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A whole lot of issues with a letting agency

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325 views 2 replies latest reply: 18 January 2017


This was my first time to rent a property via a letting agency in London (previously I rented directly from the owner) and unfortunately I have encounted a load of issues with them, which I’m detailing below and would appreciate your advice on how I should tackle these points with them.

1. The furniture provided is not fit for purpose to be used by a family of 4, and it was not what I requested in my initial offer (e.g. I requested an L-shaped leather sofa, while the provided sofa is a 2-seater fabric sofa). It is worth to mention that:
  a. I was not provided the chance to view the furniture before being put in the flat. I have only viewed the flat while it was unfurnished and the first time I viewed the furniture was during the check-in.
  b. I asked for less furniture than what was actually offered (the flat was offered fully furnished, while I asked for the 2nd bedroom not to be furnished expect for a wardrobe). Hence, in return of the cost savings, the least I expected is to have furniture that is fit for purpose.
 c. Also if I were consulted during choosing the furniture, I would have advised on what furniture would suit my needs, which I can say it would have costed the landlord much less than what was actually paid (e.g. the provided dining table, despite being new, is made of glass which is not suitable for kids, while I needed a much simpler wooden dining table that would cost about £40)
2. It seems that the agency have a problem with meeting their promises. This is reflected in the following incidents:
  a. It took the contact point from the agency a full week to respond to my offer; despite being promised a next day reply in every call (I kept calling everyday as I was considering other properties)
  b. Despite a previous agreement to do the right to rent check for my wife, have the addendum letter and get the 2nd copy of the keys on a certain day, I have been advised that no one in office is aware of this appointment and hence, I cannot get the addendum letter or the keys on the agreed date.
3. The below relatively significant point were not pointed out to me during viewing the flat, which came as a completely unpleasant surprise to me during checking-in:
  a. That the fridge provided with the flat is very small. One that is not suitable to a family usage.
4. The check-in process was not done properly, which left me with:
  a. No user manuals has been provided for the home appliances
  b. Not knowing where to dispose refuse; as the refuse collection place is not yet accessible (it is a newly built block)
  c. Not knowing how to operate the ventilation system and I’m not sure if it is functioning properly
  d. Not knowing how to operate the heating system and I’m not sure if it is functioning properly
  e. Not knowing how to let delivery men in the building; as flat does not yet have an entry phone device installed
  f. Not knowing what is the purpose of the switch next to both bathrooms
 g. Not knowing what is the purpose of the different switches in the utilities room
5. The difficulty I have to encounter every time I try to contact someone from property management. This is reflected in the below incidents:
 a. I still have not received a reply on my email sent over a month ago, related to the flat’s utilities provided
 b. My repeated attempts to reach anyone from property management, to inquire about the entry system. And I haven’t reached someone yet!

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Yeah, unfortunately these things happen. Some managing agencies are better than others. 

1. The furniture in the flat is chosen by the landlord or their representative. It’s best to consult tenants on what they need. In your case, it would have even saved them money, however, it’s up to them to choose the furniture in the property. 

In any case, it’s too late now and there is hardly anything you can do, but replace furniture at your own expense (please consult the landlord if you plan on doing this.)

2. Did this misunderstanding cost you money ? If so, you should negotiate a slight reduction in rent to cover for the lost opportunities. It’s very unlikely for this to happen, but you can at least pressure them to complete this task faster (right to rent check, obviously).

3 and 4. – Obviously, these are important things that should have been clarified. But did you not have the chance to ask about them during the viewing / check-in process. You’re equally responsible for getting yourself informed about everything you need to use in the property or out. 

5. I can only recommend to you to check out which redress scheme your letting agent belongs to, or which accreditation scheme they are signed up for. You can use these 3rd party organizations to complain about your agent’s slow responses and bad handling of you as a tenant. 

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