Skip to main content

Letting Agents

Whether you have a large property portfolio or a one-off property investment, as a landlord you may well rely on the expertise of a letting agent to manage your properties. The purpose of instructing a letting agent is to take the hassle out of property management, but sometimes letting agents get things wrong and this can result in problems and financial losses for you.

If your letting agent has failed to carry out their responsibilities properly, you may be entitled to compensation for your property losses.

When your letting agent lets you down

As the examples below show, there are many areas where a letting agent’s mistakes or poor performance could potentially have a big impact on your property investment and where you may have grounds for a claim.

If you are trying to recover possession of your rental property, it is important that the correct notices are issued and served on the tenant. The type of notice varies depending upon the tenancy, for example whether it is an Assured or Short Assured lease agreement. If the notices are defective, you may not be able to eject the tenant at that particular time and in some cases the lease may renew itself for another fixed period.

If your letting agent failed to issue the correct notices or failed to issue the notices in good time, you may have a claim for the losses you have incurred as a result.

In most cases, a letting agent has a duty of care to regularly inspect your property and address any maintenance issues. Maintenance issues could be something relatively minor, such as redecoration, or could be something more significant, such as a leak, damp or obvious structural hazards.  

You would also have a claim against the tenant for any damage caused by them to the property during the lease period. However, not all maintenance issues can be attributed to the tenant and there is a duty on your letting agent to identify and repair any maintenance issue within a reasonable time to prevent the problem becoming worse.

If the letting agent fails to inspect and maintain your property, you may have a claim against them to recover your losses. 

If you are instructing letting agents to manage your property and find suitable tenants, you expect them to properly vet the tenants’ suitability. For example, they should obtain references from previous landlords, carrying out credit checks and checking identification.

If the letting agent fails to carry out these checks properly and something happens to your property, you may be entitled to bring a professional negligence claim against them.

The principal obligation of the tenant under their tenancy agreement is to pay rent, but sometimes, for whatever reason, they may fail to do so. In such a situation, it is the role of the letting agent to try to secure payment and reduce rent arrears in so far as possible. They cannot simply ignore the non-payment and are required to do whatever they can, within reason, to secure payment.

You may have grounds for a claim against your letting agent if they have failed to carry out their responsibilities over rent collection.

There are multiple rules and regulations that must be complied with when renting out property, such as carrying out annual gas safety inspections or electrical inspections. It is important that landlords comply with rules and regulations incumbent upon them. Failure to comply with rules and regulations may result in the property owner having to pay a penalty and in some cases being guilty of a criminal offence.

If non-compliance is caused by the letting agent failing to comply with the regulations on your behalf, you may have a right to claim for any losses sustained.

Not only does your letting agent have an obligation to identify and instruct repairs, they must also ensure the repairs are carried out as soon as possible to prevent exacerbation of the problem. If the problems with your property have worsened as a result of a failure to carry out repairs in good time, you could potentially have a claim against your letting agent for failing to act quickly to remedy the situation.

Tenant deposits are required by law to be lodged in an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The purpose of the scheme is to protect the integrity of tenants’ deposits and in the event of a dispute to provide a forum to resolve the issue.

There are certain rules regarding when the deposit must be lodged with an approved scheme. In the event of non-compliance, landlords could be found liable to the tenants for up to three times the value of the deposit.

If your letting agent failed to lodge the deposit on your behalf and as a result you have been found liable to pay money to the tenant, you may be able to recover your losses from your agent.

How can Thorntons help?

Thorntons specialist Professional Negligence team can help you with any claim you may have against a letting agent. Not only are the team qualified lawyers but team members also have considerable property management experience.

We recognise that not every potential claim is suitable for court. For example it may be important to you to maintain a commercial relationship with your letting agent and so court action may not be the most appropriate approach.  In such cases, we can advise you on alternative dispute resolution options such as mediation. Every situation is different and the team are on hand to give you advice that is specific to your individual circumstances.

Call us on 0330 430 350 or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you. Our Professional Negligence Solicitors will discuss your situation with you, answer any questions you have and advise you if you have grounds for a professional negligence claim. If you then want to go ahead, we will start the claims process for you straight away. Our discussion will be confidential and you are under no obligation to make a claim.

When your letting agent lets you down

As the examples below show, there are many areas where a letting agent’s mistakes or poor performance could potentially have a big impact on your property investment and where you may have grounds for a claim.

If you are trying to recover possession of your rental property, it is important that the correct notices are issued and served on the tenant. The type of notice varies depending upon the tenancy, for example whether it is an Assured or Short Assured lease agreement. If the notices are defective, you may not be able to eject the tenant at that particular time and in some cases the lease may renew itself for another fixed period.

If your letting agent failed to issue the correct notices or failed to issue the notices in good time, you may have a claim for the losses you have incurred as a result.

In most cases, a letting agent has a duty of care to regularly inspect your property and address any maintenance issues. Maintenance issues could be something relatively minor, such as redecoration, or could be something more significant, such as a leak, damp or obvious structural hazards.  

You would also have a claim against the tenant for any damage caused by them to the property during the lease period. However, not all maintenance issues can be attributed to the tenant and there is a duty on your letting agent to identify and repair any maintenance issue within a reasonable time to prevent the problem becoming worse.

If the letting agent fails to inspect and maintain your property, you may have a claim against them to recover your losses. 

If you are instructing letting agents to manage your property and find suitable tenants, you expect them to properly vet the tenants’ suitability. For example, they should obtain references from previous landlords, carrying out credit checks and checking identification.

If the letting agent fails to carry out these checks properly and something happens to your property, you may be entitled to bring a professional negligence claim against them.

The principal obligation of the tenant under their tenancy agreement is to pay rent, but sometimes, for whatever reason, they may fail to do so. In such a situation, it is the role of the letting agent to try to secure payment and reduce rent arrears in so far as possible. They cannot simply ignore the non-payment and are required to do whatever they can, within reason, to secure payment.

You may have grounds for a claim against your letting agent if they have failed to carry out their responsibilities over rent collection.

There are multiple rules and regulations that must be complied with when renting out property, such as carrying out annual gas safety inspections or electrical inspections. It is important that landlords comply with rules and regulations incumbent upon them. Failure to comply with rules and regulations may result in the property owner having to pay a penalty and in some cases being guilty of a criminal offence.

If non-compliance is caused by the letting agent failing to comply with the regulations on your behalf, you may have a right to claim for any losses sustained.

Not only does your letting agent have an obligation to identify and instruct repairs, they must also ensure the repairs are carried out as soon as possible to prevent exacerbation of the problem. If the problems with your property have worsened as a result of a failure to carry out repairs in good time, you could potentially have a claim against your letting agent for failing to act quickly to remedy the situation.

Tenant deposits are required by law to be lodged in an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The purpose of the scheme is to protect the integrity of tenants’ deposits and in the event of a dispute to provide a forum to resolve the issue.

There are certain rules regarding when the deposit must be lodged with an approved scheme. In the event of non-compliance, landlords could be found liable to the tenants for up to three times the value of the deposit.

If your letting agent failed to lodge the deposit on your behalf and as a result you have been found liable to pay money to the tenant, you may be able to recover your losses from your agent.

How can Thorntons help?

Thorntons specialist Professional Negligence team can help you with any claim you may have against a letting agent. Not only are the team qualified lawyers but team members also have considerable property management experience.

We recognise that not every potential claim is suitable for court. For example it may be important to you to maintain a commercial relationship with your letting agent and so court action may not be the most appropriate approach.  In such cases, we can advise you on alternative dispute resolution options such as mediation. Every situation is different and the team are on hand to give you advice that is specific to your individual circumstances.

Call us on 0330 430 350 or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you. Our Professional Negligence Solicitors will discuss your situation with you, answer any questions you have and advise you if you have grounds for a professional negligence claim. If you then want to go ahead, we will start the claims process for you straight away. Our discussion will be confidential and you are under no obligation to make a claim.


Meet the Experts

Our expert team offer a full range of professional negligence services

Make an Enquiry

Top