After viewing the flat and agreeing a six month tenancy, the Tenant moved in to the property. However, after just one night the Tenant decided she could not live there due to noise experienced from neighbours. She demanded her rent and deposit back from the Agent.
I advised the Tenant that her contract (that is the tenancy agreement) was with the Landlord, that her rent had been passed from the Agent to him and, therefore, her claim for repayment must properly be directed to him. I also pointed out that agents are not liable to repay money which is owed by their landlord client or to ensure that a property meets the prospective tenant’s personal needs. However, agents do have a duty to act fairly and not to mislead applicants.
In this case neither party produced any evidence of any noise reports in the past. However, it was clear that once aware of the problem, the Agent had acted proactively and considerately by immediately seeking instructions from the Landlord, investigating if there was a history of past noise reports and finding a replacement tenant when asked to do so within a matter of days. The Agent also informed the new tenant about the Tenant’s reports.
Given the evidence presented to me, I could not conclude that there was a known problem which was withheld by the Agent. I, therefore, did not support the complaint. Furthermore, I commended the Agent for their swift, considerate and proactive action following the issue being presented to them.
Once a problem about a property has been reported by a tenant, the agent should always ensure that their landlord client is informed and instructions sought where appropriate.