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  • FIRST POST
    robk87
    Legal advice - Letting agents contact details.
    • #1
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:36 PM
    Legal advice - Letting agents contact details. 9th Nov 12 at 8:36 PM
    I posted recently about trying to get our deposit back from our letting agent: (apparently I can't post a link, but you could access this through my profile).

    To summarise:

    Our letting agents still hasn't returned our deposit after 2 months and we have discovered that it was not protected.

    As suggested we sent a 'letter before action' but have not heard anything back. The problem is we have found out that the company has ceased trading. Although we have an email address that we know works we no longer have phone contact with the letting agent. We have the Landlady's number and she is trying to help us but we don't have any other details.

    It seems that the address we have for the letting agent is no longer valid (due to the company ceasing trading). We don't have an address for the landlady either.

    My question is:

    How can we get an address to serve legal papers to in order to pursue a claim?
Page 1
  • robk87
    • #2
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:46 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:46 PM
    Sorry, forgot to put a please and a thanks in advance in there!

    Also, apologies for the apostrophe crime in the title.
    • mrginge
    • By mrginge 9th Nov 12, 8:48 PM
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    mrginge
    • #3
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:48 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:48 PM
    it's very nice of the landlady to be helping you out. However, she is the one who is responsible for the deposit, not the agent.
    Perhaps you should have a nice little chat with her and explain that you will be directing your letter before action to her unless she coughs up.
  • robk87
    • #4
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:52 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:52 PM
    it's very nice of the landlady to be helping you out. However, she is the one who is responsible for the deposit, not the agent.
    Perhaps you should have a nice little chat with her and explain that you will be directing your letter before action to her unless she coughs up.
    Originally posted by mrginge
    Thanks for the reply.

    The problem is we don't have her address, just her name and phone number.

    I can't imagine she will happily hand over her address...
    • terryw
    • By terryw 9th Nov 12, 8:54 PM
    • 3,814 Posts
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    terryw
    • #5
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:54 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:54 PM
    Forget about the letting agent. It is the landlord/ladies responsibility to safeguard the deposit in a scheme.

    Ask her for the address. If you get a refusal contact the local council - they will have a department who deals with errant landlords.

    Once you have this address use letter from now on. No phone calls or texts or facebook etc. Keep copies.
    "If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools"
    Extract from "If" by Rudyard Kipling
    • terryw
    • By terryw 9th Nov 12, 8:58 PM
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    terryw
    • #6
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:58 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Nov 12, 8:58 PM
    Also be proactive. Obtain a copy of the Land Registry information. This could well show the address. If it does not and only shows the address of the dwelling where you live then that is the address to which you should serve any letters, summons etc.
    "If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools"
    Extract from "If" by Rudyard Kipling
  • robk87
    • #7
    • 9th Nov 12, 9:00 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Nov 12, 9:00 PM
    Forget about the letting agent. It is the landlord/ladies responsibility to safeguard the deposit in a scheme.

    Ask her for the address. If you get a refusal contact the local council - they will have a department who deals with errant landlords.

    Once you have this address use letter from now on. No phone calls or texts or facebook etc. Keep copies.
    Originally posted by terryw
    Thanks.

    Not that I mean to question you, but how sure are you about this? I know that as soon as we mention that we are claiming the money off her she will stop contacting us. I don't want to risk !!!!ing her off unless I definitely know I will be able to get her address/ details as at the moment she is the only link we have to the agent.
    • mrginge
    • By mrginge 9th Nov 12, 9:02 PM
    • 2,347 Posts
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    mrginge
    • #8
    • 9th Nov 12, 9:02 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Nov 12, 9:02 PM
    Thanks for the reply.

    The problem is we don't have her address, just her name and phone number.

    I can't imagine she will happily hand over her address...
    Originally posted by robk87
    but your tenancy agreement had a contact address for the landlady on it (even if it was c/o the LA)
    So you ring her up. Tell her that she is responsible, Confirm that you have her correct address as per the tenancy agreement. Send your letter to that address. After X days, start a moneyclaim.
    Job done.

    I take it that she didn't protect your deposit either?
  • robk87
    • #9
    • 9th Nov 12, 9:07 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Nov 12, 9:07 PM
    but your tenancy agreement had a contact address for the landlady on it (even if it was c/o the LA)
    So you ring her up. Tell her that she is responsible, Confirm that you have her correct address as per the tenancy agreement. Send your letter to that address. After X days, start a moneyclaim.
    Job done.

    I take it that she didn't protect your deposit either?
    Originally posted by mrginge
    The address on the agreement is the letting agent's address.

    I think I'll leave it for tonight then text her tomorrow telling her we have been advised that it is her we would need to take action against.

    The good news is that she still owns the property so if the worst comes to the worst we can serve legal papers to that address.
  • robk87
    Also be proactive. Obtain a copy of the Land Registry information. This could well show the address. If it does not and only shows the address of the dwelling where you live then that is the address to which you should serve any letters, summons etc.
    Originally posted by terryw
    Thanks for the reply again.

    I'm going to ring/ text her tomorrow letting her know of the situation (ie. she is liable). I'll then give her a couple of days to sort it. If it's not sorted I'll ask her for an address to serve legal papers to and failing that I will send them to the address of the property she owns.
    • terryw
    • By terryw 9th Nov 12, 9:14 PM
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    terryw
    Thanks.

    Not that I mean to question you, but how sure are you about this?t.
    Originally posted by robk87

    Because I do. And I search MSE. And I can use Google.

    Here's a link provided by the government:
    https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview

    There are loads of other links.

    If I have been helpful please press the thanks button. Thank you
    "If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools"
    Extract from "If" by Rudyard Kipling
    • mrginge
    • By mrginge 9th Nov 12, 9:20 PM
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    mrginge
    The address on the agreement is the letting agent's address.
    Originally posted by robk87
    It doesnt matter.
    That is the address you have legally been provided with. Unless she tells you otherwise you send your letter there. If she doesn't get the letter, she can't defend the action. So you win and she gets a CCJ.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 9th Nov 12, 9:20 PM
    • 23,852 Posts
    • 27,065 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    Letting agent has no liability, you are contracted to the landlord so they must return your deposit. The landlord is contracted to the letting agent so they must chase their agent.

    - Will the letting agent give you the landlord's address via e-mail?
    - Download the land registry information for the house you were renting (£3), it may/ should have her address on
    - Is the landlord on the electoral roll?
    - Does the house have new tenants in? If so you might knock on the door and ask the tenants for the landlord's address or at the very least what letting agent she is using now.

    Texting is for your mates, not such a formal situation. If none of the above come up trumps will the landlord give you an e-mail address if you ask for it but don't tell her why? It's not ideal but you can use e-mails as evidence in court. Not sure you can serve papers at the rental house unless you think they are resident there, check with the county court don't assume.
    Last edited by Fire Fox; 09-11-2012 at 9:24 PM.
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 9th Nov 12, 9:22 PM
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    Fire Fox
    It doesnt matter.
    That is the address you have legally been provided with. Unless she tells you otherwise you send your letter there. If she doesn't get the letter, she can't defend the action. So you win and she gets a CCJ.
    Originally posted by mrginge
    Which the OP cannot action because they don't know where the landlady is. And the landlord can apply for a set aside on the basis the OP knowingly used a defunct address.
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
    • terryw
    • By terryw 9th Nov 12, 9:30 PM
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    terryw
    I agree with you Fire Fox. To be on the safe side, the OP should sent the letters to
    1. The landlord at the agents address
    2. The landlord at the dwelling address
    and
    3. The landlord at the address for service given in the Land Registry.

    4. The landlord at the address given by the new tenants.

    Obviously obtain certificates of posting.

    A bit of bother I know but it will show that business is intended.
    "If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools"
    Extract from "If" by Rudyard Kipling
    • terryw
    • By terryw 9th Nov 12, 9:38 PM
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    terryw
    Which the OP cannot action because they don't know where the landlady is. And the landlord can apply for a set aside on the basis the OP knowingly used a defunct address.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    True
    But if it does get to that stage (which is highly unlikely) then the "set aside" (even if granted) brings the landlord out into the open and with an address to be served.

    The OP needs to be firm with the landlord and point out that it is the landlord's responsibility to put the money into a scheme. If not (with much regret on his part) he must pursue the action against the landlord.
    "If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools"
    Extract from "If" by Rudyard Kipling
    • G_M
    • By G_M 9th Nov 12, 9:50 PM
    • 33,336 Posts
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    G_M
    Agreed :

    * landlady needs to understand SHE owns the property, the rent went to HER, and SHE is responsible for the deposit.
    * Is the LL's phone number a landline or mobile? Try cross-referencing Directory enquiries
    * Find LL adress via any/all the suggestions given and serve claim on her
    * ignore the agents
    • princeofpounds
    • By princeofpounds 9th Nov 12, 9:52 PM
    • 7,501 Posts
    • 9,826 Thanks
    princeofpounds
    OP, the advice you have received to claim against the LL and forget the LA is correct.

    However, not having a current address for the LL is a problem. You will find it exceptionally hard to claim unless you have one, especially when it comes to actually enforcing any judgment.

    You should not warn off the LL right away. Download the land registry title for the property (4 quid). Does it have a name and address? Failing that, can you 'trick' her into giving it to you somehow?

    Also, don't 'ring/ text'. Totally inappropriate method of communication for legal matters. Write a proper letter with proof of postage when it comes to that stage. Search the forum for 'letter before action' to understand what comes next.

    Finally for now, was the deposit protected in any scheme? If not, and presuming you are in England/wales, the landlord is liable for a stiff penalty, not just returning your money.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 9th Nov 12, 9:54 PM
    • 23,852 Posts
    • 27,065 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    True
    But if it does get to that stage (which is highly unlikely) then the "set aside" (even if granted) brings the landlord out into the open and with an address to be served.

    The OP needs to be firm with the landlord and point out that it is the landlord's responsibility to put the money into a scheme. If not (with much regret on his part) he must pursue the action against the landlord.
    Originally posted by terryw
    If the landlord doesn't apply for a set aside? The OP has a CCJ but no money. And what if the landlord applies for a set aside four years hence when the OP has moved twice more and cannot be located? It may be the OP has to use that address because there is no other but to me it is a last resort.
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
    • terryw
    • By terryw 10th Nov 12, 9:06 AM
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    • 5,975 Thanks
    terryw
    Yes but all highly unlikely. Formal letters sent as per my post 15 and contact with the council as per post 5 are likely to bring her out of the woodwork for starters.
    "If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools"
    Extract from "If" by Rudyard Kipling
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