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Question

During the Tenancy (England) | England | Tenant Relations and Dealing with Complaints (England)

Can I forward facebook messages from tenant/agent to landlord?

10 Jun 2022 | 2 comments

Long story, sorry.

I am a letting agent for a landlord with tenant/s in receipt of Universal Credit/benefits.

One tenant vacated, but the landlord was reluctant to issue a new sole AST as the tenant has let the property fall into disrepair during his tenancy (as well as breaching clauses re: smoking/ASB/drug use) and she had planned to sell the property (interest only mortgage has come to an end and she can’t make repayments) so issued a section 21 which expired at the end of April. The landlord has only been receiving half payment of rent since tenant 2 vacated. He is now in 4 months of arrears.

The property has been trashed by the existing tenant and will need to be completely refurbished (once vacant) in order to sell.

The existing tenant has since moved a partner in (without permission), who, according to the tenant, cannot claim benefits there due to not being on a tenancy at the property.

The existing tenant has cancelled direct payment of his own Universal Credit so the landlord is now getting nothing. The tenant has said that unless he is sent a new joint tenancy, there will be no more rent payments. Universal Credit won’t discuss the case with me, despite having one of your authorisation forms signed by the tenant.

The landlord cannot afford court procedures. The tenant has sent a string of messages via facebook to me, stating that he knows the landlord can’t afford court action so the best thing to do is to give them a new joint tenancy so she can be paid the full rent amount.

Can I legally share the messages the tenant has sent me to the landlord as I am acting on her behalf? She wants to seek legal advice over this but I want to be sure I’m not breaching any data protection laws by forwarding the messages.

 

Answer

2 Comments

  1. kaysproperty

    I forgot to ask, should the property be repossessed, what happens to the tenants then? Will the mortgage company evict the tenants?
    The landlord owns the freehold to the building (4 flats in total) and the properties are for owner occupation only so couldn’t be sold with sitting tenants.

  2. guildy

    We can’t think of any reason why the messages need sharing, as there’s presumably nothing the landlord doesn’t already know. But, if you use our tenancy agreements via the Tenancy Builder, that should be fine to share because there is included a privacy policy saying you can pass data between landlord and agent (both ways). It will also be okay if you have given the tenants your privacy policy containing similar.

    In our view, giving a new tenancy would not be ideal; instead, the landlord should serve notice followed by court proceedings. We understand they say they can’t afford this, but unfortunately, there are no other options. In our view, a new tenancy won’t get the landlord paid, and a court order will be required whatever the tenants say.

    Mortgage companies have the power to obtain vacant possession after they have repossessed.

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