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Appalling service throughout lettings process - kicked 4 mon

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 1:14 pm
by annoyed-af
It all began this year in January, when me and my partner decided to move in together.We found a nice property, contacted the lettings agency and so the fun begun.
Here is a short summary of how the process went :

1.Agreed for a viewing
- first viewing was moved on to another day, as they announced to us that they could not find the keys for the property.Later they told us that the current tenants were moving out on that particular day and that's why the viewing was postponed. How, as a lettings company they were not aware of this, is beyond me.

Viewing the house

So the lettings agent was 15 minutes late. After we entered the property, the agent did not know the alarm code which went off and took about 20 minutes to be sorted out.

3.The advert and the reality

The advert stated :

-free washing machine. The previous tenants stole it, the landlord disagreed to buy a new one, therefore we had to buy our own. So, false advertising.

-Exposed floor boards were advertised,however - one of the rooms had a carpet fitted by the previous tenants, for which we then had to receive a written permission from our landlord to remove.

-Our house is a end terrace house, so the lettings agent told us that the alley way behind our house would be used by the next door neighbors twice a week, to take out the bins, as to enter it you would have to go trough our garden. However, we soon found out that the next door house is a student shared house, meaning that they would use the alley way every time they would enter/leave their property. So, false advertising and no privacy.

4.Agreement with the landlord

landlord wrote us two permissions - to decorate our house however we like and remove the carpet.
as well as :

-fixing the kitchen door leading to the garden, which would not open due to the swollen floor boards.

-fixing the kitchen floor, as the previous tenants, whilst removing the washing machine ripped out the floor boards. During the whole process of trying to reach and agreement with the landlord trough the lettings agent, we had no information for weeks, as either the agent didn't know where the landlord has disappeared , even though he knew he had new tenants; or the lettings agent was off sick. So, horrible communication from their side.

Signing the contract

-upon arriving to the lettings agent to sign the contract, we found out that instead of 6 months we have signed up for they have put us on a 12 months contract.

-there was no paper in the contract regarding the permission to decorate the house.

We then had to leave for an hour for them to fix the contract and contact the landlord.
Upon arriving back again, the contract still stated that we were signed for 12 months, so we had to wait yet again.

5.Arriving to the property

-Floor kitchen has not been fixed
-Kitchen doors has not been fixed
-The previous tenants changed the meters to the top up ones, therefore we had to contact British gas to get it sorted.
-Our student neighbors were walking past our garden multiple times a day
-Upon contacting British gas we also found out that the previous tenants owe money, therefore they could not set us up with a new account and this is an unrelated issue, however it is still lasting. .................................................. .................................................. .........................

For all of this horrible service and ruckus we have paid more that £1000 pounds.

And now,barely 4 months later they are lettings us know, that we have 4 weeks to move out as the landlord wants to sell the property, even though we were promised a long term rent.
Because of stress and money it has cost us, I am wondering if there is anything I can do legally, to get a compensation or just generally get back at them. Sorry for the long post and English, it is not my first language.

And last but not least - they send us their other clients contract including all their personal details - talk about breach of data protection!!!

Re: Appalling service throughout lettings process - kicked 4

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 2:03 pm
by blig
See ... ld_tenants

There are a few things wrong here (for example, it sounds as if there hasn't been enough notice given to evict) and there are other things which you should probably forget about (eg. landlord's agent fifteen minutes late for a meeting)

Re: Appalling service throughout lettings process - kicked 4

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 4:37 pm
by Smouldering Stoat
I agree with the above, you are in need of proper advice. If you are only four months into the twelve-month fixed term then the landlord cannot bring your tenancy to an end just by serving you notice. So long as you keep paying the rent and don't commit any major breaches of the tenancy agreement you can't be made to leave (and even then, only a court can make you leave). Your landlord will commit a serious crime if he tries to evict you without a court order, though some landlords are unaware of this.

It is a legal requirement for lettings agents to belong to one of three property redress schemes who may be able to help you to sort all this out. It would be fair to say that enforcement of this has been patchy (to say the least), so if they're not members you should report them to your local authority who can fine them up to £5,000.

Re: Appalling service throughout lettings process - kicked 4

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 5:21 pm
by atticus
Am I wrong to think that one months notice may be given if two months rent is overdue?

Re: Appalling service throughout lettings process - kicked 4

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 6:29 pm
by Smouldering Stoat
If the tenant is two months in arrears of rent, both on the date of service and at the date of the hearing, the landlord is entitled to an order granting possession. But the tenancy is brought to an end by the court and not by the landlord's notice.

Note that the proceedings may be defeated by paying enough to bring the arrears to less than two months.

Re: Appalling service throughout lettings process - kicked 4

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 6:49 pm
by dls

I can see that much if this comes to be annoying, but much is very minor. The letting agent is not providing a service to you. His service is toward the landlord.

Most importantly, read the tenancy agreement in detail.

We all assume that it is an assured shorthold tenancy.
This is important. It begins as an assured tenancy, with you having a fair degree of security. The landlord's position is upgraded (to the shorthold) by the tenancy meeting certain additional conditions, including that it may not be brought to an end within the term (save for arrears or other breach).
At first this was not well understood, and many agreements (including some which came to be standard) included clauses which allowed a possibility that the landlord might do what is said here. Incompetent agents may still be using such agreements. The result _may_ be that it is an assured tenancy, but fails to meet the standards which allow the landlord to claim it as a shorthold. This gives you much better rights.

Look at the agreement. If it says nothing at all about such a ground for recovery it doesn't exist. If it does, then it may be an assured tenancy but not an assured shorthold.

See someone at Shelter or similar.

Re: Appalling service throughout lettings process - kicked 4

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 7:34 pm
by Smouldering Stoat
The tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy unless Schedule 2A of the Housing Act applies. I've not come across a non-shorthold Assured Tenancy for some time. It is unclear to me why a landlord would want to enter into a non-shorthold tenancy except to prevent the tenant from referring the rent to a Rent Assessment Committee, which nobody does anyway.

Re: Appalling service throughout lettings process - kicked 4

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 7:33 pm
by dls
My point was that many landlords set out agreements which they thought were shorthold, and which they wanted to be shortholds, but which were merely assured.

Re: Appalling service throughout lettings process - kicked 4

PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:43 pm
by royw
I don't think they can get you out during the fixed term except for breach of tenancy (most commonly 2 months rent arrears) and then they need to issue you with a Section 8 & get a court order. After the fixed period 2 months notice is required, & 2 months to leave at the end of the fixed period. They can sell the house but the new owner will still be bound by your AST. It is the landlord's job to fix the defects, if you've done it yourself you may be able to claim, also if deposit hasn't been protected properly. This will get back at the landlord but probably not the agency. You may like to look at which has a lot of information and many experienced posters.
Try the ombudsman for your problem with British Gas, the previous tenant's debt is not your responsibility. I had a similar problem with BG - bought a repossession & every time I topped up the meter they swiped some of it to pay for previous occupant's debt. Solved immediately the ombudsman was involved.