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onedah

Advise Required: Problems With Agents

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Hi,

I am currently renting and have been in the rental property for 5 months, during June we went away on holiday for 3 weeks and the agents asked if they could come in and paint the house as we had a boiler leek a few week earlier.

When we returned from our trip, we were surprised to come back to our house that was left in a mess and not even completed the whole job. We also found that the painter had dropped paint on our rug. So we informed the agents who said they would get there carpet cleaner out to sort the rug out and also said that we should check the other furniture.

We received a call from the carpet cleaner who asked a few questions about the rug and we explained that it was a hand woven rug costing over £500. The Carpet cleaner advised us that he would not be able to take the paint off as there is a chance that we could end up damaging the rug further.

I contacted the agent who has now said that I need to contact the painter to sort the problem out.

Can some one advise who is responsible for the damage to the rug? I would have thought it is up to the agents to sort out but I'm not sure were I stand legally?

Any help would be appreciated.

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You have a contract with the agent.

Someone acting for the agent has damaged your item.

Therefore your recourse is with the agent only. You have no contract with the painter.

The agent is responsible for compensating you, and the agent could optionally claim compensation from the painter, but that is none of your concern.

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It isn't so much a question of whether you HAVE to enforce the contract yourselves as that you cannot because you are not privy to the contract. There is a fairly straightforward explanation of privity on wikipedia (I don't usually recommend wikipedia as a source of legal advice but this looks about right and it explains it quite well):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privity_of_contract

Note, however, that this does not mean there is nothing you can do. For example, the person who caused the damage was presumably negligent. If they owed you, as the resident, a duty of care (and I cannot imagine that they didn't) and their negligence resulted in loss, then you could sue them. Negligence claims can be brought in the small claims court. This would be a last resort, though, as the agency are more likely to have the funds to refund you.

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