CPRs Case 5 - Title Issue

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the successful completion of the transaction, Miss E, the buyer, complained that the Agent did not disclose their financial interest in the property which had led to delays resulting in additional solicitor fees. The Agent denied that they held a financial interest in the property.

CPRs Case 4 - Parking Space Included?

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

This was a complaint concerning non-disclosure of information where the potential buyer, Mr D, alleged that the Agent knew that there was a dispute over the ownership of the parking space at the property but said nothing, resulting in a long drawn out transaction from which Mr D eventually withdrew.

CPRs Case 3 - Shared Ownership

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Upon discovering that the property had shared ownership, the potential buyer, Mr C, withdrew from the transaction and raised a complaint against the Agent alleging that the property had not been described correctly.

CPR's Case 2 - Damp Descriptions

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following completion Mr and Mrs B raised a complaint that the Agent had not divulged that the property suffered from severe damp and a leaking boiler despite this information being previously known as a result of a survey carried out by previous potential buyers and from conversations the Agent had held with the neighbour occupying the adjoining property which was also being affected by the problem. Mr and Mrs B also asserted that staff at the Agent’s office had encouraged them to commission a standard home buyer survey which, in the event, did not highlight the damp or boiler issues.

CPR's Case 1 - Non-Traditional Construction

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Mr and Mrs A were potential buyers who had to withdraw their offer when their building society (which had already agreed a mortgage in principle) refused to lend on the property because the survey revealed it to be of a non-traditional ‘rendered’ concrete construction. Mr and Mrs A argued that the Agent should have informed them of this information at an early stage to have enabled them to have checked with their building society before incurring the expense of a survey. The Agent’s response was that the situation had occurred because Mr and Mrs A were limited, due to their age, to using a specialist lender. The Agent also pointed out that they had sold similar houses on the same development (including, subsequently, the property in question) and the construction of the properties had not been an issue.

More Reckless Referencing

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case the Agent arranged a tenancy for two years in favour of four tenants who had offered to pay £200 per month more than the previous tenants. The landlords, Mr and Mrs J, were understandably happy that the Agent had found tenants willing to pay a higher level of rent. However, nine months into the tenancy Mr and Mrs J were contacted by the police to advise that they intended to raid the property as the heat signatures detected from the building indicated that it may be being used for drug cultivation. Furthermore, the police advised Mr and Mrs J that the persons living in the property were not those as recorded in the tenancy agreement and that references may have been forged. Following the raid, which found that the property was being used as a cannabis farm, Mr and Mrs J complained to the Agent stating that they should have been more diligent in their referencing. The Agent responded by arguing that, as per a previously arranged tenancy, they had not used a referencing service provider, adding that the documents provided by the tenants contained no information which should have put them ‘on notice’ that something may have been wrong.

Guaranteed Rent

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the end of the tenancy and the tenancy deposit scheme awarding the full amount of the deposit to Mrs I (the landlord) in respect of damage caused to the property, she raised 21 different complaints concerning the Agent’s conduct which she asserted had contributed to the problems arising. Mrs I’s central claims were that the tenant found by the Agent was unsuitable for the property, that they failed to undertake proper references and that they did not carry out inspections during the tenancy which would have alerted her to the problems sooner. The Agent’s response was that they had obtained acceptable references, that they were not responsible for the tenant’s behaviour and that they were, therefore, not liable for the balance of the costs not settled by the security deposit.

Incorrect Notices

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The landlord, Mrs H, entered into a guaranteed rent arrangement with the Agent. However, following a series of rental payments being missed, Mrs H instructed the Agent to regain possession of the property. After a number of months, Mrs H became concerned about the time being taken and, following a number of her letters not being responded to, raised a complaint.

Holding Deposit and Pre-Tenancy Conditions

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The prospective tenant, Miss F, paid a holding deposit and administration fees to the Agent on the condition that the landlord agreed a break clause which met her employer’s approval. Miss F asserted that an agreement had been reached that if this requirement proved impossible she would get her money back. Unfortunately, following a suitable break clause not being agreed, Miss F withdrew and the Agent stated that they would only refund half of the monies.

Damage Deposit and Rent Arrears

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Agent had arranged a two year tenancy between the tenant and the landlord, Mr G. By the ninth month the tenant had accrued £6,900 rent arrears and had caused approximately £2,000 worth of damage to the property. Mr G commenced possession proceedings and a Court hearing took place at the tenth month where the judge awarded possession to Mr G together with an order for the rent arrears owed by the tenant. The matter of damages to the property was not considered by the Court. However, unbeknown to Mr G, a few days before the Court hearing, the Agent agreed with the tenant that due to the severe rental arrears the deposit of £1,592.28 would be released in full to cover some of that debt. After being informed of this development, the judge deducted £1,592.28 from the money judgement order for rent arrears awarded to Mr G. Mr G then complained that the Agent’s actions had denied him the opportunity of seeking payment towards the damages via the
tenancy deposit arbitration process and instead, was left with no option but to commence further legal action to recover these monies.

Where is the Holding Deposit Agreement?

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

After the Agent found a potential tenant who wished to move into the property immediately, Mrs E, the landlord, paid the existing tenant £500 to end the tenancy early. She did so on the assumption that the £500 holding deposit received by the Agent from the prospective tenant would mitigate her loss should the new tenancy not proceed. However, following the prospective tenant withdrawing due to personal reasons, the Agent kept the £500 holding deposit.

Reckless Referencing

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Mr and Mrs D were the landlords who had instructed the Agent on a tenant find only basis. Following the Agent undertaking this task and installing the tenants in the property, rental payments stopped and Mr and Mrs D found themselves in the position of having to take legal action to regain possession of the property. Mr and Mrs D referred the dispute to my Office following the conclusion of legal action which had removed the tenants from the property but had left them with a substantial shortfall in rent.

Rats!

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

On the first day of the tenancy, Mr C, the tenant, found that the boiler was not working and
immediately reported the matter to the Agent, explaining that he was unable to live in the property until the problem was fixed. The Agent advised the landlord straight away and arranged for a contractor to attend the property the same day. However, upon investigating the problem the contractor found traces of a rat infestation. The complications in dealing with the two connected issues eventually led to the landlord agreeing to terminate the tenancy with Mr C being refunded his rent and deposit. However, Mr C considered that the Agent could have done more to prevent the situation arising and promptly complained.

Garage Problems

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

After moving into the property, the tenants, Mr and Mrs B, contacted the Agent to advise that they were unable to access the garage. The Agent initially responded telling them where they could find the key. The key was not where they said and upon further questioning at a later date stated that the landlord had informed them that the garage was
not operational and unfit for use. Mr and Mrs B subsequently complained that the property had been incorrectly described to them.

An Inconvenient Convenience

Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Shortly after Mr and Mrs A moved into the property they discovered that the landlord, who worked in a neighbouring office, was using the toilet situated in the property. Upon questioning the landlord he advised that his use of the toilet during business hours was a requirement of the let which had been conveyed to the Agent. Mr and Mrs A then raised a
complaint alleging that they had not been informed of this requirement by the Agent prior to agreeing the tenancy and, as such, wished to end the tenancy, demanding the monies they had paid in relation to fees, the deposit and rent to be returned. The Agent argued that Mrs A had been advised during the viewing that the landlord required access to the toilet during his working hours. However, they went on to add that they appreciated Mr and Mrs A’s concerns and, together with the landlord, wished to make them an offer to end the tenancy. Mr and Mrs A refused the offer.

 

Sole Selling Rights

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The Sellers had by their account incurred dual fees from the Agent complained of and their previous agent. They had paid the Agent’s commission fee but complained that the Agent was due only 50% of the fee as they had only completed ‘half a job’ of selling the property.

Ready Willing & Able (Case 3)

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

In this case the unsuccessful Seller argued that the Buyer introduced by the Agent was not prepared to unconditionally exchange contracts. The Agent’s response was that the signed agency agreement stated that a buyer was ‘ready, willing and able’ if they were prepared and able to unconditionally exchange contracts, which they considered the Buyer was.

Ready Willing & Able (Case 2)

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint
The potential Seller complained that the Agent had charged them a commission fee that they were not entitled to as the Buyers introduced could not be considered ‘ready, willing and able’, underlined by the fact that the transaction had not completed.

Ready Willing & Able (Case 1)

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

The potential Sellers complained that the Agent had charged them a commission fee that they were not entitled to as the property had not been sold. The Agent responded by providing a short explanation simply stating that they had introduced a ‘ready, willing and able’ buyer and, therefore, were due a fee regardless of whether the property had sold.

A Misplaced Deposit

Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Case Studies

Complaint

Following the end of the tenancy and the completion of the check-out inspection, the Tenants alleged that the Agent withheld their security deposit despite advising them that it would be returned. The Agent responded by denying that they had received payment of the deposit at the outset.