Are you a letting agent?
Or are you a landlord using a letting agent to manage your property?
There are often problems that arise with the landlord / agent relationship. But did you know that there is a special law of agency which governs how this relationship works?
Agency law is a special type of contract law that applies when one person (the agent) is employed to make a contract on behalf of another person (the principal – which in a landlord and tenant context will be the landlord) with a third person (in this case, the tenant).
Agency law is not well known. For example did you know that
- an agent is not normally liable to a third party – so if a property is in disrepair the tenant should sue the landlord not the agent
- if an agent makes an agreement with a third party, the principal is bound by this – even if it is against his instructions to the agent. So if a landlord says ‘no pets’ and the agent tells the tenant that they can keep a dog, the landlord is bound by this
- because of their special position, agents are under a duty, known as a fiduciary duty, to act in the principal’s best interests – even if this conflicts with their own. Many landlords will give a hollow laugh on reading that!
Because agency law is so important but yet so little known, I was determined to include it in our conference program, and so was delighted when Simon Parrott agreed to speak on this topic.
Simon is a very experienced property litigation solicitor, and a partner at Sharman Law in Bedford.
He does a lot of work for local letting agents and also presents seminars and sends out a regular newsletter. Examples of his e briefings can be seen here. So he is an excellent person to explain the complexities of agency law.
For more information about the Landlord Law Conference program >> click here.