agreement.

I would imagine the tenancy agreement is between "the landlord" and "the tenant(s)" and signed by both parties, irrespective of who prepared the document and in particular what it said about the deposit. For example, the tenant may have given a deposit to the LA but it may not be stated in the tenancy agreement.

With respect to all the good LA's, too many hands off landlords just put too much faith in a LA without understanding what their own responsibilities and statutory obligations are.

Full time experienced landlord & property investment mentor in West Yorkshire.

http://www.landlordgeoff.co.uk

25/01/2017
7:38 pm
lister14
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Thanks Landlord Geoff. Are you saying the agent or the Landlord is responsible for dealing with the deposit and returning the Deposit. If the agent did not comply with the law does the tenant have a case against the landlord as the agent has gone bust and the agent was working and acting for the LL. Your advice will be gracefully received and thank you in advance for your advice.

25/01/2017
11:32 pm
Landlord Geoff
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@lister14

With respect I cannot give advice online based on bare facts given on a forum, and neither should anyone else.

As I said there are so many factors that are specific to any particular individual case and these would have a bearing on the outcome. Not least the wording and signatories of the tenancy agreement including its commencement date, what prescribed information and other documentation was or was not given to the tenant, whether the letting agent is/was a member of a redress scheme, any written agreement between the landlord and the agent, etc., etc., etc.

If proof of a deposit exists and it was not protected, the tenant may be able to claim 1 to 3 times the deposit from the person responsible which is most likely (but not necessarily) to be the landlord. 

I hope you will understand the reasoning of my reply.

Full time experienced landlord & property investment mentor in West Yorkshire.

http://www.landlordgeoff.co.uk

26/01/2017
8:07 am
lister14
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Thanks landlord Geoff.

I appreciate you cannot give specific advice on a forum. All I am trying to establish is who is ultimately responsible for a deposit that a tenant pays on a property. Tenants are not always aware of the law on deposits and put their trust in the hands of Letting Agents. In my view the landlord is ultimately responsible for everything that goes on in the property and how it is managed. It is not the tenants fault if the landlord employs a doggy agent. After all the tenant only wants a home and do not want to rock the boat by asking the agent if their going to go bust. What is your general view?. and thanks again for taking the time answering my question.

27/01/2017
3:53 am
PaulBarrett
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DI'll give you advice

The LL is totally liable for any obligations towards the tenancy and the tenant

It IRRELEVANT if a LL CHOOSES to use a LA

A LL cannot abrogate his legal and fiduciary responsibilities

Therefore if a LA has failed to deal with a deposit correctly it is the LL who is liable to repay the tenant

There are hundreds of thousands of LL who delude themselves in the belief that they can leave everything to their LA who will be liable

Well they aren't it is the LL who is!!

With RTR only if it is explicitly stated in the LA contract  that the LA will be responsible for RTR checks can the LL avoid prison!!!, if the RTR checks are proven to be inadequate

There are many idiot LL that believe their LA is responsible for everything because they happen to use them as an agent to deliver a service that the LL is resposensible for

They are totally and utterly wrong!!

For any LA failings a LL would need to sue them

LL need to wise up and realise that their LA is unregulated and unqualified and could easily land them in prison or bankrupt them!!!

Which is why I don't use LA!

I am liable for everything so I might aswell do everything!

There is simply no way I would allow a LA to have anything to do with deposit funds

Use one of the insured schemes and hold the deposit in the LL bank account

LL who fail to manage their LA deserve everything that happens to them!

This is why a LL has to choose a good LA wisely

Not so easy

You are entrusting your business and your liberty to a stranger

I wouldn't do it!!

29/01/2017
9:53 am
lister14
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Thanks Paul B.

As always you make things very clear.

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