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Agent might be stealing money from tenants

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234 views 1 replies latest reply: 26 February 2016
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Tenant

Hi, I have recently moved out of my flat. I moved out a month earlier than I was supposed as the agent told me that the property was sold. This was included in the contract (in case the flat was sold he had the right to give a notice). As there was some damage to the property I lost my deposit. He was supposed to give me back a months rent money as I have moved out a month earlier. However, according to him the damages costed higher than the deposit so he took that rent money as well.

After some time I decided to check the place and most of the repairs were not done. More importantly there was no one living at the flat so I decided to check if the flat was actually sold. It wasn’t. It is still owned by the same landlord and is still listed as a flat for sale on the agent’s website. So I got kicked out before my contract ended although the flat wasn’t sold to anyone. Considering also that the repairs weren’t done, I am pretty sure that the agent pocketed the deposit and rent money. 

Is there any way that I can get this money back. Shall I sue him or is there any solution to this? He might be doing this to every tenant.

Thanks a lot!

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Administrator

Hi Baris

You can raise a dispute with the tenancy deposit protection scheme that held your deposit – there are three schemes and one should have a record of your deposit. It might also be an idea to contact the landlord to make sure they know what the agent did – your tenancy agreement is between you and the landlord, not the agent, and if the agent has kept cash that was due to the landlord they will not be happy. You can find the landlord’s address on your tenancy agreement.

If you find your deposit wasn’t protected then that gives you a right to seek compensation – up to 3 times the amount of the deposit – via the courts.

You could also make a complaint, first to the agency itself and then after that to the professional body it is member of – for example the Property Ombudsman or ARLA. If there has been any kind of dishonesty then they will be able to help you resolve it and get some compensation.

Alex

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