Thursday 28 March 2013

Did you hear the one about the UK rental agent?

We trusted the rent of our house to a friend in the UK. Three months after we moved in January 2011he found us a tenant and 9 months later he sold the business. But all was good or so we thought, the agent managing the property stayed the same and the rent arrived on time. But in January 2013 I had casue to contact the agent to request an inspection report and to find out why the tenants wouldn't let British Gas in to service the boiler. The owners reply was 'that he will wrap the agents knuckles for not getting back to us'  and added:

'The rent payment has also been promised tomorrow and will include January and Februarys rent. '

When we leftthe UK we made sure there was enough money to cover our mortgage for a year, just incase we couldn't find suitable tenants and to be honest I wasn't checking the bank account because, foolishly, I trusted the company to inform me should a payment be missed or made late.

After checking the bank we discovered the last rent was paid the end of November 2012 and no one was doing anything to get this money back for us.

The owner of the rental agency then told us this:

'There is no excuse for our lack of communications over the last few months, which I fully accept has been a absolute failure on our part and I am personally embarrassed to be in this position. Can I assure you the tenants are under no illusion as to their obligations and that we are actively pursuing the outstanding rent to which I hope to have a clearer update for Wednesday evening .'

We then requested that an eviction notice was to be served, regardless of whether the tenants paid up on time or not. It was confirmed by the owner that it was served on February 21st 2013.

The rent was finally paid on February 29th and March's payment was made on the 1st. A new date agreed between the rental company and the tenant, but NOT discussed with us.

I then ask for confirmation that the eviction order is still in place for the tenants to vacate the property by the 25th April. The rental owner then informs me:

'The eviction notice was served and is still active but it came to light today in my meeting with XXXX that he had served it for the 24th May which is a month later than I had expected.
My apologises again for this delay, but we do seem to have a rent commitment and we will work at the property condition before they vacate. Please accept my assurance that we will monitor the situation closely, continuing to liaise with the tenants and their guarantor until the tenancy expires. We will endeavour to get a new tenant in place with as minimum void period as possible.'
He also informs me:
'Due to issues that have arisen and lack of attention to detail on a number of occasions we have released XXXX from his duties. As of today he no longer works for Fosse House, so I request that all correspondence comes directly through me.'
That was on 5th March. 
Today the rental agent sends me a generic email stating that he has sold the Malvern Business and that my new agent is.........wait for it........ XXXX the same bloke he sacked earlier this month for his incompentency.


  1. I feel your pain. We also rented out our house while overseas. Fortunately our property management company was much better than yours, but bad tenants and the difficulty of communicating long distance can easily lead to confusion and frustration. When we were trying to evict a tenant for non-payment we found we were dealing with someone who knew how to manipulate the system. We'd file an eviction notice and then, at the 11th hour they would pay up, and under Ontario law this meant they were allowed to stay. This happened 3 times before we could convince a judge to throw them out. Of course we were paying legal fees to file all these claims, to say nothing of the stress. Fortunately, latterly, we had great tenants who took great care of the property, but it really seems to be luck of the draw. Sounds like you need to find another property management company altogether.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a pain in the arse.

  3. Our first tenant in our house in the Netherlands turned out to have developed a marijuana farm which the police had to dismantle.
    And my property management company had assured me that he under no condition would rent to anyone if there was the slightest chance of the renter turning our home into a marijuana farm.

  4. Update
    The new agent and the original agent contacted me via email. It appears there is a lot of blame with the ones who have just sold out. Both have made written assurances as to what their action plan will be to help resolve these issues, lets just say I'll wait and see, as I'll be in the UK when the tenants leave and am staying until I sort out new ones.