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End of tether.......

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549 views 8 replies latest reply: 21 May 2015


I thought I would share our story in the hope that someone may have some useful advice.

Two months ago my wife and I and our four children were given notice to quit as our current landlords are now selling the property. We viewed all available 3 bedroom properties and were that the Landords didn’t want children, that we had too many children and they only wanted two. The best one was that they didn’t want anyone on benefits. When I queried this as we aren’t in receipt of HB I was told Child Benefit (I know how can you rent a house to a family who don’t receive CB).

We finally found somewhere and placed the holding fee and referencing fee. The references came back and the agent was very satified. We still don’t have the keys. The estate agent was unable to get hold of the landlord, after two weeks of phone calls and emails the landlord finally makes contact. It turns out the property does not have a fire safety certificate, and, in order to get one they ahve to carry out works. The landlord does not want the agent to arrange this and will let us know the timescale by the end of the week, that was a week and a half ago.

In the meantime, and as our current tenancy ends at the end of the month, we have been frantically searching for an alternative. We found a lovely place and put our application in. My wife was told yesterday that that this had gone to another applicant, shortly after hearing this our car died.

So, with nine days to go, we have no house, no car and we recently found out our daughter did not get the school we wanted but one 3.5 miles away from her sisters school.

It is very frustrating, we are not loafers or layabouts, I work as an IT Manager, our children are all well behaved, three of which are in advanced maths and english classes. My wife is distraught and we are still no further ahead in moving. We are viewing a property tomorrow and if this does not pan out I really don’t know what we are going to do.

Any advice we be greatly appreciated, to have all these issues arise at once is soul destroying.


Hi Peanut

If it’s any consoldation there’s a lot of this around at the moment – everything going wrong at once (speaking from personal experience) but I’m sorry you’re in this position.

Did you by any chance sign the tenancy on the new place? If so then you can move in on the start date, as long as it’s also signed by the landlord.

You could try to claim all the fees paid to the agent back as the property wasn’t actually ready for rent and so not actually as advertised. You could also make a complaint about the agent to the Property Ombudsmand or an industry body like the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

In terms of getting a roof over your head I think all you can do is to keep looking for somewhere or hope the landlord gives you a short timescale for the building works. The letting industry in the UK is so poorly structured that tenants are often left in this position and so it’s difficult to know what to suggest. The fact that this has happened is certainly nothing to do with you and your family.

Could you negotiate an extra month with the current landlord?



Hi Alex,


Alas we didn’t sign the agreement, that was to be the next step.


There are 3 bodies involved. The local agent who arranges the viewings, the corporate agent who deals with the tanancy and the landlord who is a company(or so we have been told.)


We have paid the referencing fee which was the holding fee on the property. The local agents have taken it of the market and the corporate agents are trying to arrange the agreement with the landlord, then…


Last Thursday the property appears on Rightmove up for rent with a completely different local agent!! I called them and was told that the property was not owned by a company and was private.


Our current landlords have very kindly given us two more weeks as they have an emergency of their own and need to sell in a hurry. In the meantime they want to view the property and and have viewings of their own. My wife is arranging storage today so we can get most of our stuff out. I have contacted the local council to see if they can help in any way but at the moment we have been unsuccessful in every property we have applied for. Landlords are choosing families with 2 kids over 4.


If we do not find somewhere we will have to think about staying with family, that may mean I take the boys to my parents and my wife takes the girls to hers.


Failing that we have a large tent!!!


I hope it doesn’t come to the tent!

This isn’t the first post we’ve had about landlords refusing families. It’s a real problem with such a busy rental market and house prices being so high. It sounds like you’re doing all you can in the meantime, good luck with it and come back to us if we can help with any developments.


Hi Peanut, another agent here.  Your agent should have known about there not being a fire (gas safety) certificate in place, make sure you get all of your depsoit back.   All agents now need to be part of a redress scheme and clearly advertise which one, if they refuse threaten to write to the redress scheme, if they still refuse then make sure you write.  This complete lack of interest is very disturbing to the agents who actually care and want to provide the best possible service to not only the landlord but also our tenants.  Good luck with finding a property and don’t be fobbed off with this ‘oh sorry you’ve got four children’ thing, that is no reason not to rent to you.



Ok, so the current position is that the flat is still being held for us (which is a good thing) we have tried everything to get an alternative property but alas no joy. We are either flatly refused due to the size of our family or the property is let before we even get a chance to view it. every agent has the same story, there’s very little out there and what is out there is snapped up quickly. Landlords have the pick of who they want and with 4 children it’s a bit of a deterent, even if they are well behaved.

We have arranged storage and are moving all our stuff however our officail tenancy has ended and we are now in the grace period arranged with our landlords. Still no word from the landlords of the new property but we are hoping and praying that the situation will be resolved before the two weeks is up. 

I have written to the corporate agents regarding our situation and asked for the matter to be escalated. Failing that I’m tempted to contact the Landlord myself but fear that this may cause some bad blood with the agent. It’s looking more and more like we WILL be homeless, all six of us and at a time when we are trying to fight for the school we want for our daughter as we have also fallen victim to the school admissions fiasco and we are now looking at the possibility of having to drop two girls off to two different schools 3.5 miles apart at the same time.

I don’t really know what’s holding me together but I am on the cusp of breaking.


Ok, this it I’m finally broken.

Just heard from the corporate agents, they ahve been asked by the landlord to stand down on marketing the property and cancel all move ins.

We are now homeless


What a horrendous situation to be in! I thought our problems were bad but they pale to insignificence compared to your plight. I hope the council stepped in to sort out temporary accomodation? They have a duty to do so as far as I know. You didn’t intentionally make yourselves homeless and you have done everything possible to find a place. With four children you should be top of the the priority list….although no doubt they would try and worm their way out of it by saying you can stay with family.

Have you tried sites like Openrent? There are no agents fees. Referencing is just £20 per tenant and the process is really fast. You also deal direct with the landlord and Openrent are very good at liasing if there are any issues. Only downside of course is there are not so many properties to choose from but it is one extra option you might want to look at.

By the way, that agent has acted in a completely unprofessional way and you definitely need to get all your fees back!

Best of luck




We did get on to the council who were very helpful The guy we talked to worked very hard to find us somewhere but there just wasn’t anywhere available.

Since my last post a lot has happened. When I heard that the property was no longer available (friday) I immediatley emailed all the agents detailing our plight and contacted the local agent who we had originally viewed the property with. They were outraged at the way we have been treated and were going to find out what was going on and, if necessary take it higher.

On the Tuesday I received an email from the corporate agent saying they could move us in as early as the 8th (3 days previous the property was off the market?) My wife rang them and the guy dealing with it had been assigned a different area and we now had a new guy. My wife arranged for the tennacy agreement to be emailed to us on the 8th which we would then sign and return.

On the 8th we didn’t get the agreement via email and my wife rang the agent and was told they were waiting on the landlord (again) she explained that this is all we have heard since the 21st March and we needed to know what was happening as we were about to be homeless. He rang back and said that he would be open and honest with us in light of our situation…..

“The landlord only has three months left of the lease and doesn’t know if he will renew”

I took the matter to the well known company that owns the property (the landlords) and emailed them detailing our situation and all the events that had happened. They sent my email to the man in charge of residential lettings asking him to look in to it urgently and apologising for the inconvenience we have suffered.

I waited for 8 days for a response and then submitted an official complaint.

I don’t know if the corporate agents have been lying to us or the man in charge is incompetent but having placed an application on the 21st March and  no further ahead I felt it was necessary. I received a reply from the company apologising and confirming my complaint, they are taking it to his boss who will investigate the matter fully. Hopefully this should shed some light as to what has been going on. To have a 12mnth contact agreed, works carried out the make the property suitable for rent then to find out they may not be renewing the lease is madness. We have been left severely out of pocket. I have had to pay for storage costs and two weeks additional unplanned rent not to mention the traumatic experience we have suffered as a result of this.

We do have some good news. We managed to get a property a little further out than we wanted but we now have the keys and should be moving in soon (our car just died, a car we purchased to replace our car that died, talk about timing!)

At the moment we are sleeping on the floor at my wife’s parents, we are all exhausted and frustrated. But we do have a home, once we can get all our stuff there!!!

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