Poor handling of the end of tenancy, particularly poor communication

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The tenants moved in on 19/02/2009 and moved out on 22/08/2014. They have been good tenants throughout. The tenancy always ran from 19th of February for one or two years but this year the tenancy agreement was done late. I'm not sure why and so it started on 19/04/2014. Because of this, the 6 month break clause would go up to 19/10/2014.

The property is fully managed by a UK ALA Lettings Agent.

The tenants tell me they had agreed the move out date with the agent and items to be rectified before they moved out. This check list was sent to the tenants at 5pm on 20/08/2014 bearing in mind they were moving out on 22/08/2014 and the house and garden are very large. The tenants state they completed (at very short notice) the items listed and they moved out on the date agreed.

It seems the agent has been very disorganised throughout the whole process with the tenant saying they had to repeatedly ask for information.

After repeatedly requesting a check out inspection (and subsequently their deposit) for three weeks following the move out date, they were then informed that they would be having a small portion of their deposit deducted. They state they carried out the necessary work to the property before they moved out and it was regrettable that the agent excluded them from the check out inspection.

When the tenants queried this, the agent stated that additional rent beyond the agreed move out date should be paid and that this is the first they heard about the rent demand. I should add that I wanted to use the time to decorate the property as they had been in there for > 5 years it needed freshening up for the next tenant, who moved in on 12/09/14.

As an aside, the tenants state the lettings agent entered the property without previously arranging it, at 10am on 22/8/2014, which I believe is in breach of the AST agreement. Apparently there was no apology and the agent's explanation was that they thought they had moved out the previous day.

The tenants are threatening legal action for the late demand in rent and small deduction from the deposit citing poor service received from the agent (and are also lodging a complaint with the Ombudsman). Their key argument is the fact that they were not made aware of the demand for rent up to 12/09/2014 until 3 weeks after they moved out. I agree that the agent appears to have performed below par.

I do understand that the tenants signed a tenancy agreement with a 6 month break clause from 19/04/2014 but the circumstances surrounding the management of the tenancy this year worries me.

I look forward to hearing from you with advice.



06/11/2014 12:48

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