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    • chockyice
    • By chockyice 6th Sep 17, 10:11 AM
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    chockyice
    Estate Agency Breach of Contract
    • #1
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:11 AM
    Estate Agency Breach of Contract 6th Sep 17 at 10:11 AM
    Hi,

    I am a landlord and lease my property through an estate agency. I pay the agency full maintenance cover so they are supposed to look after everything for me, which costs me £90 per month. However, the service they provide me is very poor as they never call me back when looking into something for me, this has happened numerous times before, which i have complained about. Also, they took money out of the rent i receive for work which they did not do and im still waiting for them to confirm they did the work. Finally, they are supposed to do routine checks on the property every 3 months but in the 2 years they have been looking after the property they have only done 2 checks which has been confirmed by the tenants.

    Where do i stand legally? Can i cancel the contract i have with them and claim the money back they have been charging me due to breach of contract? Please help.

    Many thanks,
Page 1
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 6th Sep 17, 10:17 AM
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    Guest101
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:17 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:17 AM
    Hi,

    I am a landlord and lease my property through an estate agency. I pay the agency full maintenance cover so they are supposed to look after everything for me, which costs me £90 per month. However, the service they provide me is very poor as they never call me back when looking into something for me, this has happened numerous times before, which i have complained about. - What does your contract say about this specific aspect? Does it say for example, we will notify the LL with-in 12 hours of any progress? Also, they took money out of the rent i receive for work which they did not do and im still waiting for them to confirm they did the work. - Why don't you ask your tenant? Finally, they are supposed to do routine checks on the property every 3 months but in the 2 years they have been looking after the property they have only done 2 checks which has been confirmed by the tenants. - So?

    Where do i stand legally? - So far there is not enough there to unwind the contract Can i cancel the contract i have with them - I don't know, I cant read the T&Cs from here and claim the money back they have been charging me due to breach of contract? - no. Please help.

    Many thanks,
    Originally posted by chockyice
    Breach of contract in the UK works on loss.


    So where is your loss?


    You MAY have a claim on works which they've charged for but not carried out, but equally you may not. It depends on the nature of that issue.


    Certainly you have yet to suffer any loss as a result of not inspecting.


    And Certainly it is unclear whether regular contact is a clause in your agreement.
    • chockyice
    • By chockyice 6th Sep 17, 10:25 AM
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    chockyice
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:25 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:25 AM
    Why don't you ask your tenant? - I have and they said that nobody has been out to check the gas for the past 6 months - which is what the agency are charging me for.

    So? - I pay for a service they are not carrying out. The contract states that the property will be inspected every 3 months but so far its once every 12 months.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 6th Sep 17, 10:29 AM
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    Guest101
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:29 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:29 AM
    Why don't you ask your tenant? - I have and they said that nobody has been out to check the gas for the past 6 months - which is what the agency are charging me for. - So you don't have a valid GSC? Better get one sorted asap.

    So? - I pay for a service they are not carrying out. The contract states that the property will be inspected every 3 months but so far its once every 12 months.
    Originally posted by chockyice


    And where is your loss? What amount do you claim?
    • Car1980
    • By Car1980 6th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
    • 233 Posts
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    Car1980
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
    Loss is a simplistic way of looking at it. Remedy is to also put the losing party in the same position as if the breach had not occurred, which would be a proportion of the £90 a month. If you are paying £1080 a year and parts of the promised service is not being delivered, 25% would equate to £270 a year. You'd have to work out and justify what percentage of the fee is money for nothing.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 6th Sep 17, 10:56 AM
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    Guest101
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:56 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:56 AM
    Loss is a simplistic way of looking at it. Remedy is to also put the losing party in the same position as if the breach had not occurred, which would be a proportion of the £90 a month. If you are paying £1080 a year and parts of the promised service is not being delivered, 25% would equate to £270 a year. You'd have to work out and justify what percentage of the fee is money for nothing.
    Originally posted by Car1980


    The inspections would not make up 25% of the service, not in a million years.


    Remedy - the OP is in the same position had the breach not occurred....
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 6th Sep 17, 11:39 AM
    • 959 Posts
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    saajan_12
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 11:39 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 11:39 AM
    Breach of contract in the UK works on loss.
    ..

    Certainly you have yet to suffer any loss as a result of not inspecting.
    Originally posted by Guest101
    Surely you should be able to claim for goods/services not provided.

    By your logic, if you paid for a rollercoaster ride and they felt like not opening it that day, you have no financial loss so no claim. If you paid for a toy and they refused to hand it over, you have no financial loss so no claim.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 6th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
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    Guest101
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
    Surely you should be able to claim for goods/services not provided. - You mean the inspection or the GSC? The Inspection, you would need to prove that as a result of this you had suffered a detriment (commonly a financial loss). So they fail to do inspection, the house actually has mould in it and you have to pay to have it remedied. You could then claim that cost (or likely a percentage of it). The GSC you would pay for one and claim that amount back. (if you were fined by HSE, you could also claim that back)

    By your logic, if you paid for a rollercoaster ride and they felt like not opening it that day, you have no financial loss so no claim. - well you would have the cost of the ticket to claim back? BUT typically you pay to access the whole theme park, not the single ride. So you would need to show that, in your example, you left straight away making no use of any other services. If you paid for a toy and they refused to hand it over, you have no financial loss so no claim.
    Originally posted by saajan_12


    Of course you have a financial loss, because those are goods. The cost of the toy.


    Deminis non curat lex. The courts do not bother themselves with trivial matters - a technical breach of the contract with no loss is not enough to void a contract and recover fees.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 6th Sep 17, 12:01 PM
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    saajan_12
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 12:01 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 12:01 PM
    Of course you have a financial loss, because those are goods. The cost of the toy.


    Deminis non curat lex. The courts do not bother themselves with trivial matters - a technical breach of the contract with no loss is not enough to void a contract and recover fees.
    Originally posted by Guest101
    Iím not talking about whether the contract should be voided, I mean is there a claim for breach of (part of) the contract.

    Youíre now suggesting two reasons
    1. The inspections are a trivial / small part of the contract. Okay, so the percentage of the contract up for debate. Simplify by considering a contract for just inspections in return for a fee (however small).
    2. Failure to perform the inspections has no financial loss. If the loss from the ride is the cost of the ticket, then the loss from the inspections is the amount paid for the inspections part of the contract.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 6th Sep 17, 12:53 PM
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    Guest101
    Iím not talking about whether the contract should be voided, I mean is there a claim for breach of (part of) the contract.

    Youíre now suggesting two reasons
    1. The inspections are a trivial / small part of the contract. - Yes indeed. Okay, so the percentage of the contract up for debate. Simplify by considering a contract for just inspections in return for a fee (however small). - possibly. The problem is that the agent quotes a management fee for the whole package. They could in theory be dealing with calls everyday, repairs every week, or whatever. But they wont charge extra for that. They quote based upon an average. A quote for just inspections may not be a fair analysis of how the fees break down.
    2. Failure to perform the inspections has no financial loss. If the loss from the ride is the cost of the ticket, then the loss from the inspections is the amount paid for the inspections part of the contract. - Each case is judged on it's own merits, so read what I said again. If you bought a ticket to the theme park, went solely to that ride, saw it was closed and left immediately, and you could convince a judge that was the only reason to go, you may have a claim.
    Originally posted by saajan_12
    I disagree it's a loss. They have breached the contract, but it's not a core term. The core term is to manage the tenancy in exchange for a % of the rent.


    Now that said, obviously on some level they aren't doing that and it would be worth exploring ending the contract, but I don't know what the termination clauses are.


    But I doubt that it would be possible to sufficiently distinguish the inspection part from the overall fee.
    • bob bank spanker
    • By bob bank spanker 6th Sep 17, 12:58 PM
    • 538 Posts
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    bob bank spanker
    I disagree it's a loss. They have breached the contract, but it's not a core term. The core term is to manage the tenancy in exchange for a % of the rent.


    Now that said, obviously on some level they aren't doing that and it would be worth exploring ending the contract, but I don't know what the termination clauses are.


    But I doubt that it would be possible to sufficiently distinguish the inspection part from the overall fee.
    Originally posted by Guest101
    Not sure why you brought losses or voiding of contracts into this, doesn't seem at all relevant. I would have thought given your wealth of legal expertise that you could see the OP is making a claim for specific performance, one I think they are perfectly entitled to make.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 6th Sep 17, 1:00 PM
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    steampowered
    Can you sack this letting agent and move your business to another?

    Or are you stuck under a long term contract?
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 6th Sep 17, 1:03 PM
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    steampowered
    Not sure why you brought losses or voiding of contracts into this, doesn't seem at all relevant. I would have thought given your wealth of legal expertise that you could see the OP is making a claim for specific performance, one I think they are perfectly entitled to make.
    Originally posted by bob bank spanker
    Specific performance is not available for this type of contract. SP is available for example where you have a contract to purchase something unique such as a piece of land or a particular painting. The courts won't order SP of a generic service.

    I agree with guest101 that the Op is unlikely to be able to claim any damages back from the agent, because the Op cannot prove loss - which is required for a meaningful breach of contract claim.

    The best option is to sack this letting agent and move to another.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 6th Sep 17, 1:04 PM
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    Guest101
    Not sure why you brought losses or voiding of contracts into this, doesn't seem at all relevant. I would have thought given your wealth of legal expertise that you could see the OP is making a claim for specific performance, one I think they are perfectly entitled to make.
    Originally posted by bob bank spanker
    Because the OP asked about voiding the contract? And because they have suffered no loss.

    Any financial claim which was the original question, as I've explained, would be incredibly difficult to prove. I brought up losses, as that is typically much easier to prove.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Sep 17, 1:33 PM
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    G_M
    Good grief. The OP is paying for a service (though one would need to read the contract to be sure what that service is) and is either not getting it, or is not satisfied with the quality of service.

    dump the agent.

    Read:


    * Letting agents: how should a landlord select or sack?
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