When Letting Agents Don’t Pass On Rent To Landlords

Letting Agent Keeping Rent

I received an email earlier that virtually got my blood boiling. While reading the email I started to grit my teeth and develop mental images of certain greaseballs in cheap and oversized suits being stoned with giant rocks…

I have a property currently let by a local agent over 2 months ago. As far as I am aware the tenant is paying the rent yet the agency has not passed any money on to me.

I have contacted them regularly over the past 10 weeks and constantly get fobbed off by junior members of staff with promises of call back’s and despite leaving multiple messages, I have still not herd back from anyone as to why I have not been paid. i am now at the end of my tether and i am wondering what recourse I have against the agency. Is this something you have come across?

Many thanks,

10 weeks and no payment and no callbacks? Excuse me? What? Some people need to be kicked in the throat Jackie Chan style… or handled Mob style…

Debt Collection

I can’t imagine how frustrated the landlord must be; I know if I was in that situation I would be livid. I’m actually surprised the landlord has been so cavalier about the situation. I would have been banging on the agent’s door with a blunt spoon when payment overdue by 2 weeks. The blunt spoon being my weapon of choice to pierce their hearts.

My gut feeling tells me that they’re holding back payment because they’re in a dire financial situation. Of course, that’s just speculation. But I honestly can’t think of any other logical explanation. Either way, not-fucking-acceptable.

If I were in that situation, what would I do?

  • I’d get in contact with the tenant to confirm he/she has been making regular payments.
  • I’d forget the phone calls to the agency; I wouldn’t waste anymore time on what hasn’t worked. The only thing a phone would be useful for in this situation is to beat down the agent’s door, and then their heads.

    I would literally go banging on the door, demanding to talk to the manager. I would then ask 1) why my payments have been ridiculously delayed 2) why no ones called back after leaving several messages 3) why they are such unprofessional cock-faces, and then I would demand for my money on a silver platter.

  • I would terminate my contract with the agency immediately. They haven’t stuck to their end of the bargain, so why should I?
  • I would talk directly to the tenant and explain the situation, and then advise them to pay directly to me from now on, and direct all property management concerns to me as I would be taking over the show. I would be saving a load of money, and plus they’ll be no more shit from the middle-man.
  • I would find out which government-approved redress scheme they are a member of (all agents are legally required to be a member of one), and then lodge an official complaint with them.
  • Having failed all of the above, I would go to my solicitor and start chalking up a master plan.

I definitely wouldn’t rest easy with this cowboy agency. Well, certainly not until I received full payment, assuming they haven’t liquidated. Needless to say, if they are still operating, I would pull the plug on using their services, and perhaps throw a few eggs/bricks at their windows (only joking, kinda’).

I’ve had my fair share of problems with dodgy letting agents and that’s why I don’t use them anymore. Or, at least, I don’t use traditional high-street letting agents. In the most recent years I’ve used online letting agents to purely source tenant leads, and then I’ve taken care of the viewings and management myself. Not only have I managed my properties and tenants infinitely better than the agents I have used in the past, but I’ve also saved a shitload on agency fees! I’ve never been more content.

Just to clarify, I’m not saying that all agents are bad news, but I am saying that the one’s I have dealt with have left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth. I’ve never managed to receive value for money, and let’s face it; they need to provide a pretty solid service to justify their extortionate costs. If you’re in the market for a good letting agent, you may want to have a sniff around my guide on finding a good letting agent.

What would you do if you were in that situation? More importantly, has anyone ever been in this situation?

22 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Wendy 13th June, 2008 @ 14:04

I also have a property which was let through a letting agent.

The letting agent has done a runner and shut shop. I am now owed one months rent plus the deposit as they held it and insured it with TDLS. As a landlady I am still liable for the deposit, which I dont have.

The tenants are now withholding rent as they say that we have their deposit.

Its makes me sick that people can screw you around and I have no rights.

It would be good to hear your thoughts on my situation.


Guest Avatar
jon 19th June, 2008 @ 11:42

I also was dealing with a letting agency with my property, when i was not paid last months rent i immediately phoned the office, only to be redirected to an accountants. Although I questioned the accountants was not told anything about the company, but checking various web site found out the letting company was going through liquidation. I did manage to get through to the manager of the office (by Mobile) and was asured that i would get my money (still waiting?).On finding out this information i went and spoke to my tenant and told them not to pay anymore money to the agency and has also agreed to continue with the let but is also worried about his bond. now the question is am i liable for their bond? even though its in a secured account? am i still bound by the agreement with the agency?

Guest Avatar
jon 19th June, 2008 @ 11:55

I thought that bonds in secured accounts can be retrieved? is not that the idea of having it placed in a secured account so that it does not fall in the wrong hands?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 19th June, 2008 @ 22:22

Hey Jon,

You're still bound by the agreement if the company is still trading. From what I understand, it still is...

When you say "bond", i'm assuming that you're referring to a tenancy deposit scheme, right? If so, then a third party will be holding those funds, and that money will be safe. You should find out what kind of scheme the money is tied up in, and find out which company was appointed to handle it...

Please keep me informed.

Kind regards

Guest Avatar
Wendy 21st June, 2008 @ 00:18

Just found out that as my tenants bond was insured by TDSL otherwise known as mydeposits, the agents or landlords keep the tenants deposit. TDSL act a mediator if anything goes wrong, but TDSL arent paying out to the tenant as they say I am fully liable for the deposit and obviously still around. The company is useless and making money from joining fees from agents. Basicaly, I have been screwed by the agents and that TDSL doesnt really serve much function. The tenants deposit isnt safe with your agent if they go bust and they have kept it. The safest option is to either keep the bond yourself or join the custodial scheme. Bastards....

Guest Avatar
K Fitzpatrick 28th April, 2009 @ 13:54

I terminated Just Letting's services for the very same reason. Every month rents are paid over very, very late. Now, in the notice period I am struggling to get the last months rent in - it's more than 3 weeks late - the tenants paid as they always do and I'm worried about their deposit. Just Letting Northgate wont return my calls or reply to my emails.....

Guest Avatar
Marlene van der Wath 21st August, 2009 @ 14:48

Your experience with Just Letting sounds like my story, I have searched the web for others with complaints and found a lot. I have terminated my contract with Just Letting at Nortgate but I want them to be stopped! They should not be allowed to run a service for rentals. They still have not aknowledged my e-mails to confirm that our contract is cancelled. They never produced any statements in the 9 months I had the misfortune of dealing with them, and never ever returned any calls, and lied blatantly about when the payed in my rent. I want them up and out! Consumers should be protected against agents like this. Shameful!!! Is there a body or board of some kind that I can lay a complaint to about this agency? Not fair to have them give letting agents a bad name!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st August, 2009 @ 14:56

Hey Marlene,

The problem with the industry is that there isn't much regulation. However, if your letting agent is registered with an approved redness scheme, you can take matters further. Follow this link for more details: Use Letting Agents That Are Registered With An Approved Redress Scheme For Consumer Protection.

Kind regards

Guest Avatar
Amanda 21st January, 2013 @ 16:10

My agent seems to have gone missing - with owing rent and deposit - would he have insurance to cover the deposit - or am I wasting my time going legal?

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Fuzzy 11th November, 2013 @ 14:43

What happens if the tennant doesn't pay the rent due to mitigating circumstances. Does the Letting Agency pay up or is that down to the landlord to have payment protection from Insurance???

In a nutshell: Does letting agencies cover rent being paid???

Guest Avatar
Framed 12th October, 2014 @ 17:55

My son and his family live in a rental property managed by a letting agent. His 12 month tenancy expires in less than a month but he has not heard from the landlord or agent about the option to renew or vacate.
Are they in breach not to have approached my son. And should he request the tenancy continue on a month by month agreement?
Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Guest Avatar
Landlord 20th March, 2015 @ 19:55

Jackson Rose in Coventry and Leamington Spa owe me and others lots of money. They failed to register my tenant's deposits and owe me rent money even though they issued me a rental statement showing that they had paid me - Fraud!

The police are on to them - they are currently hiding behind liquidated companies and still trading under the same name, but if the police decide to go after them, there's nowhere to hide - let's hope we all get our money back and they are out of business for good!

Stay clear of this lot in Coventry and Leamington Spa.

Guest Avatar
Ros Porter 10th February, 2016 @ 09:51

A letting agent has gone with my tenants deposit and also owing me rent.
The tenant agreed to stay with me.I have since found out that the agent was taken to court for using the monies from the deposits. A few years down the line the tenant has given notice as they are moving into their own house.Iam fully aware that Iam responsible for the deposit that they lost but who is going to pay my rent loss also the tenant has declined the offer of more than half of their deposit being returned to them I have withheld a sum for repairs, and now Iam being taken to court because they are also looking for compensation.

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S.jaswal (landlord ) 10th January, 2018 @ 14:03

Dear sir, I have a very serious problem with a letting agent who has rented my 1-bedroom flat on 22/05/17 for one year.since May he has not paying me rent on time( always4to5weeks in arrears).according to contract agreement,he must pay rent to landlord within 10 days from receipt of rent.tenant is paying rent on time.now he has not paid me no rent for over two months .i tried my best to sort out with agent but all the time he keeps on lying all the time.can I approach tenant legally to pay me rent directly.

Guest Avatar
Janet 30th April, 2018 @ 12:06

The question s. jaswall asked regarding can a landlord approach tenant and ask to be paid directly, because i to have problens with agents withholding rent and lyeing to me, i pay them £75. Per month supposedly to do away with the stress

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broyle 14th December, 2018 @ 22:11

My landlord asked me to pay the rent direct to him because he estate agents not paying can we do this

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Steve 2nd April, 2019 @ 21:11

I am a landlord using a Letting agent. The agent is constantly late in paying me my rent and in March I have been paid £550 too little. He does not have an office, does not reply to emails and does not answer the phone. I cannot contact him in any way. Can I ask the tenant to pay me directly and can I immeduately terminate my contract with the agent? Please advise.

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Chris 16th July, 2019 @ 09:34

I used an agent I thought my property had deteriorated when I walked by I asked for a landlords inspection (it was on full management) and I was told the tenant was on holiday, I waited for the agreed date on a cold winters day at 4.30 pm I am an OAP and the agent came and said the tenant must have forgotten, I asked for a key to be brought from the office or i'd call a locksmith. When we went in the tenant had gone the agent had lied to me the local council deemed it uninhabitable I had to borrow £42,000.00+ to refurbish it the agent had been sending false accounts its a disgrace as these large firms won't be accountable for their actions and how do one afford to take these utter crooks to the small claims court ? They have their fancy lawyers it's daylight robbery and the sad thing is decent landlords take the flack and it's bad tenants and agent's that don't inspect and trading standards are not interested they would put a kid into court for duplicating something they just look after the wrong people the tenant had been dealing class A drugs known to the police who also weren't interested ?

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Marie Otigba 16th March, 2021 @ 17:53

I signed up with a Assetgrove Lettings Limited . They always paid late, come January 2021, February 2021 - no money and they pay in arrears, meaning that the owe me 3 months rent by end of March 2021, it will be 4 months rent owed. They council continues to pay them, and neither Tenant, Council nor managing agent will speak with me. I filed a claim with MCOL against the letting Management agent. They are still trading - So nervous and worried. I sent them the copies via email - because of covid-19, their offices are closed.

There is no protection for landlords out there - NOTHING. Best to begin legal action by week 3 of non payment of rent. They are nasty ...and of course, expose them. Threaten them with social media exposure as well if the site is still live.

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Michelle 25th March, 2021 @ 20:09

I am a tenant. I paid my rent to an agency but have now got arrears. The agency have lost several payments. I emailed proof of payments they lost to be told we will sort it. Landlord took all his property off them and I find out its worse than I thought and it looks like more payments have gone missing. I don't think it's fair on my Landlord. As a tenant How can I get him the money I paid.

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zakir chowdhury 13th May, 2021 @ 19:56

My age is not paying the rent on time every month , can I ask my tenant to pay me directly ?, Can I terminate my contract with The agent with immediate effect immediate effect?

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Padrone di casa 4th August, 2021 @ 09:50

This blog reminds me of the terrible days when we used an agent. The head of that horrible mob went to prison for fraud, but I'd rather he'd have worked and been made to pay us all back, than sit twiddling his thumbs in a cell for 9 months.

In this situation, I'd contact the tenants, get them to start paying me directly immediately and then deal with the fall out with the agent a bit later.

We still have a couple of legacy tenants that were installed by the agent - they are worst tenants we have, constantly whiney, usually sullen and in arrears. How I long for them to go, but I know we're lumbered for life unless we evict.

















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