Can lettig agetns help themselves to the deposit for commission?

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M
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Hi all,
I have had the worst experience with a letting agent. My original tenancy agreement was for 6 months and the agent took fees for "managaing and introduction" as commission at the start of the tenancy. He did nothing for the 6 month period. The agreement started at the end of APril 07 and the agent held the deposit. I do not think it was held in a special deposit account.

When the 6 months were up, he did nothing to facilitate the tenants vacating the property and when I called to ask for his support in the matter he basically said I couldn't ask the tenants to leave and that I'd need a court order. I refused to sign another contract as I wanted thetenants to leave and he said the old agreement would continue.

It is now alsmost another 6 months and the tenants have finally decided to move out, however, the agent has given a thrid of the deposit back to the tenants (without any consultation with me and without checking the property, waiting to see if bills have cleared). He has kept the other two-thirds as his commission for introducing the tenants (a fee which I paid at the start)! Can he help himself to the deposit like this? If it was in a special account (which I don't think it was) surely he wouldn't be able to do this? He is telling the tenants to come to me for the deposit (which I do not have!).

The guy has been a total nightmare and, I feel, very negligent.

Any help/guidance on where I stand much appreciated!

05/03/2008 00:00

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