The whole 5 years we rented, this estate agent did not come to inspect the house once until we gave 65 days notice, despite the fact that decorating was supposed to be done in the first year. We struggled to get any problems sorted out such as the oven did not work for 2 months and a hot plate was disintegrating and was not fixed until we found a stove of our own to buy and were about to replace theirs, and the patio doors would not open easily so that the handle keeps breaking off and we had to keep complaining until the shower was fixed. And then a big hole was left in the tiles around the shower unit and the sink was cracked but they did not replace this even though they promised to do so in the first lease agreement. And we went without hot water for 6 weeks until the element was replaced. And double glazed windows still had air blowing through them after a year and still not fixed when we left. And the house had some battery smoke alarms. Aren't they supposed to be wired to the mains?
The agreement was that we painted and carpeted the house in return they would update the kitchen and the bathroom. They did the kitchen but not the bathroom. So we painted the house but did not carpet it. But the carpets got so bad that they were actually dangerous because one could trip down the stairs so we had no choice but to replace them and we asked the estate agents to contribute to the carpets because we had painted the house but they had not updated the bathroom and they refused. So we had the house commercially carpeted and vinyled the whole downstairs, stairs, and landing upstairs but not the bedrooms because the carpets in the bedrooms were still reasonable. We even used underlay under some of the carpets which the original carpets did not have. When we left, the estate agent came and inspected the decorating we had done to the house and wrote to us telling us that if we painted the doors then we would be quits and we did this. Even though we had painted the house in the first year, we painted the whole house again in the last year.
While we were waiting for the house and carpets to be cleaned commercially, John Sweeney from the estate agents phoned me asking for the key back because they did not have one and they wanted to show people the house so I returned all the keys and got a written receipt for them from John. I asked him about the final inventory check and he said that he had already done that. So I was happy to release the keys to him.
However, Rachel Sweeney then said that she did the inventory check later and wanted the kitchen painted again and some paint touch ups and it would cost £40.00. But we saw nothing in writing. I was told that we would get something in writing by Wednesday but nothing had arrived by Thursday even though work had already started on the house. So Thursday evening we wrote an ordinary email to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme voicing our concerns about having been made to miss the inventory check and had nothing in writing about tasks to be done and we copied the email to the estate agent. A cheque returning our deposit arrived the next day in the post deducting £70 pounds for painting one room again and touch ups. Even though this charge was nearly double what we had been quoted and we had a letter saying we were quits as far as the decorating was concerned and we had painted the whole house more than twice and had carpeted most of it, we emailed them the same day that we accepted the £70.00 charge and they replied and refused saying that they had canceled the cheque returning our deposit. And they ended up sending us all sorts of threatening letters, some of which stated alleged facts which varied from letter to letter. ( One would think that if one is going to lie then one should attempt to be consistent. They don't seem to care about even being consistent and seem to deny things that they themselves have written, I suppose hoping that we had lost the original letters. ) And they took us to court claiming £1521.00 and refused for a whole year to settle and we would give them their £70.00. But they refused. And of course we won and got all our deposit back including the £70.00 the estate agent charged us for paint touch ups.
We have letters, pictures and receipts to back up everything we have stated here.
I find their retaliation and harassing and taking us to court without any option to accept the settlement of £70.00 so shocking that I would not believe one human being could do this to another except that it did happened and we have all the evidence to prove it. Our court case was 2 OX 00050 if you wish to confirm it for yourself. All because we voiced our concerns about them. Or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
The estate agents said that we got the house cheaply. Oh really ? Then why did the next people to rent pay less than we would have paid if we had stayed in the house. And this was after the estate agent had allegedly redecorated it again commercially after we left. If it was cheap then it was because it did not have any heating upstairs.
They also said that they did not update the bathroom because they were waiting for us to do our side of the agreement. But this was all supposed to happen in the first year since it was for a one year lease and we paid the rent for the whole year in advance. And we did paint the house in the first year and we have a picture to prove it and they did not come and check it. So on what grounds can they make this statement?
We gave them 65 days notice on 8th July 2011 and the next people to move in did so on the 2nd Feb 2012. So it took the estate agents 7 months to find new tenants. Can you afford to do without rent for 5 ¢â‚¬â€œ 7 months every time someone leaves your house? And it was a spacious 3 bedroomed house in an ideal quiet location, 5 min walk from town, cul de sac, with plenty of parking, south facing, spacious garden, patio doors from lounge into garden. Can you afford court cases every time a tenant leaves?
I see that Giles has been paid compensation for bad treatment from this estate agent, so we are going to pursue this angle as well.