Agents negligent in looking after my rented property

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I advertised a new property to rent out in the local paper. An agent responded and stated he would be able to rent it very quickly to council tenants with full management for 12%+VAT. It was new so I was concerned to let to council tenants and they stated I shall get it back in the same condition. However, they have returned the property in total un-liveable state.
The tenants stayed 18 months, messed up the property totally before passing it over to me. They left without a months notice stating the kitchen floor was messed up due to a leak in the previous washing machine, which was replaced about 16 months previously (the agent suggested replacing it as it was beyond repair).
In March 2009, I had a phone call stating that the tenants had noticed the kitchen floor had deteriorated and had said it was due to bad workmanship by the developers. They said the floor was disintegrating in another room as well. Later they stated, it was only the kitchen and it was due to the leaking old machine. I asked why they had not told me earlier. They stated it was only noticed in March 2009 by the tenants. When I went to look at it in March 2009, there seemed to be a hole in the middle of the kitchen. I stated this could be not be sudden and the tenant said that was only noticed at that time. The floor of the kitchen was caving in but no damage to downstairs apartment. The tenants moved out and the agent phoned me to say that the apartment was left in a good condition but the carpets needed to be changed as they were very dirty and needed replacing.
I found the walls and doors had grubby marks and also black marks, holes in the walls as well. The bathroom had a new bath but it had some paint marks. The whole apartment was left in a filthy state. However, the agent will not support me on anything. The deposit is not sufficient to pay for carpets, either. They say I shall have to pursue the tenants fro any shortfall. I cannot afford to pay for the carpets until all the money is paid so I am asking them to pay on the basis of a quote but they say the council wants to see the receipts. I feel as it was under the full management and the agent was holding the deposit they need to resolve all the issues and what should I do?
13/07/2009 00:00

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