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Found 15 results

  1. Don't know if we are allowed to mention names here, but here goes anyway. Interested to know if a letting agent can legally switch energy suppliers on a house up for rent without notifying or seeking authorisation from the Landlord/owner? Discovered that Countrywide 'sold' the contract to E.on, (who incidentally have a whole department dedicated to that company). Countrywide get a fee (although E.on would not say how much this was) and E.on get a new customer (we know how apathetic most people are on changing their suppliers) on any tariff they choose to set. E.on said they took the contract on in good faith (ie. that is on the understanding that the Landlord had agreed). Clearly no checks and balances on E.on's part, but then scruples are always thin on the ground when money is one the table.
  2. Hi I have been staying at a property for about 3 years now and have just moved out end of last month. There is a dispute on the return of the deposit due to the claims of the landlord to paint the whole house and pass half the cost to us when we moved out. The house was not newly painted when we moved in 3 years ago. And our justification its just a normal wear and tear and it seem like he is trying to pass the cost for re-painted 'old for new' on his property. Since we raised the issue of dispute, only then we realised our monies was not deposited into any scheme. Then a few days ago the letting agent had deposited our monies into the Deposit scheme and back-date to month we moved in. Can we demand for our deposit as, there was a breach of law not to deposit our monies into a deposit scheme within 30 days, 3 years ago? What is the implication now, that he has deposited our monies into the scheme? If our monies are in the deposit scheme, and we were to go to court, will we be paid compensation? :???: Thank you for your reply
  3. Currently have an AST due for renewal. Have paid £70 for the letting agent's "contract fees" for 12 months renewal. However, since this me and my partner, whose father was guarantor, have split up. She has moved back with her parents and is looking for her own place, and we have mutually agreed that I can continue living in the property. The contract has not yet been signed and needs to be done soon. The main problem is I have no family who could act as a guarantor, and the letting agents insists on one. My ex partner's Dad has said he would be a guarantor on a 6 monthly basis. It's a nice gesture, but to be honest I'd much rather not put my ex partner's Dad under that sort of potential financial obligation. I'd much rather be splitting any such ties. Should I just sign for 6 months with ex partner's Dad as guarantor? Might not signing and going on a rolling monthly contract be an option? The letting agent has not touted this as a possible option, I guess because of the revenue they make charging contract fees for 2 minutes work. So I suspect the letting agent will be against this idea. Many thanks for any suggestions. Edit: probably appropriate to note in terms of employment, I am almost guaranteed a 12 month contract from September 2013, but a permanent position is a strong possibility.
  4. Hi I hope this is the correct forum for my post. I'm a private tenant and have been in my current property under a Statutory Periodic Tenancy for six years. Last year, due to illness that prevented me from working for 4 months, I fell into rent arrears. The letting agent has now served me with a Section 8 Notice using ground 8 for more than 2 months rent arrears and also grounds 10 & 11. The notice period has now expired and the letting agent begun court proceedings a couple of days ago. The letting agent periodically shows up unannounced at my property to "check on me". He keeps telling me I have to get out within the week. He tells me the courts will be "at your door to sell your goods." There's generally a lot of intimidation going on. He repeatedly tells me "I want you out of here NOW." The letting agent also told me there's no point me bothering to attend the court hearing and that I just need to get out within two weeks max. But the court hasn't made any kind of ruling yet. We haven't even been given a court date yet. Call me naive but since they've now begun legal proceedings isn't this a court matter? I am endeavouring to actually clear the arrears before it even gets to court. Does the letting agent have the right to keep harassing and intimidating me? He says he'll be back again to urge me to get out. What are my rights here?
  5. Hi I have done application for renting a flat in Witney. I have paid reference checking fees initially and after my references are passed, Estate Agent has asked me to pay half rent as a holding deposite. Which I have paid then he comfirm me moving date 1/11/2011 and time 9:00 am via email. So I had handover notice to my current landlord and let him know that I am moving out. Trouble: Day before my Estate Agent has called me to tell that "I will not have flat on 1/11/2011 as landlord informed that the old tenants wants to stay there". I have really tough situation now, as my present flat is no longer available to me because I handover notice. I have to move out on 1/11/2011. I explained Estate agent it is not possible for me to move back from this deal. But he said that new contract is not signed yet and all our conversation done by emails only so I can't have new flat. I have also asked him do temporary arrangement for one month so I can have enough time to find new flat. But estate agent is not agreeing on this as well. Finally, I had started to follow his online complain procedure which is available on Estate agency's website. I have sent him complain email and still waiting for his reply. I need advice asap on this matter from group members about this unfair attitute of estate agent. I can't even sleep as I don't know where can I stay after 1/11/2011. Thanks Dhaval
  6. Hi,I moved out of an apartment on 21st May, post which the landlord promptly sent a note to the letting agent to return/release my deposit of 1000 GBP.It is 27th June already and the letting agent has not returned my deposit.On enquiring, first they sent me an e-mail stating that the deposit scheme is delaying the release of deposit. On enquiring with the deposit scheme, I was told that the deposit scheme runs on a insurance basis and does not hold the deposit.They advised me that I persist with my letting agent and then if I am finally convinced, raise a dispute with them, following which it might take close to at least 60 working days before my deposit comes back to me.To avoid such a huge delay, I confronted my letting agent asking them why they were mis-representing facts (i.e. that deposit is being held back by deposit scheme), to whcih I was told that they will return my deposit by end June'11.How best can I deal with such letting agents and get my money(with interest/penalty, if possible) back asap.Kindly advise.
  7. Hello all, I went to view a residential property yesterday to let. Whilst at the property the agent showing me around stated that the total fees that would be charged would be around £300 to £350. She did not give me anything in writing. I really liked the property and as soon as I left called the office and paid the £300 holding deposit (seems a bit high to me), as there were other people viewing the property straight after so I wanted to make sure I got in there fast. I got a call about an hour later from the agent saying that the other people who viewed the property after me had upped the offer by £25 per month and that if I wanted to guarantee the property then she suggested also raising my offer to this amount. I thought about it and really liked the property so agreed. Today I went into the office to pick up my receipt for the £300 holding deposit and the application forms. I asked the lady in the office to clarify the fees and she then told me that they totalled £540!! A whopping £190 more than what was quoted to me whilst viewing the property. I'm not sure that I can afford these fees but now they have taken the excessive holding fee, I am worried that this will not be refunded. They haven't provided me with any terms and conditions and I haven't signed anything. Please help! Thanks
  8. We agreed to rent a house with a £500 holding deposit based on moving in on a certain date. Just days before the move in date, we called the agency to check all was ok and were told that there was a serious problem. The previous tenants had refused to leave and court papers had been served to get them evicted. This meant that we weren't able to move in. We tried to come to a compromise with the agency about a new date but they were useless at keeping us informed about the progress of the court case and they kept moving the move in date further and further back. As the end of our previous tenancy agreement was very close, we had no choice but to find another property with another agent. The first agent have refused to provide us with our holding deposit back, despite the fact that, through no fault of our own, the tenancy was unable to proceed. Are they right in being able to keep our £500?? Thinking about small claims but I'm not sure how strong the case would be. Help!
  9. HI This is the first time ive posted but really need to help or understanding my rights. Last December 2010, I had an issue with the boiler in my house breaking, resulting in no hot water or central heating. This was reported to the Letting Agents who in turn reported it to the landlord. After a week of calling every day, and having to heat an old terrace house with electric heaters with extra cost in electricity the landlord authorised the letting agents to send out a plumber who fitted the boiler with a new circuit board. After a while we noticed that we were unable to alter the temperature of the heating as the display flashed constantly at 73 regardless what temp we set it to. We reported this to the letting agents who then sent the plumbers back to check. They advised us that they were meant to take a `Link` off the old circuit board and put it on the new one they installed. They asked us what we had done with the old board, and we told them that it was discarded on the advice of them. They then left and we heard nothing else. Two weeks later we were unable to switch the heating off at all using the control panel, so we are now resorting to switching the boiler off at the mains. Again I called the letting agents to ask when the plumber was returning and about the new problem. They advised me that no plumber was due to come out as they had been advised that the boiler was working! I explained that it wasn’t working and a plumber was sent back out. When the plumber arrived he begin to aggressively tell me that the boiler was working and that there was nothing wrong with the temperature controls and that the problem was the clock on the boiler. When I told him we couldn’t change the temp of the boiler he said that it was working, and that all it needed was a new clock. (Mainly I feel his animosity towards me reflected in the fact that me and my partner are Gay) He said that he would be back either Tuesday or Wednesday to install it. Tuesday and Wednesday passed and we heard nothing. 3 weeks later we called the letting agents complaining that nothing had been done. They advised that they would pass the matter onto their manager, 2 days later we get a call from the plumber to say that he will order the part today and call us when he can fix it. We asked him about the issue with the temperature controls and he said his manager was on holiday so he wasn’t sure. We are worried about the condition of the boiler by constantly having to switch it on and off at the mains when we need hot water for showing, washing up and using the washing machine. It’s also adding more cost to our gas bill as we are running the heating on full while we wash clothes on a weekend, which isn’t good when the weather is warm. We would really like to know where we stand with the way we are being treated as the tenancy agreement states that they are responsible for maintaining a working central heating system which includes the boiler, and that isn’t being done as we have had problems since last November. We are good tenants, never have any problems and the rent is paid in full on time every month, but I feel that the only way to get a satisfactory response would be to hold the rent payments until it is fixed, but know that this then is in breach of our agreement. This situation has caused us additional costs which we cannot afford and various degrees of stress trying to rectify it. I’m not sure on what help you can give us, but I’m at a loss as to where to turn to for advice as I feel we are being treated like fools.
  10. I’m hoping someone here has some information and can help me make some decisions too. Basically I moved into a new property last September with my partner. It’s rented from a nice couple who moved abroad and managed by ‘Paul Simon Estate Agents’. Since the start things have been pretty bad with our agent. First – and mainly - the toilet flush broke, and there were a few other small issues. These dragged on for months, right up past Christmas till January. Getting things fixed was a slow business. Most of the time, the agents didn’t return calls or keep appointments. The plumbers/builders that the agents used seemed particularly poor. They too missed appointments, didn’t finish work, etc. In the few weeks before Christmas, I started to become very angry over all this, and sent a few letters/emails about the situation, informing them that unless action was taken I was going have the work completed myself. We were also in contact with the flat owners, informing them what was happening. They interceded on our behalf and sent some quite angry emails (and copied us in) to the agents telling them that they were paying a lot of money to deal with all this and they shouldn’t be having to keep an eye on them etc. Finally after Xmas the toilet was fixed. I then sent a long complaint to them regarding the length of time it took to sort and how everything was dealt with – remember we didn’t have a proper toilet for almost 5 months; we had to pour buckets of water down the bowl all that time. The agents replied to this with a letter, filled with mistruths and strange lies. Stating that we had refused them access to the property, we had missed appointments and that the plumbers had been ‘sent away’ by my mother on one occasion! The whole thing was just a joke. I sent a massive reply refuting practically everything they had said – most of it I was able to prove wrong and so the agents said they would look into it and get back to us. They haven’t. In the meantime, we also had a water leak in our kitchen from the flat upstairs over the New Year. That was dealt with fairly quickly, but it’s again took a long time to completely fix the damage (Paining the walls and ceiling etc.) – only just finished in May! We had other issues with our electrics, and then again with the toilet – this time the pipes and plumbing. We’d reported this back in December and think it had something to do with not having a flush on the toilet for so - long causing waste to build up - but nothing was ever done about it until the last few weeks. This all a bit disjointed and hard to explain – there are about half a dozen other things I could complain about - but the general gist is that the agents: -Don’t reply to contact – Letters, emails or phone calls -Fail to have things fixed in a timely manner -Are slow and quite often rude The worst part about this was our toilet. We had no flash for the first 3-4 months and then a continually blocking/overflowing toilet for the next 3 months. That alone I feel is almost criminal. What I want is to take some kind of action against these agents. Now I know they’re not part of any registered schemes (Big shock) so that route is closed. Is there anything else I can do? The second issue is this. I do NOT want to have to deal with them for a second year. We’re paying £1250 P/M, and they take about 15% of this, whist doing very little. I seem to spend more time on the phone, writing letters and chasing things up than them. Assuming my landlords/owners agree, is it possible to change to another letting agents? Or even pay direct to my landlords and cut out the agents? I’ve read all sorts of things about you not being about to ‘leave’ the agents and go direct with the owner which sounds very strange to me, after all, the landlords own the flat! Although I’m not really aware what kind of contract the landlords have with the agents. So, any ideas, information and help?
  11. Hi, Not 100% sure of my rights/obligations here, so any help would be greatly appreciated! The LA which my LL used to manage the property on an AST which had fallen into periodic tenancy vanished without trace at the end of February. At the start of March, I recieved a telephone call from the LL informing me that no further payments were to be made to the LA, and that she had not received the rent payment for February. The LL confirmed that she had spoken to the LA before they 'vanished' and that they infoermed her they had recieved the rent, and would pay into heer account. According to the LL this did not happen and she was unable to contact them again. The LL insisted upon a new AST being signed - I did not see the purpose of this, and was loath to do so as my LL has a r3eputation for being 'difficult', but LL stated she would serve notice if I did not sign, and as I did not have a security deposit or moving costs for a new property, I felt I had no choice but to sign. As soon as the new AST was signed, my LL became the LL from hell. She began making demands for receipts for rental payments going back to December 2010, insisted upon late fee charges being paid for December, January and February payments (the rent since August 2009 has been paid either on time or up to 14 days late on occasion, without any notice of any issues regarding this), threatening court action for rent arrears if receipts were not produced etc. Whilst I understood her frustration with the LA, and would have been happy to work with her to get any paperwork that would help her in her claim against the LA, I was shocked and immediately defensive to this seemingly unfair and overly aggressive stance. In subsequent correspondence, the LL has stated that the LA are in administration and made continuous reference to this matter also being a 'criminal matter'. Upon searching rigorously, I managed to locate the majority of my receipts bar one for the amount of £160.00 (I have a dreadful feeling it was located in one of my books which I have since sold in a car boot sale...). LL has stated that according to the Official Receivers there is no record of £160.00 being paid, which I know to be untrue. Several letters later and she is now instructing me that if the £160.00 'arrears' and the 'outstanding late fees' are not paid within 7 days, she will make a claim at County Court. She has also issued a letter titled 'notice of legal proceedings' in which she states that her solicitor is 'looking into a claim for misrepresentation'. A couple of internet searching hours later, and I have my response to that particular letter. I asked the LL to provide details of the Official Receivers several times, as i suspected that the LA were not in adminstration, but had just vanished, and she was attempting to recover whatever losses she had by making demands for payments I could not provide receipts for. Luckily I found the majority, but this last £160.00 is proving difficult! She has made continuous references to the 'Official Receivers' and the contact she has had with them, but upon pushing her for the fourth time for the name of such, her response was as follows: 'In response to your queries regarding the Official Receivers for (LA) I have asked permission to pass their details onto you. As you are not a creditor they have specifically asked me not to do so at this time'. This actually made me laugh, as such information is a matter of public record, and this proved to me that she has not in fact had any contact with a receiver of any kind. I have paid for reports on companies house today, and they confirm that the LA is in liquidation, not administration. The reports were also only filed on 14.04.11, with the 'wind down' meeting having taken place on 31.03.11. As such, the claims my LL has made about speaking to Official Receivers before the company was even in liquidation are clearly lies. I obviously also now have the liquidators details What I would like help with is where I stand on the matter of the missing receipt for £160.00? Does my LL have the right to so aggressively chase for this, even though I have already paid it? Also, does she have the right to begin back-dating late fees when there was no issue raised in the past regarding late payments? Any help is greatly appreciated, I have had to become a rental expert in the last few months, what with the numerous claims about legal and criminal proceedings, as well as several repair issues (a leaking roof is 'non-urgent' according to the LL and the black mould spreading under my bedroom windows, up the wall, and around the back of the wardrobe is 'not harmful and should be cleaned off the wall with a mild detergent'; this advice comes without any testing of the mould, and without her even seeing it!). I have managed to find my own answers on most of the curveballs my LL has thrown at me, but I'm a little stuck on this one! Many thanks in anticipation
  12. I have some issues with my LL, and have spent many an hour hammering the internet for information – I require additional clarification on what I’ve found out so far, any advice would be much appreciated! I have been a tenant with the same LA for over 2 years and lived in two properties through them. I moved into my current rented property in September 2009, when my LL purchased the property I was renting at the time, and I agreed to rent her property through the same LA. In January this year, the LA asked that all payments should be made to them in cash as they were ‘having problems changing banks’. Whilst this seemed a little strange, I had no issue or cause for concern as I had an excellent relationship with the LA, they had gone above and beyond their legal duties as LA, and I was very happy with the admirable way they looked after the tenants as well as the landlords. I made payments in cash, and received receipts for the same. At the start of March, I received a phone call from my LL stating that I should not make any further payments to the LA, and that she would provide bank details for me to pay rent directly to her. She informed me that she had not received payment from the LA for February’s rent, and that she could not get in contact with anyone from the LA (office closed, no-one answering phone etc). She did confirm that at the end of Feb she spoke to a lady at the LA over the phone; it was someone she had not spoken to previously, and the lady stated that she was ‘a family friend helping out’. The LL told me that the lady confirmed that Feb rental had been paid, and that payment would be made to my LL asap. According to the LL, no payment was made. My LL shortly afterwards posted the new tenancy agreement (AST for 6 months), and after adding some additional terms and conditions, I signed the AST. I would have preferred to move out of the property (I have met the LL and she can be very difficult, especially when you are voicing her errors or issues!) but as I did not have a security deposit (the LA had used the deposit as a rent payment on the previous property when my partner had to have emergency heart surgery and our funds hit the floor), and did not have the money to move, I didn’t see I had much choice. In the same correspondence, the LL also made additional claim that the LA had gone into liquidation, however, despite requesting the information three times in writing, she has yet to provide details of the Receivers, which makes me suspect that the LA has simply vanished and is not actually in receivership. Under the new AST, the rent for March fell due on 21.03.11, however, following issues with my tax credit payment I was only able to pay £150.00 (the rent is £525.00 per cal month). I informed the LL of my circumstances in writing and confirmed that a) if the tax credit issue was resolved quickly, the rent would be paid as soon as I received the shortfall payment or b) if the issue was not resolved quickly enough, I would pay £50.00 on 25.03.11, with the full outstanding balance to be cleared on 01.04.11. My LL has now stated in writing that unless payment is made in full by 25.03.11 for Feb rental (under the previous AST and already paid to the LA), and Mar (under the new AST), she will go to CC for a possession order. I have looked up the terms and understand that she is not in a legal position to seek such an order as there is less than two months rent arrears and the offer/reasons for late payment I have made for the arrears is reasonable, and also that she has not supplied any Notice of Intention. She also claims that she has filed a complaint with the police in regard to the LA, as it is a criminal matter, and that she requires receipts for payments made to LA dating back to Dec 2010, despite confirming in writing that she has received the rental payments for Dec and Jan (albeit late). Sorry to go on, but I wanted to provide a full background, and would appreciate greatly any advice offered on the following points of concern: As far as I can tell, the non-payment of rent by the LA is a civil matter, not a criminal matter as it involves the breaking of a contract by the LA, and as such the LL would have to sue the LA. Is this correct? Is there a difference to LL/tenant obligations if the LA has just vanished rather than gone in administration? Can my LL demand receipts for a 3 month period even when she has confirmed payment received for 2 of them? And what happens if I cannot find all receipts? (I am currently missing one receipt for a payment of £160.00). Am I legally obliged to provide any receipts at all? I am a good tenant, and always make my rent the first bill I pay; I am in no way trying to get out of paying anything. I understand my LL concerns about the loss of her money, but I do object to being treated like I have done wrong and being threatened with eviction when she has no right to do. I am also having a nightmare with trying to get her to understand that whilst the boiler is indeed covered by a Home Care agreement as has a safety certificate, the other gas appliances do not have the same, and her Home Care agreement does not cover these. This is the mentality I am dealing with, so I need to be 100% certain of my legal obligation so that I can be sure where I stand, and not be harassed or bullied which is what I feel she is trying to do (repeated mention of it being a ‘police matter’, demands for rent confirmed as already paid, threats to evict etc). I feel she is trying to railroad me, and, with her coming to inspect the property on Saturday (I can’t wait ), I want to be able to firmly stand my ground should she make any demands that she is not legally entitled to do so. Thanks so much in advance for your help!!
  13. I started an AST via a letting agent on 11/12/2009 to 10/12/2010. I paid a £600 deposit. In november 2010 I recieved notice that the flat i was renting would be repossessed on 7/12/2010 as the landlord had not kept up with the mortgage payments. I spoke to the letting agent and agreed to move out at the end of my tenancy agreement. I moved out and handed the keys back to the letting agent and they completed the final inspection. They confirmed that my deposit would be returned to me in full without deductions and that their manager would be in touch with how I make a claim for my deposit. I then recieved an email saying the letting agent had gone into liquidation in June 2010. They said that my deposit had been held in their client money account, and the bank the account was held with has illegally (or so they say) used this account in the liquidation so they were having to take said bank to court to recover that account and the monies held in that account so they would not be able to return my deposit. They advised they held client money protection insurance with NALS (National Approved Lettings Scheme) so I would have to claim my deposit back from them. I asked about claiming it back via the TDS and they said that due to the liquidation the deposit was no longer protected by them as of 1/9/2010. The Letting agent continued to trade under a new name and continued to be my letting agent. They did not advise me of the liquidation or the name change, only that they had moved offices. They did not advise that my deposit was no longer covered and neither did TDS. They did not, as my 'new' letting agent reprotect my deposit. So from September 2010 to December 2010 my deposit was not covered. I have made a claim with NALS but am yet to discover if anyone has sucessfully claimed anything back from them and they are unable to advise how long this claim will take. My letting agent have completed washed their hands of responsibility and say I must deal with NALS from now on. Can I take the LA to small claims on the fact that they did not protect my deposit? Or would I have to go direct to the Landlord himself? Any advice if greatly appreciated
  14. Hi, I have moved into a 2 bedroom flat and I'm paying £600 a month way over the odds for the area, there is an electric shower which was one of the main reasons i chose it, which does not give hot water however about 7am sometimes it does give slightly warm water, the letting agents however say because the bath does have hot water they will not fix it, we had problems with not knowing how to even turn the hot water on at all at the start and they said we are guinea pigs for the flat and worked it out. My question, is there anything i can do about this shower? Anyway i can force them to fix it? Thanks very much
  15. I am wondering if it just I am failing to understand how things work or is this completely off the charts. The story so far: I am currently renting from a private landlord. Want to move to another house. Found a more or less decent property to rent from a private landlord, Reed Rains is an agent. Put an application in and after lots of documents provided on their request (copy of passport, bank statements, utility bills etc..) and about 200£ paid for this the references went thru ok. Now I have received a letter from Reed Rains saying that references and credit check is fine and I welcome to come to their office to sign the lease and that appointment is set to, let's say, 15th of October .(let's assume that today is 15th of September) The thing is the tenancy is supposed to start on 15th of October as well!!! So they want me to phisically come and sign on the exactly the same day when the tenancy starts. Anyone, who, ever moved house would understand how ridiculous it is. I called the agent and asked to move the appointment to sign the lease for lets say tomorrow. They explained that it is their policy to always sign the lease on the first day of the tenancy and insisted that it is their policy and they do it for all letting agreements. I cannot beleive this. This simply cannot be the truth. Does anyone has encountered this? Any advise and suggestions? I do like the house and would like to rent it but this is beyound belief.
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