I have recently ended my dealings with 5percentlet agency in Wimbledon and have felt compelled warn others that this company may well be the most unprofessional and inexperienced set of ¢â‚¬Ëœbusiness' people that I have ever had the misfortune to meet with.
I and four others expressed interest in taking out a joint tenancy with a 5 bed property in Wimbledon with 5percentlet. From the outset, I will admit, they did seem on whole pretty genuine; the sales person showing us the house came across as quite honest and open, remarking that they had dealt with the landlord before and that he was easy-going and would be willing to negotiate on terms, when quizzed with the general questions that one would ask when enquiring about renting a house, he was able to answer fairly well. The house was a very reasonable price for the area and the house seemed to meet all of our needs so we all decided to place a holding fee on the property.
Going back to the 5percent let office on Haydon Road in Wimbledon, the woman there explained to us that the landlord would like to put us on an AST tenancy and that we now would enter into a stage of negotiation about the property; the furniture, what we would like to see in property and then the contract would be sent out to us to read over as well as the guarantor forms. All fairly standard procedure, and the woman we were dealing with seemed very pleasant ¢â‚¬â€œ we had no reason to suspect that this would all change.
After this we sent a few emails describing what we would like to see in the house. An alarming amount of things that we enquired about were rejected ¢â‚¬â€œ causing us to wonder why we were bothering to enter into this so-called ¢â‚¬Ëœstage of negotiation' at all! What was worse was the tone of the emails that we being sent back ¢â‚¬â€œ it made us feel like we shouldn't be contacting them, as if it was an enormous hassle for them to deal with us.
Then came the forms for the guarantors ¢â‚¬â€œ I had a very minor issue with some of the wording ¢â‚¬â€œ it was quite vague and I asked them to clarify this over the phone to me which they happily did. However when I then asked them to put what they had said to me down in writing their tone completely transformed; (I have just told you, why don't you trust us, you don't need it in writing). When I brought up that a business relationship can't be about trust alone and that terms and conditions need to be written down in black and white to ensure that both parties were under no confusion as to what these were, they expressed that the landlord was ¢â‚¬Å“a very good landlord¢â‚¬Â and that I should trust him. Not something that you should be hearing from a ¢â‚¬Ëœprofessional' agency.
I then asked to see the insurance documents or at least proof of insurance and details of what this covered ¢â‚¬â€œ which was met with no reply for over a week. I then phoned the 5percentlet asking where this was and they said that they ¢â‚¬Å“weren't sure¢â‚¬Â what insurance the landlord had. I then spoke to the manager who told me that the landlord had buildings insurance and not landlords insurance only for him to change his mind to say that he DID have landlords insurance only to suddenly revert back to the original statement ¢â‚¬â€œ that he did have buildings insurance also adding that they did not have any accidental damage insurance cover. By this point I did not know what to believe! There is either a severe lack of communication/sufficient knowledge or that they are trying to cover up something very wrong. Their behaviour became withdrawn and angry and the whole situation turned very odd.
When asking again if we could have the proof of insurance they told us that ¢â‚¬Å“no-one in seven years had asked to see proof¢â‚¬Â and that they couldn't see why they should show me now. I referred them to the contract that states that I was within my right see all insurance documents and proof of ownership, to which they replied via email, and I quote: ¢â‚¬Å“On his behalf I can confirm he is the legal owner and that he has buildings insurance for the property¢â‚¬Â ¢â‚¬â€œ how can they believe that I would be happy to take someone word for something so serious?
I explained that I couldn't be happy signing an agreement when I couldn't be sure of the insurance on the property.
I also only received the contract a few days before move in date ¢â‚¬â€œ which I read through thoroughly and discovered that it was all vague and misworded ¢â‚¬â€œ the number clauses didn't even add up properly which must have been very embarrassing for them
The major issue was that the contract was Common Law when it had been discussed that the landlord was keen to put us under AST agreement. When quizzed about this, my question was ignored or glazed over. They had no real reason to put us under Common Law as we did not fit under any of the categories.
A major oversight on their part was that the contract stated that it was a Common Law agreement whereas the corresponding documents were all for AST agreements, again when asking them about this I was met with no explanation.
Two clauses in the contract contradicted each other and many others were not properly explained.
When I brought these up in an email they complained that I had a month to address the issues and there was not sufficient time to discuss them. I did not have a month and the contract was received by me only a couple of days before move in.
When dealing with them on the day before a phoned them a few times to discuss issues ¢â‚¬â€œ I had the phone thrown down on me twice and was spoken to in an absolutely disgusting manner. I was explained myself clearly and simply on the phone and was very polite only to receive back a horrendous attitude from someone who quite frankly does not deserve employment where she is required to interact with people in a business like way. It was clear at the end that this woman does not have, in my opinion, sufficient education in the area of letting and contracts and each person in that office needs further help into how to run an agency.
There was an incident where I told this woman to expect an email from me regarding the contract and the issues surrounding it. I sent this email, waited an hour and phoned the office ¢â‚¬â€œ only to be told that she had gone home and wouldn't return until tomorrow (our move in date). I was horrified ¢â‚¬â€œ why, if she knew she was going home, would she not tell me before on the phone. I then phoned one of the other people that I was moving in with and he told me that his mother was on the phone with this woman at that moment. Angry I had been lied to ¢â‚¬â€œ I phoned up the office again and asked to speak to her because I knew she was there. The man who answered came up with a feeble excuse, mumbling that ¢â‚¬Å“she has just got back in¢â‚¬Â.
At 5pm the day before move in ¢â‚¬â€œ they had still not sorted out any issues and refused to push back the move in date. I received a call from the manager explaining that they were refusing to deal with me anymore and that they were rejecting my offer. The reason I was given was that I was ¢â‚¬Å“too demanding¢â‚¬Â.
They then phoned the other people on the tenancy agreement and told them that I had failed referencing (which I had not) and that they wish to peruse to offer without me. This is impossible to do as we put down an offer to take out a joint tenancy under all our names ¢â‚¬â€œ rejecting me means that they need to reject the entire offer and start again.
One other person backed down and told 5percentlet that they did not wish to continue the offer ¢â‚¬â€œ 5percentlet then offered the three remaining potential tenants the exact same agreement but only paying for their own room ¢â‚¬â€œ but still on a Common law agreement!
Finally 5percentlet rejected us all from the offer and returned our holding fee to us. It was clear that they didn't realise we would be able to find the faults in the agreement and they thought we would be stupid enough to sign a contract without proof and clarification of any sort of ownership and insurance.
Since 5percentlet rejected us we have researched into the building and found no proof of ownership, when we asked 5percentlet for a date they told us that we have no business knowing the date. As far as we can see the building is owned by a Charity and that the landlord is a builder. We can only speculate now but it has been mentioned to us, it might be possible that the ¢â‚¬Ëœlandlord' is only working on the property and has no right to rent it to anyone. However this is only speculation ¢â‚¬â€œ but it is very clear that they are trying to cover up something at least.
I urge anyone who is considering dealing with 5percentlet that it is not worth the hassle and the excessive stress that they will put you under. They lie, ignore and are downright rude. 5percentlet should not be in business if they treat every person who walks into their office this way. I have rented many times before and have never had any issues whatsoever with the agency, landlord or contract. AVOID 5PERCENTLET AT ALL COSTS. I believe that I have had a lucky escape from what could have evolved into very complicated situation.