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Letting agents and housing benefit tenants

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Like several others who have been posting on the forum, I too have an issue with housing benefit tenants and the local authority. My post is really to find out if I have any redress against the letting agents.

The letting agents found these tenants for me when the previous tenancy had come to an end and the previous tenants left. I was not informed that the agents had found new tenants until I happened to phone up about another matter. When I phoned I was not told that these were Housing Benefit claimants, which I would not have agreed to or at the very least demanded a guarantor's letter, which of course the agency did not request from the new tenants. Since then, the rental income has only been coming in sporadically and is currently coming up for two months' in arrears - no not the eight weeks' yet but soon to be about 2/3 of two months owed. The story is that there is a backlog at the council or that the council are still awaiting paperwork or still processing the claim. The tenancy will be at the end of the 6 months' AST and therefore it can be terminated or not renewed if I request it very soon. But the letting agents say that if I am not patient and hang on for my rent, there is the strong chance that the tenants will not pay me but put any money they receive towards their next rental. The agents do not seem to assume that the responsibility of ensuring the rent is paid lies with them in the first place. They claim to be contacting the tenants daily. I would like to know if I have any legal redress against the letting agency or indeed, any advice at all.

22/01/2009 00:00

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