Recouping costs from tenant

One of my tenants has given notice. Leading up to them giving notice I got into a disagreement with them. It ended up the tenant refusing to receive any correspondence from me. I don’t want to get in to the specifics of the disagreement (as I think it will muddy the waters), but let’s assume I am not in the wrong with respect to the reasons why the tenant refused to communicate.

The tenant contract specifically states they must allow access in the last month for the purposes of me re-letting the property, notwithstanding my rights of access with 24hrs notice. Given the tenant had refused to communicate with me and allow me to market the property (I always use Openrent, never an agent) I found it necessary to use an agent at a cost of over £600 compared to the usual cost of £30. The tenant initially blocked the agent, but after threatening their bond they ended up allowing viewings, so arguably they did comply, but I ended up £570 out of pocket. Do I have a case for claiming the cost of the agent, in part of full or not at all?

surly you could have still used openrent, as their bond still would have been at risk and they caved in anyway

The tenant needed to agree viewing times and cooperate. Since they refused to cooperate with me I had little choice but to use a third party, I could have used Openrent and insisted on gaining entry with 24 hrs notice myself, but it would not have been professional nor fair to prospective tenants showing up not knowing if the tenant was going to cooperate and let me in (one can’t force entry).

In my mind, it hinges on the events leading up to the refusal to cooperate. If their refusal to cooperate was unreasonable, then it’s fair and reasonable costs should be chargeable to the tenant. Though fairness and reasonable does not always cut it with the DPS adjudicators.

BTW - the reason the bond was threatened, was because they initially refused to cooperate with the agent.

It was dps I was thinking about, You can try but I have a feeling that the best you will get is to set the cost against tax

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Regardless of what’s in the contract, when we had tenants who refused viewings there was nothing we could do. DPS said there was no proof we could have secured a tenant even if viewings were allowed so found in tenants favour.

We have a similar problem with tenants only the other way round. They are very aggressive towards me so have had to cut contact on Housing Officers suggestion (nothing the Council will get involved in). Am having to use a solicitor to communicate with them. (Cannot get an agent involved as their eviction date is in a few weeks and no agent wants to take it on at this point).

They should be responsible for your agents costs but can’t see it happening personally. Hope you can rid of them soon.

I think the difference here is this is not about a delay in re-letting, my claim is for the cost of having to use an agent in the first place. Likely I’m on a hiding to nothing, however, this tenant has really pissed me off. I know they need their bond, so I might put a claim in which will take at least 3 months to adjudicate, win or lose. It’s not about the money and it may seem a tad vindictive, but sometimes it’s cathartic to push back against piss-takers and make it as difficult for them as they do for you.

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Not a chance you could recover agency fees from the tenant. They would just turn round and say they did allow viewings anyway. It is annoying, but don’t see what you can do.

I think you were out of order in the 1st place to force the tenants to allow viewings. It was completely your choice to engage an agent, so the loss is yours.
Incidentally, have you actually gained anything at all by trying to railroad these people ?

No deposit scheme would award you any money from their deposit for this whether or not they had allowed viewings in the end.

Not a chance you can recoup agency fees. You’d just be laughed at. I’d avoid the embarrassment and drop that idea.

You can be hard-nosed about other deductions but they’ll still have to be evidence based.

There is something to be said for not doing viewings until the tenant has vacated and the property can be properly presented. True there can be a longer void but may be worth it with a difficult and/or messy tenant.