“ Lied To... ”

Sep 06,2018
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By: 'Sarah'
Sep 06,2018
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Was lied to by the estate agent, telling me I had a chance at getting a property when I had little to no chance. Was left uncertain over the weekend for no reason. Details below.

Viewed a property in Bursledon on Friday, brought a companion with me, was the third to view. Viewing was facilitated by a lady who's name I can't remember, but the business card she gave me details her name, Kathryn Smith, and that she is the director.

During the viewing, it was mentioned the previous person was maybe going to say yes, although it was in no way guaranteed, and sometimes people say that and then never come back. Said a tentative yes at first, approx 10 minutes after the viewing walked to the estate agents office, around the corner, to put in a firm yes. Was told the previous person to view had also said a firm yes, contrary to what I had previously been told. The estate agent specifically said she had already told me the other person had put in a firm yes, when previously she had told me they had put in a maybe.

I was asked several questions to confirm my eligibility, including income. The agent admitted she had forgotten to ask the other person their income, although not sure I believe this. I also detailed my very stable, professional job, and put in my interest for a 12 month contract, something the landlord was keen on.

The agent explained to me it was quite the 50/50 decision (despite not knowing how much the other person was earning). She said normally it would be up to her to decide which tenant to take on, but because this was such a close call where she was happy with both, she would contact the landlord. I was informed the landlord was currently on holiday until Monday, and the estate agent would contact her on Monday evening (today is the Sunday after the viewing, the day before the Monday in question), and would call to let me know the decision.

I was told the other potential tenant was on her way back with £200 cash as a form of deposit, but I did not need to do this as it would be "unfair" to take the money from me to maybe send it back to me. After leaving, I questioned why she would take the money from the other person also, considering the same potentially unfair circumstances.

I went away safe in the knowledge I have a safe, stable, professional job which pays well above the minimum amount required for the property, effectively demonstrating my strong reliance as a tenant. Of course, I have no idea of the other potential tenants credentials, but I knew I should be in with a fair chance.

On arriving back at the car we took a moment to consider what had happened, and worked out the logistics of taking on the property. Sitting in the car, we started to see times where it seemed the agent was lying, even in things she said which didn't match up. We also witnessed a lady talking to the agent on leaving the property, and then saw her walking towards the office and back, returning to her car with a document which appeared to have the estate agents logo on it. We knew this was the other potential tenant, and reasoned the document could be a receipt for the £200, although it seemed more likely to be a contract. We also witnessed the current tenant walking towards the office, although she told us on the way past she was just popping to the shop. We suspected both had gone to the office to sign over the tenancy. We went away not holding out much hope. I knew the agent would ring on Monday, so of course there was still a little hope.

I viewed the listing for the property yesterday (Saturday), nothing had changed, however I checked again today (Sunday) to find the listing had been changed to let agreed. Of course, the agent still has me believing I am in with a fair chance, and will be phoning me on Monday, presumably to let me know the bad news.

It seems very unfair the estate agent would lie to me and not just tell me the truth outright that the let had been pretty much agreed, and that I was effectively just a back up in case the other lady changes her mind. I would have been more than happy to know I was just a backup, instead I have spent 2 days very uncertain, disappointed, feeling like I was lied to, and basically believing a lie.

UPDATE:
On the Monday after the viewing, Kathryn called in the morning, despite saying the landlord was on holiday until Monday evening. She informed me the landlord had gone with the other tenant based only on the fact that she had viewed the property first. I said that it was okay, I already saw the letting was agreed the day before, and that I knew I wasn't considered. Kathryn was caught off guard and said "oh!", but rather than admitting she had lied, she quickly told me another property had conveniently just become available, literally that minute, and that someone else would give me a call the next day. It has been several days now and still no one has called about this supposed other property.
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Brambles

Portsmouth Road, Lowford Bursledon, Southampton
Hampshire
SO31 8EQ

023 8040 8200, 023 8040 8202

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