Harassment by agent | The Tenants' Voice
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Harassment by agent

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753 views 3 replies latest reply: 26 July 2015


my son and girlfriend moved into a private rental run by an agent two months ago.

several days before the rent us due they are constantly hounded by calls and texts from the agent. 

This month they called the agent to say the rent would be two days late as neither of them were being paid until then. The agent said this was fine.

However, on the day they were due to make payment, the agent nor only barraged them with calls and text but called both their employers AND members of their family with demands.

My son then received a warning from work that they would not tolerate calls from his agent concerning his rent.

Their rent was paid (agent insists on cash with a receipt) on the day as agreed after they had finished work.

Can the agent do this, or is it seen as a form of harassment!?

They work hard, pay their bills on time and this is the first occasion they had to delay payment (again the agent was ok with this initially)

Your help would be appreciated if the agent is breaking any rules concerning constant calls/text to them and to employers and members of the family.


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Today (Sunday) my son has had a text from agent saying she is visiting the flag tomorrow with the landlord, not giving zny explanation as to why.


Again can she do this?


Hi Mandy

Most tenancy agreements state that rent is officially overdue when it’s 7 days late and if the tenants had an agreement in writing with the agent that stated it was ok for the rent to be late then no, there’s no justification for the agents to do that.

Harassment normally requires at least two incidents so, depending on the details of exactly what happened, it could fall into this category. It might be worth your son and girlfriend putting in writing exactly what happened, including the dates of all the calls etc and when the rent was paid. Point out that if it was to happen again they would be forced to contact the police. I think it’s definitely a good idea to highlight what your son’s workplace said about the call and how this could prejudice his position at work. If they do it again, for example, and he’s fired or demoted as a result then your son could potentially make a civil claim against the agents for the loss arising from their actions (I’m not a lawyer though so it might be worth checking that with a solicitor). There’s more information on harassment here.

Your son could also contact the landlord directly (in writing) and let them know what has happened. Protection from Eviction Act 1977 protects tenants from harassment by landlords. The agent is acting on behalf of the landlord and so could be opening the landlord up to criminal prosecution with their actions – something the landlord may well want to know about.

Finally, you could threaten to complain to all the professional bodies that the agency belongs to. For example, ARLA. They have the power to discipline members and to award compensation.

Yes, it’s not ideal that the rent was paid late but it doesn’t mean that your son and his girlfriend should be treated with contempt as a result – it’s happening to a lot of people these days, it’s just the way things are and it’s not like they haven’t paid it at all.



In terms of visiting the flat, the agent needs to give 24 hours notice i.e. a working day. Legally, your son and his partner must consent to the visit or suggest a more convenient time. The agent doesn’t have the right to just walk in. Most agents either don’t realise they need tenant consent or conveniently ignore it but if they don’t get it then you could potentially take action against them for trespass.

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