errors by Letting Agent - can I complain?

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LKALearning
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Hello members. I would appreciate any advice on a matter that has arisen with the service I received from a letting agent in South London.

In spring this year I employed an agency on a finder's fee basis to find tenants for a flat I own. They quickly found me tenants and gave me details over the phone about them, Ie, professional couple both in employment. Based on this information I agreed to go ahead and we all signed an AST agreement for twelve months.

I am currently experiencing problems with this tenant (now solo as his partner left after a few weeks) and so went back to look at the details the agency provided to start preparing eventualities if the situation worsens.

I don't want to go into too much detail about the tenancy problems as this is a separate issue that I may post as another thread but my question relates to the service the agency provided as follows:

Checking the details I see that the following is missing:

- there is no previous landlord reference for the tenant.
- no previous employer reference although there was a reference from current employer with whom the tenant had been employed one week earlier on a freelance basis.
- no garantor provided
- no credit checks
- no bank account checks
- no next of kin and only a character reference for him (a friend)

for his partner
- none of the above provided
- sole information given was contact details for next of kin.

Finally I have now just discovered that I am legally obliged to deposit the tenants deposit into an approved scheme and notify the tenants. I was until this week completely unaware of this and the agency at the time made no mention of it, nor did the AST that they provided have any clauses referring to it. This may seem niaive of me but I had no reason to be aware of the scheme's existence and I would expect that the "experts" I paid a hefty fee to, should provide this information.

I understand that I also have an obligation to check details but I used this agency to find a tenant believing they would provide a level of expertise that I could rely on. Do I have a case to complain against this agency? It is likely that I am going to suffer some serious financial consequences as a result of the problems with this tenant and want to know if I can in any way hold the agency accountable.

I should also mention that I have checked their website and cannot find any mention of registration with any letting association.

Any help or advice on this would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

15/10/2008 00:00

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