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Lettings agency apologises after rent letter misinterpreted

A lettings agency has given a full apology after a letter - not approved by the company - was sent out in its name after the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Over 500 renters were sent a letter warning "NO RENT PAYMENT HOLIDAYS" by Peter Large estate and lettings agency in north Wales, prompting two complaints to a local newspaper.

The letter went out without the approval of company chief Peter Large himself, who has said it should "never have been sent”. 

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He said it completely went against how his company operated and that the staff member who had issued it - and who had used parts of another template letter - was devastated by the interpretation put on it.

Large told Letting Agent Today over the weekend: “Two out of 550 wrote to the paper to complain. We apologised. It’s our landlords that decided to help their tenants and we intend to discuss each inquiry re rental payment holiday with each landlord. We will endeavour to direct our tenants to all the assistance which is available to them.”

The original letter said: "We are aware that most of the UK have been affected in one way or another due to COVID-19. Whilst we accept that this is a difficult time it is important to note and understand that rent was and still is a priority bill and is still legally and contractually due.

"The majority of landlords are understanding of the situation but they are also affected by the crisis any many rely on rental income as a substitute for pensions. We must be clear that there are NO RENT PAYMENT HOLIDAYS."

Peter Large reiterated to the local media that he was sorry and: "I would certainly not want to receive a letter like that. … We have made clear that anything sent out in future has to be approved so this doesn't happen again. We have now sent out a new letter to tenants.

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