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Letting Agents' tenancy checks

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I recently bought a small 2 bed flat, to let. Being a new Landlord with no experience I let it through Ludlowthompson who were also to collect the rent.

Tenants were found, a professional couple - where I was told the husband was the main bread winner. I was surprised therefore on viewing the credit checking - made available only after the tenants had moved in - that the credit check had only been carried out on the wife. I smelt a rat!!

Indeed my concerns have been confirmed. The 1st month's rental was only paid after much hassle - and now the 2nd month's, is seriously overdue. The lead tenant can not be contacted by email or phone and is absent from work.

I believe Ludlowthompson was neglgent in providing a quality checking service. It's only interest was to put a tenant in before the rival Letting Agent - Foxton's. Ludlowthompson has already been paid all their fees - taken out of the Deposit and 1st month's rent.

I'm currently waiting to gain access to my property after giving the tenants the required 48 hrs notice. The tenants have not responded to any letters sent by Ludlowthompson.

Question 1:- when can I legally gain access to my flat?
2:- Is their any chance Ludlowthompson can be persuaded to return my fees in the given circumstances? They were aware of my concerns over the credit checking service right from the start.

I'm tied into Ludlowthompson's onerous terms and conditions. I am apparently guaranteed a certain amount of rent through an Insurance Policy but have to agree to Ludlowthompson re-letting my flat.

I feel as though I've been taken "to the cleaners" by both Ludlowthompson and the tenants.

Have you any suggestions as to what - if anything - I can do about this matter - or have I just learned a very important lesson - don't trust Letting Agents and if you want a good job done - do it yourself?!

I look forward to receiving your advice.



07/09/2010 00:00

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