What Is A Letting Agent Responsible For (A Landlord’s Perspective)?

Letting Agent Responsibility

What is a letting agent responsible for?

If you boil the question down to the core, this is the answer you’d probably expect:

A letting agent is responsible for managing properties for private landlords.

Depending on the level of service acquired, the agent’s responsibilities can include finding tenants, collecting rent, and fully managing the tenancy.

But the reality is, it’s not that simple (even though it should be); there’s a lot of misconceptions about what a letting agent is and isn’t responsible, and that’s precisely why I’m taking on this silly little question…

My assumption is, if you’re a landlord trying to enlighten yourself on this subject matter, you’re either looking for an agent and trying to decipher ‘how much bang you’ll get for your buck’ before splurging on the hired help, or you’re in disputes with one (and now you’re trying to find out if they’re responsible for whatever is you’re bickering about). If it’s the latter, you may also want to jump over to the blog post where I discuss how to make a complaint against your letting agent (but only after you’re done in here).

If you asked me what letting agents were responsible for 10 years ago (before I became a landlord), my answer would be completely different than today’s. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even think I was answering the same question. It would be like comparing apples with dildos. (Yup, that’s the level you should expect.)

So why isn’t a straightforward question to answer? Well, just like most other industries that want to remain profitable in this day and age; letting agents are now offering digital/online solutions, so the game has been completely flipped on its head. To clarify, that’s a good thing for the consumer!

Page contents

The Landlord = Client

Firstly, just to be clear, the landlord is the letting agent’s client, and not the tenant. Landlords pay the service fees, so that means Letting agents are contractually obliged to put the landlord’s best interests first.

What is a letting agent NOT responsible for?

I think it’s equally as important to discuss what a letting agent is NOT responsible for.

Actually, scrap that, it’s more important, because there’s too many common misconceptions floating around about what agents are responsible for, and that’s why agents aren’t short of disgruntled customers.

Who’s to blame? Are agents mis-selling, or are consumers just failing to do their homework and expecting too much? I suspect there’s a little bit of both going on.

Anyways, putting aside the finger-pointing, generally speaking agents aren’t responsible for the following (even if they say they are as part of their sales pitch)…

  • Landlord legal responsibilities – it is always the landlord’s responsibility to ensure their legal obligations are met.

    Every good agent will guide and advise accordingly to ensure their customer (the landlord) is legally compliant, but in the event of a shortcoming, the landlord will almost always be held responsible in the eyes of the law.

    While I don’t want to go nose-diving into what letting agents are notoriously known for, which is, to be snake-oil salesmen that massively overcharge and spectacularly under-deliver, that has been the unfortunate reality for a few bazillion people, and in order to give some perspective I need to be transparent by saying there’s often a massive difference what is promised/expected and what is delivered.

    So my point is, while many agents will initially say they’ll help ensure you’re ticking all the legal boxes, when it boils down it, you won’t be able to escape responsibility if you fall short. To be specific, the landlord is liable for everything done by the agent – so long as this comes within the ambit of his ‘ostensible authority’. Here’s a nice blog over at the Landlord Law blog which explains it in more detail.

  • Rent arrears & problem tenants – yup, same as above!

    While an agent should do their utmost to find decent and respectful tenants that pay rent on time and keep the property clean and tidy, unfortunately if the tenant crosses over to the dark-side and goes rogue, it’s not the agents’ responsibility.

    Of course, every good agent will try their best to resolve the situation (assuming you’ve opted in for a fully managed service). But ultimately, the burden is on you.

On a side note, you wouldn’t be totally mindless for shuffling through my guide on how to choose a good letting agent if you’re currently in the market for one. Due diligence is most definitely required, and it will help avoid a buttload of misfortunes.

Different types of agents and services

Ok, so now we know what agents aren’t responsible for, let’s move onto the services they offer!

I think the golden rule to remember is that every letting agent is different, and each agent tailor their own products based on their own set of variables. For example, ‘Letting Agent A’ may offer a fully managed service that includes a property inventory, but ‘Letting Agent B’ also offers a fully managed service, but they don’t include an inventory.

There’s no set standard, so before signing the dotted line, ensure you know exactly what you’re paying for (and not necessarily assume you’ll get what you expect).

Online letting agent services

More and more landlords are ditching the traditional high-street agent for the shiny new and significantly cheaper online letting agents, and it’s actually due to the rise of online agents for why the responsibilities of a letting agent have become somewhat unrecognisable from some years ago.

I won’t bother regurgitating the details of what, where or how an online agent works, but I will quickly recite the basics: an online agent works similarly to a high-street agent, but the main difference (besides from the price-tag) is that an online agent doesn’t have a psychical presence on the high-street, so you can’t just walk into a local branch. They operate out of a central office and provide support through email and telephone.

If you’ve been living under a rock and unfamiliar with the whole concept, I strongly encourage you to, at the very least, flick through my guide to online letting agents. You genuinely may end up saving yourself a small fortune.

So, how is that relevant? Ok, I was just getting to that!

Depending on which type of agent you decide to work with (online or high-street), the responsibilities generally vary, even though the goal is the same (i.e. to help landlords manage their rentals to whichever level is required).

General responsibilities

Here are a list of the general responsibilities you should expect from all letting agents, regardless of type, or what service you’re opting for:

  • All letting agents are legally obligated to be a member of one of three government-approved letting agency redress schemes, and each scheme defines a code of conduct, which they must abide by! Basically, they must provide a good and fair service.

    Failing to do so can lead to penalties and other kinds of bad stuff.

  • Guidance on tenancy agreements.
  • Guidance on landlord legal responsibilities.
  • Provide general knowledge about tenancies.
  • Best practises

Letting services & responsibilities explained

Yes, each agent is different, and each agent tailor their own products, but there common products/services among letting agents, which include a lot of the same features, and they’re the ones’ I’m going to discuss below, so you get an idea of what responsibilities letting agents take on…

Tenant-find service

Overview: this service only includes finding tenants and creating a legally binding tenancy agreement.

However, it’s important to note that a ‘tenant-find service’ provided by a high-street agent is generally very different from an online agent.

A High-street Agent’s ‘tenant-find’ service typically includes:

  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Photography and Floor Plans
  • Tenant viewings
  • Tenant Referencing & credit checks
  • Tenancy contracts
  • Inventory

An Online Agent’s ‘tenant-find’ service typically includes:

  • Advertising & Marketing (on Rightmove & Zoopla)
  • Photography and Floor Plans (this is usually charged as an optional extra, approx £100)
  • Lead generation (i.e. the online agent sends the landlord leads from prospective tenants, and then the landlord takes the viewings)
  • Tenant Referencing & credit checks
  • Tenancy contracts

You see the distinct difference, right? Good, good!

Please note, some online and high-street agents offer much more elaborate “tenant-find” services, which comes with a bunch more features! I just covered what I believe to be the core basics.

Yes, you’re definitely expected to do more of the ‘legwork’ with an online agent, but that’s reflected in the massive price difference. I mean, shhhiiiit, you can currently try an online agent for free, no strings attached, while the average high-street agent will charge the crap out of you with a price tag of 8-10% of the annual rent. Ouch!

Once again, here’s my guide on online letting agents if you want to know more (which you really should at this point!).

Fully managed service

Overview: this service includes the full management of the tenancy, from finding tenants to the day-to-day management.

As with tenant-find services, while online agents do offer fully managed solutions, the service is generally different from a high-street agents, so I’ll quickly cover both:

A High-street Agent’s ‘fully-managed’ service typically includes:

  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Photography and Floor Plans
  • Tenant viewings
  • Tenant referencing & credit checks
  • Inventory
  • Tenancy contracts
  • Register tenancy deposit
  • Rent collection
  • Regular property inspections
  • Maintenance handling & co-ordination
  • Notice processing
  • Final inspection & deposit dispute handling

An Online Agent’s ‘fully-managed’ service typically includes:

  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Photography and Floor Plans
  • Lead generation (i.e. the agent will send the landlord leads of prospective tenants, and then the landlord takes the viewings)
  • Tenant referencing & credit checks
  • Tenancy contracts
  • Register tenancy deposit
  • Rent collection
  • Maintenance handling & co-ordination
  • Notice processing
  • Deposit dispute handling

The major difference you’ll notice is that most online agents don’t include any of the in-person services, like viewings and property inspections. But once again, that’s reflected in the price; you can currently get an fully-managed letting service from an online agent for £35 per month, while a high-street agent typically charges between 12-14% of the annual rent.

Letting agent Terms & Conditions

Remember, and I can’t emphasise this enough, always read the terms and conditions of your agreement with your letting agent before signing on the dotted line!

Everything your agent is responsible for should be written in your contract with your agent, and if it’s not, then it’s unlikely to be included in the service (despite what you may or may not have been told).

59 Join the Conversation...

Showing 9 - 59 comments (out of 59)
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st February, 2019 @ 13:07

Yeah, I completely sympathise with your situation!

From what I'm aware, bailiffs can't "force" entry.

I informed Companies House. Maybe this article on the GOV website will help you: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reporting-fraud-about-a-company-to-companies-house/reporting-fraud-to-companies-house--2

Guest Avatar
Rachel 1st February, 2019 @ 15:59

Thanks, that's so helpful. I sent a coment via the companies house website but the fraud line seems as though it might be a more effective route. Thanks for your guidance and quick responses which are much appreciated.

Guest Avatar
Clo 27th April, 2019 @ 12:33

Tenant has fallen down common stairs said light broken can he sue Agent or should he sue landlord

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James benson 12th June, 2019 @ 10:33

Hi, I paid my estate agent a finders fee to find me a tenant for my property , they didn’t tell me he run a k9 dog Business . Plus they put down the tenant was living with there family, so there is no guarantor or no history . Is this normal ? Why didn’t they have references from any landlords or anyone else as guarantors. Is it a legal requirement To have guarantors or what. I’m not that smart at all this . I said no pets in my property , they have 20 k9 dogs and are running a Business from my home. Not paying rent , I have nicked everything from the property as it was fully furnished . Absolutely destroyed everything . The estate agent failed to tell me so much information what I knew , was they require to tell me all the information on what I knew ? Please if can help as they still have not left the property

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James benson 12th June, 2019 @ 10:36

I mean they have nicked all my furniture as it was fully furnished property . I don’t know what to do . I’ve served him a section 8 . But they are causing so much damage Plus not paying rent.

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alison 12th August, 2019 @ 11:08

HHelp, I rent a commercial property and water has been coming inform outside. The estate agents are more concerned about the damage it is doing to the floor and electrics which we are responsible for. But my argument is that the damage is caused from water coming from above and outside but they don't believe me because the property upstairs has been empty for a few months. Can any one give me some idea of responsibility please ? Im so upset with this agency she has no duty of care to us what so ever and we have had nothing but rudeness from her, Today she has asked to come round to see the demage for the landlord but we haven't caused it the building its self is obviously not weather proof. Help

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Terry 11th October, 2019 @ 07:20

Our agent has now married our Tennant so is agent and Tennant is this legal?

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Tina 24th October, 2019 @ 07:09

I use letting agents to manage couple of my properties. Now I want to take management off them,as the charge is too much for me to cope with, so I have asked them to serve my tenants section 21 giving them 2 months notice, but I still want the tenants to remain in the property after 2months. The agent are charging me and the tenants fees to do this.
They are insisting on tenant to hand over keys to them after moving their stuff out of the property for inspection.
What can I do to retain the tenants and taking management off my letting agent, they have not manages anything for me.
Please help me.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 24th October, 2019 @ 07:37

Hi @Tina,
What does your contract with the agent say in regards to retaining the tenants at the end of the tenancy?

If the letting agent is in England, it's illegal for them to be charging tenancy renewal fees. Refer to the tenancy fees act.

Guest Avatar
Rose Smith 25th October, 2019 @ 10:01


I am looking for a professional and reliable maintenance company to renovate my 2 properties before tenants move in.
Unfortunately, It has been very hard for me to find a company that can do the job correctly.

Any advice, tips...?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th October, 2019 @ 10:03

Hi @Rose
Have you tried looking on websites like www.checkatrade.com? I find that's often a good place to look.

Guest Avatar
Merith Smith 25th October, 2019 @ 12:24

I have found a contractor on check a trade, I am currently in a court process against him, so careful, checkatrade does not guarantee the contractor as I though. I am using someone good now if you need.

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Rose 25th October, 2019 @ 12:39

Hi @The Landlord,

Unfortunately I have to agree with @Merith they are not reliable at all, I’m done with those websites I rather to pay more and have a better service than to waste my money with a bunch of amateurs.

Guest Avatar
Danny 29th October, 2019 @ 02:39

Hi, I d be very grateful if you could please provide your advice and opinion on this issue.

My letting agent agreed with the tenant to terminate their 12 month fixed term tenancy agreement 6 months early. Without my knowledge and neglected to add such terms as the tenants must remain in the property whilst another tenant was found - otherwise they would be liable for rent.
The agent and tenant did however agree that the costs to find the new tenant would be paid by the current tenant (this was prior to fee ban).

Later the tenant abandoned the property taking with her the keys and broke this agreement. So I was forced to take legal action via Small Claims Court. Despite many requests covering over a year the Agent refused to provide me with copies of correspondences with the tenant, information and details for me to supply to the Court to support my claim. The claim was dismissed by the Court.

So my question is are, or were the Agents in breach of their duty of care and contractual obligations to myself?

Thank you.

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Mr B, landlord 8th November, 2019 @ 18:10

I would appreciate your advice on two issues regarding the same flat.

Tenant vacated flat before end of 6 month tenancy but paid rent to end. He gave final electric reading to utility company on vacating. Final inspection was done a couple of days after end of tenancy by letting agent and reading taken. The property was then put up for sale and was sold about 5 months later. A few weeks prior to the sale. I visited the flat and read the meters. I then asked the letting agent why I hadn’t received a copy of the the final inspection report. There was no explanation and it was emailed to me. I then realised from the readings in the final report that electric had been used while the property was empty, so I visited again and switched off the immersion heater which had been left on, presumably by the tenant. The resulting electricity bill is down to me. The agent said he had been advised by ARLA that he was not responsible for checking that no appliances had been left on as he was no longer managing it (although he was In charge of the sale of the flat).

On reading the inspection report I realised that there were several items of damage which the inspector said were the tenant’s responsibility as they were not on the inventory when the tenant moved in. Cleaning was needed and some making good and redecorating to restore the flat to the condition it was in when tenancy commenced, taking into account fair wear and tear. Monies should have been withheld from the deposit and quotes obtained from decorators and cleaners. In fact the deposit was returned to the tenant in full without asking for my agreement. When I queried this the agent said that when a property was put up for sale at the end of a tenancy he did not consider it necessary to send a copy of the final report to the landlord and no deductions were needed to be made from the deposit.

It also begs the question that if the flat had been clean and fresh it might have sold more quickly and possibly fetched a better price.

I am away from home a lot, which is why I use the letting agent. I could complain to ARLA but I am not sure how much of this the agent is legally liable for (if any).

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David the agent 29th November, 2019 @ 12:04

"The tenants completely trashed our property and it is going to cost us more than £10,000 to put it back prior to the let. The letting agents only did one inspection approximately 12 months before the tenants left."

Any suggestions?

By 10k you mean 1-2k? if not I suggest you call the police as damage to the value you suggest would be criminal.

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David the agent 29th November, 2019 @ 12:07

Clo 27th April, 2019 @ 12:33
Tenant has fallen down common stairs said light broken can he sue Agent or should he sue landlord

If there is a claim here it would always be against the Landlord. The landlord would then have to sue the agent if they felt the agent was responsible for the issue.

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David the agent 29th November, 2019 @ 12:15

Mr Benson, I assume the issue is resolved? If once the tenant has left and you have costs to bear over and above the deposit held, in the circumstances you describe you may have a case against the agent.
Legally they have to be a member of an ombudsman so if you aren't happy with the outcome of any complaint addressed to the agent, you can contact the ombudsman who can award costs if you can show a loss

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David the agent 29th November, 2019 @ 12:21

Danny, as before use the ombudsman if the agent doesn't handle your complaint satisfactorily.
As a general rule if you can prove a material loss, that you can show the agent is responsible for, then you should be entitled to claim for that loss against the agent.
To my mind an agent acting against the tenancy terms without your express permission has acted wrongly, and if you lost out as a result, they should compensate you.

Guest Avatar
Frank Sebastian 4th February, 2020 @ 11:36

A tenant with two rescue dogs (untrained) left after 8 months to return to Far East.

There is considerable damage amounting to about £8000/- according to the Agents Builder,
to laminate flooring (urine,) Kitchen ceiling below bathroom, paint to doors, walls,beds, settee etc, There is a two month rental deposit for about half the amount. Agent now want a 'handyman' to provide another estimate !

NO Quarterly Inspection was done by the Letting Agent but one, only two weeks before leaving.
Had quarterly inspections been done I would have requested termination of tenancy at the first sign of damage.

Where do I stand with redress as I want to be left with the house at "check-in state" especially because of the brevity of the tenancy? Has the Agent been negligent?

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Hani 6th March, 2020 @ 19:01

I Just rent a fully furnished flat but I found it without dining table, curtains and faulty washing machine. I have been told during viewing and inventory all will be fixed and ready by moving in. I raised a complaint to the letting agent, their reply the landlord will not provide dining table and curtains, and the washing machine was working. The letting agent keep saying maintenance is the landlord responsibility. Furthermore, the letting agent refuse to give me the full address of the landlord unless paying £35+VAT. I cannot contact the landlord, the letting agency acts negligently. I and my children eating on the ground and without washing machine, any help or advice please.

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Danny 7th March, 2020 @ 03:12

Hello Hani,

It seems your Letting Agent is either not qualified or not up to date on the law, or even a trickster.

Check first if they are members of one of the compulsory schemes Property Ombudsman, Property Rederess Service or another. Also if they have ARLA or NAEA symbols on their headed documents, website etc.

By law they must provide you with the name address and contact details of your Landlord.

As a Landlord I know full well 100% any and all furnishings that come with the property MUST be covered by various regulations i.e. fire safety, H&S and all electrical appliance must be check and certified by an approved Electrician.

Also these electrical appliance including cookers, fridges etc etc are the responsibility of the Landlord to fix and replace - if they are broken or defective.

There were new laws introduced last year LA nor Landlrds can no longer charge you this fee which you have quoted. It is unlawful tell your LA that.

Good luck and don't be bullied or fobbed off.


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John Cadogan 17th March, 2020 @ 06:03

Hi, I’ve been in my private rented accommodation now 8 years and don’t owe any money whatsoever. As I finally gave up with Letting agent and contacting landlord ( Friend lol ) about major issues I got environmental health involved, just so you are aware not once has landlord repaired or fixed anything at all. I’ve never had a gas certificate in 8 years. Now as he’s a rouge landlord ( I personally don’t even know a fair one ) work is over £20.000
I’ve told him for years work was needed he’s had photos off me you name it he’s had it. Now Letting agent has served a 21 on me , I want to take landlord and Letting agent as far as possible what legal standings for I have ( Letting agent even got address wrong on letter with 21 saying tenant off this address must vacate by this date not my address so there’s one I’ve got for the judge .
Any advice much appreciated perhaps a good landlord got advice to punish these rogue landlords

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Danny 17th March, 2020 @ 08:44

Firstly John we are not a rouge, or rogue landlords, I take an exception to your generalization.

Neither the agent nor landlord can not lawfully or with any legal holding issue a Sect 8 or 21 on a property which has not a current GSC, nor if your deposit has not been correctly registered with one of the 3 Govt schemes.

You need to check that he/she has these so too an EPC. Don't just assume that they aren't in place because you've not seen them. EPC can be checked online, so too the deposited. Easier to send in writing an email will suitable a request to both Agent and Ll.

Neither can they issue you any notices or seek eviction/ repossession if, as you say you have - made a complain to the local Councils H and S executives.

Best of luck,

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Sheryle 27th March, 2020 @ 08:27


I am a Landlord- my Tenant wanted to leave early after 3 months. So as per our Contract which had a 6 month break clause I served Notice. They have since vacated my property moved into another rental property and say they can't afford to pay me rent. I have been informed by Agent that I can not enter my own home as they are Legally leasing my property. He also doubts that DPS will use funds held to pay rent. This is not the first time that these Tenants have done this. I have empathy for the new Landlord nothing but problems with Tenants what is the point of having a Contract if it isn't adhered to. Sheryle

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Danny 27th March, 2020 @ 09:37

Hello Sheryle,

You may have unwittingly played into the tenants hands on this one by serving notice, but I shall assume it was the Letting Agent whom served the notice not you' yes? You should have gotten the tenants to give notice to end the tenancy really. Then drafted a Deed of Surrender, stipulating what was what and what was required to be paid. This would have also served to negate what the current situation as as regards to a vacant possession i.e. Your property.

I round say the LA us wrong, if you served them notice and they have kept you can and should be able to do an inspection, maybe ask a police officer to come along, or use a webcam.

Best check first, as I m not a lawyer, could try CAB or Shelter for free advice. But do as I do - make the exact enquiry being creative, turn the tables. As both are staunchly pro tenant. Try it from the tenant angle.

Then google a few law firms, then send out an enquiry you might get some generous, decent one reply again eith free consultation. But bare in mind that currently there's not much you can do regards meeting due to the CV19 lockdown.

Your LA isn't really providing a Duty of Care, they need to serve an Abandonment Notice and send various demands for the unpaid rent to the former residence and the new one, if you have the address.

Next point was there a Guarantor on the tenancy? If so then you are pretty much covered. The DPS are very good, I ve been treated very fairly and won many disputes over the past few years. Have the former tenants entered into any dispute in regards your claim to their deposit? Have the LA dine an end of tenancy check out indoctrination and inventory check? Ask for proof if the LA has registered the deposit, they might be trying to have you over on the deposit, keeping it themselves.

That's enough ammunition for now. Good luck with it.


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Simon 28th March, 2020 @ 13:18

Hi we have a fully managed property however without our permission, the letting agent has had a shower pump replaced, a back door lock (£200!) and a shower that was going to cost £400 cost £702!!

In addition I was told there was a small leak in the shower, I had a contractor to attend property on the 20th Dec, I was then told that the tenant was able to give permission to enter any time before the 17th Jan. On the 9th of January I was sent an email to say that an emergency plumber attended on the 6th of Januray. To cut a long story short I ended up paying about £800 to fix a shower and a leak that could of been prevented if given access to the property.

When questioning all this the letting agent has offered me £50.

Where would I stand legally about claiming at least some of these expenses back?

Thanks for any advice


The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 28th March, 2020 @ 13:21

That's shocking, particularly that they made repairs without consulting you first. I would not have paid.

I would lodge a formal complaint: https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/how-to-complain-about-a-letting-agent/

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Danny 29th March, 2020 @ 03:24

Yes I agree shocking and most probably unlawful. I had this happen only the once for £46.50, I refused to pay or have it deducted from the rent and the LA paid it.


Firstly check your contract to see if there are any clauses whereby the LA has "discretionary powers". See Aldo if the agents are registered with any one like ARLA or NAEA.
How would or could the LA make these payments? - do you have a float or kitty with the LA or will they deduct it from your rent payments?
Normally you round need at least 2-3 quotes and then you souls decide and giver permission.
To be honest this is sharpe practices and you will win, first try your local County Councils Tradind Standards, try a few threatening letters to the agent, then TPOS this might take six months. But what they have done if unsupported by you is wrong.

Good luck,

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George Kpoku 22nd September, 2020 @ 12:53

I rented property to a management agent for a 1 year term. Following the term end, I asked for for property back but they had already signed a new tenancy agreement with a new tenant.

The tenant term expired 6 months ago and is now periodic. I have not renewed by contract with the management company so it is also on periodic.

The management agent has failed to issue section 21 or initiate eviction on my ask. I will raise complaint with their regulatory bodies.

In the meantime, can I personally issue the tenant with the Section 21?
The tenancy agreement is between the tenant and the agent.
I as owner, have agreement with the agent authorising the sublet.

However, given that the term expired and is periodic, can I legally issue the section 21 to the tenant myself?


Guest Avatar
Pat 24th January, 2021 @ 17:22


My letting agent has not payed my any rent for several months and the fail to acknowledge my emails or return my phone calls.

I have written a letter to the tenant and to the agent informing both that I wish to terminate my relationship with the agent immediately (not delivered the letters yet).

I read a paragraph in my agreement with the agent that if I terminate our agreement before the expiry date, I would be liable for a penalty fee which would include the monthly rent multiplied by the number of remaining months until the expiry of the contract. Plus any other fees/cost the agent feels they have incurred.

I want to know, as it is the agent who has failed to maintain the rent payments and thus broken the contract by not paying me (I have never had a complaint from the agent) is the agent allowed to levy any such fees? Am I within my right to terminate the agreement without falling foul of the above paragraph?

Thank you.

Guest Avatar
Eric 25th January, 2021 @ 10:35

Hi Pat,

I'm not a contract law lawyer, but I suspect they won't be able to charge an early termination fee if they have breached the terms and conditions of your agreement. I'm actually surprised you let it go on for so long.

Why haven't you told the tenant to pay you directly? I would have done that from the second month of not receiving rent.

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Pat 25th January, 2021 @ 15:33


Thank you Eric.

Issue is with the current environment, they claim the tenant has not paid them and they are simply doing their best. Doesn't excuse their lack of response or failing to communicate with me etc but in this virus climate, it has not been easy contacting anyone.

Part of the agreement is that I am forbidden to enter the rental property and to liaise with the tenant without the agent being present (not sure if that is even legal but it is a term in our agreement).

I have a "guaranteed rental income" agreement with them so even if the property is empty, they are legally obliged to pay the full rent agreed.

Every time I call the agent or try and visit, the staff all tell me the main person is not there and they have no idea when he'll be back and that they'll ask him to call (which he never does).

All rather frustrating.

Thank you again for replying.

Guest Avatar
Gail 18th February, 2021 @ 15:44

Hello, if I want to change letting agents and my Landlord Agent Contract is about to expire, and I give two months notice, to leave after it has expired, can I still be held to any of the termination clauses? Any comments welcome. Thank you.

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Martin 2nd March, 2021 @ 07:10

I am a landlord and have just visited my property as tenant now moved out after 7 years there. My property is fully managed by a professional local letting agent. To cut a long story short, there has been a long term leak from the toilet (we think 2 years)that has been allowed to develop in to a problem that has completely destroyed the bathroom floor and also gone in to hallway making the laminated floor feel very spongy. Contracter has quoted £4400 to remove bath, toilet and sink and rebuild the floor and sort hallway. Inspection reports going back to 2018 showed some staining round the toilet but never did the agent identify a leak or suggest it should be investigated. Possibly could have been something spilt or bath slopped but unlikely as just round the base of the toilet. Aug 2020 last inspection the lino floor looked really badly stained and lots of mould and damp in bathroom and agent said it was probaly down to inefficient celing fan. The first time we went in we found the leak from the toilet flush on the wall didn't work and water dribbled down the wall. I unscrewed the room divider and pulled up the lino to find the floor completely rotten and right down to the main board I could pull the floor up like wet garden bark. When the boss at the agent saw the photos, on speakerphone he said it's a right 'f**k Up' which we took to mean it was their F up, which we think it is. The agent is now saying they won't pay anything as the leak was invisible so how did they know and the tenant is responsible for not reporting it. I believe their inspection visits should have spotted this problem earlier on and they should have investigated a possible leak. When we print off reports and put them in a row (like a forensic investigation if you like) you can see the pattern of the developing leak as the flooring was getting more and more stained yet they as professional property managers srill failed to suggest or mention it could be a leak or that it be investigated. So where do we stand, has the agent been negligent as they are saying they will not pay anything as the leak was 'invisible'. They were the agents doing the inspections yet they failed to spot a potential problem early on and in fact spot a leak at all and we were the ones that identified it the first time we went in 2 weeks ago. Do I have a case against them?

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SteveC 25th May, 2021 @ 17:51

Hi - I don't know if anyone can help? My son and daughter-in-law have just taken on a 6 month tenancy in a different property; they moved in Saturday and are finding a lot of things wrong with the property (2 days into their contract). I don't think there are any certificates in place first of all (gas, electric, EPC, etc.) and there certainly aren't any smoke alarms or carbon monoxide monitors installed ... but they're also finding mould under wallpaper, crumbling damp plaster and peeling paper, possible asbestos in the ceiling and so on. They haven't yet seen or received an inventory letter despite it being unfurnished and we have a feeling that the 'landlord' has just put the place up for rent without having any knowledge of the rules and reg's! The house belonged to a relative who has since passed away and we appreciate that they'd like a passive income, but where does my son stand legally with regard to compensation / contract rights / who to address for all the issues? This is not about jumping on the compensation wagon but more about reclaiming what they've had to pay out to move in if they have to move out because the property was misleadingly advertised / unsuitable for rent / potentially temporarily uninhabitable?
Any advice would be most welcomed.

Thanks in advance,


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Pat 25th May, 2021 @ 18:24


Hi SteveC,

I think the first thing to do is to make the landlord aware of the issues and see what they have to say.

Keep all emails, texts, pictures, videos, etc in case you need to prove that you communicated the issues to anyone.

Did you son have to pay a deposit? If so, has it been deposited with any of the government approved schemes?

Do you know if the local council where they are renting has a mandatory landlord registration scheme?

If they do but the landlord has not registered they may well be breaking the law and this is something the landlord would need to address. If they have registered but the landlord isn't prepared to do anything about the issues, you can contact the council and ask them to intervene.

I know some councils (Tower Hamlets in London) will actively pursue a landlord and ask them to pay back all the rent received to the tenants if they have not registered. They will also intervene if the property is not fit for purpose.

With regards the actual law, I not a lawyer so can't help but do look at the contract and see what it states but your son has no automatic right to compensation as far as I know. Unless the landlord is breaking any laws like not registering, any legal under-taking may have to be self-funded.

Hopefully someone can provide more information but I would certainly start by investigating if the local council requires all it's landlords to be registered and take it from there.

Good luck.

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SteveC 26th May, 2021 @ 04:27

Hi Pat,

Thanks for your quick reply and advice - I believe last night my son & daughter-in-law were documenting everything that they've found so far and putting it all in writing to the letting agent (inc. pictures).

Yes I believe a month's deposit has been paid but unsure as to whether it's gone into a government approved account - something that was highlighted to them via the Gov.uk website about landlords' responsibilities.

No I'm not sure if the local council has a mandatory landlord registration scheme but it has been suggested that they can get the council in to carry out an inspection and report back to the landlord as you have pointed out.

I've scoured the Gov.uk website and other relevant sites regarding the regulations and passed on everything I've felt relevant to the situation which in turn is being appropriately recorded and passed to the letting agent. I'll pass on to my son to file everything as you suggested above and hopefully we'll see a satisfactory end result.

Thanks again Pat.

Kind regards,


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Kev 15th June, 2021 @ 11:55

I am a landlord with one property to rent. A previous tenant left behind a new washing machine and did not want back, when the next tenant moved in they did not want the machine so the agent took it upon themselves to remove it without any consultation, notification or authorization. Can I demand the machine is returned to me or can the agent say it belongs to them?(it was a new washer drier and I suspect the agent thought it was free to take?)

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Wendy wright 14th October, 2021 @ 19:09

I have rented my property though estate agent. The tenants have done a lot of damage and broken window.and agreement ended on the 10th. Whos should pay for damage as estate agents should be looking after property.

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The Landlord 15th October, 2021 @ 08:48

Tenants are responsible for any damage they have caused - and that's what the deposit is for, to cover the cost of repairs at the end of the tenancy.

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Pat 15th October, 2021 @ 09:28


Depends on the type of contract you have with the Estate agent.

If it's 'Common Law Tenancy', then it may well be the Estate agent. On the other hand, if it's a 'Assured shorthold tenancy, then as 'The LandLord' posted, it will be the tenants.

Check the contract.

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Elizabeth 28th January, 2022 @ 15:58

Does a letting agency have to give you the contact details, or a copy of the original invoice, from a company which has carried out a repair or service on your property or is it sufficient for them to remove the amount they say has been charged for a service from your rent with a short explanation, for example, repair of boiler?' Thank you.

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Jennifer 6th March, 2022 @ 21:35

I would also quite like to know the answer to the above question from Elizabeth. For my tax records, do I need to have copies of the original invoices from the letting agent (it’s a fully managed service) or will the statements from the letting agent with the maintenance/repairs itemised be sufficient? Thanks.

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Yash 21st April, 2022 @ 12:03

Is Letting agent liable to the second owner for making a tenancy agreement in the name of one owner of a property owned jointly and paying rent to one owner without the consent of the second owner.

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David the Agent 25th April, 2022 @ 13:44

Elizabeth (51)

Request it and if they wont provide ask them why? I would suggest the matter might be of interest to the TPO/Ombudsman, even though their specific code of practise doesn't seem to mention it.

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David the Agent 25th April, 2022 @ 13:52

Jennifer (52)

The information provided by the agent should be perfectly sufficient for your tax needs. If inspected an overzealous tax inspector could ask for more information, but I would cross that bridge when/if that unlikely event happens.

Yash (53)
"Is Letting agent liable to the second owner for making a tenancy agreement in the name of one owner of a property owned jointly and paying rent to one owner without the consent of the second owner."

This will depend on a number of factors, however, from the information provided it is most likely your legal claim should be against the joint owner, not the agent. Legally this would make more sense. I Suggest you get your house in order with the 'joint owner'.

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David the Agent 25th April, 2022 @ 13:57

Kev (47) "I am a landlord with one property to rent. A previous tenant left behind a new washing machine and did not want back, when the next tenant moved in they did not want the machine so the agent took it upon themselves to remove it without any consultation, notification or authorization. Can I demand the machine is returned to me or can the agent say it belongs to them?(it was a new washer drier and I suspect the agent thought it was free to take?)"

Not sure why and how you became aware of this, but unless you had given specific instructions to the agent it is likely they have had this removed at no benefit to themselves, acting in the best interests of you the landlord. I would consider a landlord taking the stance you have 'after the event' a rather awkward and unnecessarily intrusive client.

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Arnie 24th January, 2023 @ 12:37

Hi, completed my first tax return after completing the tax return.

On my letting agents statements are payments made to H.M.R.C, yet when I requested proof no information was forthcoming.

Is there a legal obligation for the letting agent to provide me with a certificate of payments made?


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Pat 24th January, 2023 @ 13:18


I am assuming you are a 'Non-Resident Landlord'?

If so, you can always check with You can always with HMRC directly whether the letting agent had completed the relevant form on your behalf (NRL4i) and if so, how much tax they have paid on your behalf.

See below webpage for further details to help get you started.



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Joanna 26th October, 2023 @ 11:01

My property is handled by letting agent. Their own contractor didn't qualified do the job properly. Now I had to pay around 1,035 to fix and recify the issues.

Is the letting agent liable for recommending or offering their own contractor but didn't do the work properly.

















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