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Let down by Letting agent so need a new home

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Author Topic: Let down by Letting agent so need a new home  (Read 84 times)
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« on: July 03, 2021, 10:06:57 AM »

My Daughter and a friend after a long search found a 2 bed flat in Cardiff signed all the necessary contracts, provided guarantors, paid all the necessary deposits and bonds etc. (agent 1). On the day they went to collect the keys they were told the tenant in the flat was refusing to move out and it could take weeks to get them out and they had nothing else to offer other than an room share in an student house or all monies refunded and contract ended.

Further investigation found the same flat being advertised under another agent (agent 2) but not available until September. We spoke to agent 2 who told us they were the sole agent for the property that the other agent had been the agent for the property in the past but no longer was and had not been given an instruction to let the property by the landlord. That the current tenant was not refusing to leave they were on a contract up to 31st August.

There were a lot of words with agent 1 who were rude, unapologetic and suggested the landlord should pay compensation. I pointed out to them why would the landlord be expected to pay us compensation when he had no knowledge that agent 1 was trying to rent out his property without his permission but it just ended up being a pointless war of words that I had little energy for. Interestingly as we were leaving the agents premises there was another group of 4 students outside who also were unable to collect their keys as their shared house was not available, who had travelled done from London to move into their new home to find themselves without a home.

My daughter has received back all of her money the other girl is refusing to provide agent 1 with her bank details as she has been advised by a solicitor that once she accepts her money back she will lose any rights to compensation. I might add she has wealthy parents with the time and money to fight this. I have neither the time, money and I am of the opinion my daughter has dodged a bullet. Yes she now has to search for another property but she will not be spending the next year with an agent with no integrity who has proven they cannot be trusted.

I would be interested on people views of the above but also any suggestions on finding a 2 bedroom property in the Cardiff area for 2 females. My daughter is a student until the end of August when she will then be a qualified Nurse and has a job lined up, the other girl is a healthcare worker. Their budget is limited to around 800 per month. The main issue is the other girl has an elderly dog, a Pug for which she is able to provide references on his behaviour from previous landlords but very few properties accept pets.
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2021, 10:43:49 AM »

Your daughter was absolutely 100% correct in getting her money back,and putting this down to experience.Whether this is criminal fraud or a civil matter, I'm afraid the other girl's family will probably end up sending good money after bad.I can see their point though.
With regard to the dog issue (and I just love the idea that this old pug had his own character references!) they may have to be more proactive.It could be worth using social media,or posting on the FB pages of any dog charities in the area.Some dog-friendly landlord like me might spot it. There may be a local pug owners club,and the dog could post something saying he needs to find somewhere that will accept his two humans. Yes,I know, but these are my people,I know how they think. Good luck.
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2021, 12:25:05 PM »

...she will not be spending the next year with an agent with no integrity who has proven they cannot be trusted.

That's pretty much all Agents.

My understanding is that once a contract is signed, monies paid etc. - the tenancy is valid and whether the Landlord (or Agent) has trouble with the existing Tenant still being there is not relevant. The Landlord (or Agent) is on the hook for providing accommodation, even if that be in a hotel. They can't just 'opt out' of the contract because "some other stuff happened"... right?

If my understanding is incorrect, then it shouldn't be.
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2021, 07:45:33 PM »

Thanks HEAVYKARMA. Some good suggestions using social media and appealing to dog loving landlords we will give them a try and yes this is definitely a life lesson neither I or my daughter would care to repeat.

Thanks HIPPOGRIFF. No I don't think your understanding is incorrect and if we had the time and will for a fight I am sure we have a valid claim. Don't get me wrong there is a part of me which really wants to make the agency take responsibility for their actions but after spending nearly two hours in their office arguing it out with them it was clear they had no intention of acknowledging their responsibility and all they kept repeating was this is the landlords responsibility not theirs but equally refused to give us the landlords details hiding behind confidentiality reasons. If we had stayed much longer I don't doubt they would have called the police and had us forcibly removed. I do have the landlords name and address now but not a phone number or email and I would like to hear his version of this situation but the remainder of yesterday was taken up in moving my daughter and all of her belongings back to the family home in Bristol so she does have a roof over her head but commuting back and forward to Cardiff each day is not ideal so it would be good to find her another rental before she starts her nursing job working 13 hours shifts.
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2021, 08:40:31 AM »

I know of an Agent who has listed an apartment of mine they have no instruction for. In fact, it's not even up for let... it is occupied and will be occupied by the same Tenant until August 2022 (rent all paid up front). When I sent the Agent, who was listing my apartment on their site, an email asking them to remove it - as it was obviously just a 'filler' property to make prospective customers think they had a thriving business, and there was no way they could ever let it or get any fees, from anyone, on it... I was met with a response that basically said it was "outside their control and I would need to speak to Google", "who control all this"... after laughing so hard and falling onto the floor I realised the kind of person I was dealing with... either someone so disingenuous that nothing I said would change their mind... or someone so dim that nothing I said would make sense to them.

What was annoying was that they're using pictures from 2014 (a rug in the living room doesn't even exist any more) at a lower rent than what I recently re-signed for... and, yes, my current Tenant saw it and queried me on it.

Agents! Can't live with 'em... can live without them.
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