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Landlord wins long-running case against agent after tenancy went wrong

In a long-running case, landlord Saul Shevlin brought action against estate agency Sequence after a tenant moved into his property, holding all-night parties to the dismay of the neighbours.

He alleged professional negligence and breach of contract over the selection of the tenant and the management of the tenancy in the rental property that had been his former home.

He won the case, at Colchester County Court, which found negligence although not breach of contract, back in July 2016, but Sequence said it wanted to appeal. However, permission to appeal has now finally been refused at Chelmsford County Court which said it had “no real prospect of success”.

Shevlin has now had his award of £8,462.14 in damages, plus £410 costs, confirmed.

Both courts were critical of the company’s referencing procedure of the tenant, who moved into Shevlin’s property. However, the referencing company was not a part of the legal action.

Shevlin had a long-standing relationship with Sequence, starting in around 2010. Between then and 2015, he paid the agent to find him tenants – around five during the period.

However, in March 2014 he was told Sequence had found a suitable tenant, who was working full-time as a financial adviser and was a non-smoker. She had passed referencing. The tenancy started, but Shevlin did not receive the referencing report, carried out by TLC, for 18 months despite requesting it some 20 times. The tenant immediately fell behind with the rent, Shevlin alleged.

She moved in with a number of others, and held noisy all-night parties. Police were called five times and there were two arrests. Windows were smashed, contents vandalised or stolen, there was graffiti on walls, utility bills were unpaid and bailiffs made frequent visits to the property.

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