It never ceases to surprise when competitor agents, having been disinstructed in our favour, try to hide behind the Data Protection Act when trying to get out of sending us vital paperwork belonging to their former landlord client. We've experienced just such an incidence this week where the property they were managing had been sold to one of our clients who inherited the tenants found by this particular agent. (Better they remain nameless until the matter is resolved or we report them to Trading Standards, whichever comes sooner). On the basis that the new owner is now the legal owner of the tenancy agreement, gas safety certificate, original reference reports, keys and whatever other paperwork may be relevant, we duly requested the former agent put together a package which we would be pleased to collect from their suburban office. Their response was they couldn't for "Data Protection reasons"
Without wishing to put too finer point on it - this is complete UTTER RUBBISH (unless of course the reason they can't share them is they didn't get any of this in the first place).
At Martin & Co in Norwich we believe our Client is the boss and hard as it seems, we're simply their employee (or agent). So before we even embark on the referencing process, we seek our Client's permission to go ahead and when we have received back the comprehensive referencing report, this is most definitely shared with the landlord. After all, who does the report belong to anyway?
Some time ago, we took over a client from anor Norwich based agency who hid behind the Data Protection Act. On checking, we found they weren't even registered with the appropriate authorities (for which they risked up to a £500,000 fine). There again the same agent whose website suggested they had over 50 years experience despite only opening in 2008 were neither registered with the Property Ombudsman nor with one of the professional regulatory bodies such as NALS or ARLA. So the likelihood was they didn't bother segregating client funds nor carry professional indemnity insurance or client money protection.
They claim to be a "professional letting specialist". We think not................
Mike White - Martin & Co Norwich