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Letting agent broke into house to show us round as prospective tenants!

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879 views 2 replies latest reply: 05 May 2015
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Tenant

We were looking for a house in London recently and were told the 3rd property viewed wasn’t on the market yet, but we could look round.

The estate agent doesn’t have any keys and goes of to make a number of phone calls. He arrives back and jokes about climbing through the unlocked window. (He commented that he would, but his suit just got back from the dry cleaners.)

He goes of for another phone call and then we see he’s inside the house and has opened the front door for us.

We’re pretty sure he has broken in but figure he’s the letting agent and the current tenants aren’t in so he’s just a bit of a slippery slimeball (like all agents) Anyway we stupidly follow him into the property through the front door he opened for us and view the house as normal.

Then just as we’re in the front garden leaving, one of the tenants comes back home and see’s us. She rightly goes ballistic. It turns out not only did he break in, not only did he not have permission from the landlord or tenant, he was not even with the company that were currently letting the property!

He completely broke into a house to try and rent it to us when the current tenants contract ended.

So my question is am I safe from a legal stand point?
How do I support the current tenants if they wish to take the letting agent to court?

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Administrator

Goodness me! This is a new one for our forums. Thanks for getting in touch.

Not only was the behaviour of this letting agent incredibly unscrupulous but, as you have pointed out, totally illegal. Personally, I feel you have a moral obligation to report this serious misconduct.

My advice is to make a formal complaint to a professional organisation – if the letting agent is actually a member of one – all reputable letting agents are. You can find this out by looking at their website. The most common ones are listed below and each one has its own complaints procedure:

• National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS)
• Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)
• National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)

If the letting agent is not a member of any professional association you can report them to the Ombudsman: http://www.tpos.co.uk/contact.php. Furthermore, under the Estate Agents Act 1979 (EAA) regulations both Trading Standards and the Office of Fair Trading are empowered to close down the business if they find sufficient reason to believe it is unfit to practice the work of an agency.

This is only my personal advice; you may wish to seek professional advice before taking any action. At the very least, please warn others in the TTV community against this letting agent by completing a review on our site: http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/review/.

We want to be rid of rogue letting agents and landlords to improve the renting experience for all.

All the best.

Disclaimer: This information is derived from personal experience and should not be relied upon as a definitive or accurate interpretation of the law.

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Agent

We were looking for a house in London recently and were told the 3rd property viewed wasn’t on the market yet, but we could look round. The estate agent doesn’t have any keys and goes of to make a number of phone calls. He arrives back and jokes about climbing through the unlocked window. (He commented that he would, but his suit just got back from the dry cleaners.) He goes of for another phone call and then we see he’s inside the house and has opened the front door for us. We’re pretty sure he has broken in but figure he’s the letting agent and the current tenants aren’t in so he’s just a bit of a slippery slimeball (like all agents) Anyway we stupidly follow him into the property through the front door he opened for us and view the house as normal. Then just as we’re in the front garden leaving, one of the tenants comes back home and see’s us. She rightly goes ballistic. It turns out not only did he break in, not only did he not have permission from the landlord or tenant, he was not even with the company that were currently letting the property! He completely broke into a house to try and rent it to us when the current tenants contract ended. So my question is am I safe from a legal stand point? How do I support the current tenants if they wish to take the letting agent to court?

– Accidentalcriminal

Disgraceful prejudice here. Not all agents are “slippery slimeballs” (in the same way that not all Tenants are rent-dodging wreckers). Some of us have worked hard to forge a creditable reputation and still place integrity at the top of our list of priorities. Shame on you.

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