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Concerned that letting agents might be trying to set me up for their losing the keys to apartment

I moved out over a month ago, sent the keys back only a few days after via signed for recorded.

I have taken screenshots of the tracking confirming picture of the parcel and signature.

I also asked for confirmation from my managing agents, who are different from the letting agents, asking if they can tell me if the letting agents received the keys. The managing agents come back to me saying yes the letting agents have received the keys. I also saved this image.

They were not going to commence the moveout process since I gave notice long before the final day of the tenancy and they said they would only do it after it officially ended which would be weeks from that date.

So several weeks pass and I get an email from the letting agents asking if I have sent the keys and if so what they look like. stating that they received some keys but there was no message in them to say which apartment they have no way of knowing whose they are. I replied detailing what the keys looked like and didn't put a message in for security as if anyone opened it they would know exactly where to go.

Now it has been a week or more and neither the letting agents or the managing agents are responding to my requests for an update on this.

Due to the lack of response I am getting concerned they may try and 'stitch me up' and say that it is my fault they don't have the keys or they never received when they have actually lost them. Also I do remember in the move out email I got that it said something about if the keys were not returned you would still be liable to pay rent.

Is there anything to be concerned about on my end given I have the above evidence of them saying they received the keys both from the royal mail tracking and the managing agent confirming the letting agent had confirmed with them they had them?

Comments

  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,832 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 30 August 2023 at 8:11AM
    You have proof that you sent them. You have proof they signed for them.

    They are on a hiding to nothing, the fact they have lost them at their end is their responsibility and not yours.

    Have you had the deposit back yet?
  • la531983 said:


    Have you had the deposit back yet?
    No, they will not do the move out check which would commence the process for receiving the deposit so nothing is going forward since they aren't responding. Could I raise a case with the deposit adjudicators at this stage?

  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,832 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    la531983 said:


    Have you had the deposit back yet?
    No, they will not do the move out check which would commence the process for receiving the deposit so nothing is going forward since they aren't responding. Could I raise a case with the deposit adjudicators at this stage?

    Are you not able to request it back yourself without them initiating the process?

    https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/is-my-deposit-protected/

  • GervisLooper
    GervisLooper Posts: 162 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 30 August 2023 at 9:00AM
    I have not officially asked for it back yet. Usually my previous couple of tenancies I ended up using the scheme for different reasons - one or two it wasn't protected, another was a shambles and they didn't respond and got back by default. In others they did the checks in good time and usually try and claw a big amount of the deposit for silly things.

    In this case I had just been waiting for them to do the move out check but since that does not seem to be happening I see I will have to be proactive about it. Should I email them first to ask for it back before going through the protection program?
    la531983 said:
    la531983 said:


    Have you had the deposit back yet?
    No, they will not do the move out check which would commence the process for receiving the deposit so nothing is going forward since they aren't responding. Could I raise a case with the deposit adjudicators at this stage?

    Are you not able to request it back yourself without them initiating the process?

    https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/is-my-deposit-protected/



  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,832 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    I would just initiate it yourself, its been a month as you say. If they have an issue they will block it and at that point you can use the dispute resolution procedure.
  • la531983 said:
    I would just initiate it yourself, its been a month as you say. If they have an issue they will block it and at that point you can use the dispute resolution procedure.

    I just had a quick read of the citizens advice and sent the 'official' request via email as it has advised and if they don't respond in a couple of days I can initiate via dispute. Even with disputes it says you have to show you tried to request it by normal means I think so have done that via email to prove I attempted.

    The tenancy only ended on the 20th of this month. This is because, even though I had moved out, I had not been in time to give my notice for that same month.

    So I guess they have lost the keys and aren't able to complete the checks which is why they are dragging their feet but giving that official message requesting deposit should encourage a response and if not go via protection scheme.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,934 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Did they not have a spare set of keys anyway?
  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,832 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    user1977 said:
    Did they not have a spare set of keys anyway?
    Exactly this, this all sounds like a poor excuse.
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,389 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 30 August 2023 at 10:46AM


    So several weeks pass and I get an email from the letting agents asking if I have sent the keys and if so what they look like. stating that they received some keys but there was no message in them to say which apartment they have no way of knowing whose they are. I replied detailing what the keys looked like and didn't put a message in for security as if anyone opened it they would know exactly where to go.


    Just as an aside - did you literally just put the keys in an envelope - with no message whatsoever and no info (eg a reference or code) on the key fob - and post them to the letting agent?

    The letting agent probably manages dozens of properties, plus arranges dozens of viewings, plus does market appraisals of other properties, etc. 

    If you really did do that, how did you expect them to know which property the keys belong to?  Did you by any chance...
    • Ask the letting agent for a reference number or code to include with the keys?
    • Add a note with your name and mobile number - so they could phone you to find out what the keys were for?
    • Tell them in advance that the keys would be arriving on a particular day, or phone them on the day they received the keys to explain?

    I moved out over a month ago, sent the keys back only a few days after via signed for recorded.


    Or did you literally wait over a month, before telling them that you had sent the keys back?

    A month would be a long time for the letting agent to hold on to a mysterious set of keys - hoping that somebody might phone them to explain. 

    Hopefully, they did something like put them in something equivalent to a "lost property" box - and they'll be able to find them.



  • As you have proof of the confirmation that the keys arrived AND the agents received them, you'll be fine. However, it's a good life lesson to add information to the envelope you send with the keys. How could they possibly know which property the keys belong to if they receive nothing else in the envelope?? If you didn't want to add the address, you should've added your name (at the very least) so they had some way of telling who they were from, without playing a puzzle game. 
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