Nov 26,2012
By: 'DerekG'
Nov 26,2012
6 people found
this helpful
Don\'t use these people.

Getting your deposit back - in our case, it was well over a grand - is a nightmare. It took these idiots some 8 weeks to return ours, when the landlord had signed ours off the very day we moved out - and under a contract that said we should receive it within 10 working days! We had sent them final statements from the utility companies, with receipts for payment of the bills. To get the deposit back, we were asked to send in documents that don\'t exist (utility companies do not send out bills saying that you don\'t owe them anything, and they were therefore baffled when I rang them up asking for a statement of zero balance). Bennetts\' justification for this was that it was their policy - even though there is absolutely no mention of this in the tenancy agreement!

They also tried to claim that somehow the landlord might become liable for any unpaid bills - even though a first term law student knows that this is a ridiculous statement to make, as the landlord has no contract with the utility companies. It was only through threatening legal action and getting the utility companies to personally email the fool in charge of our tenancy that I was able to get the deposit paid back - almost two weeks after taking that step, and more than 2 months after moving out. They also did not send us any details of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme as they were obliged to do by the tenancy agreement. On top of this, the leases feature some of the most ridiculous clauses of all time - our favourite being that the lease can be forfeited if "a person residing [at] or visiting the premises has been convicted of using the premises, or allowing it to be used, for immoral or illegal purposes, or has committed an arrestable offence in or in the locality of, the premises". What, so we\'re supposed to run a criminal background check on every single person visiting the house on pain of losing our tenancy without compensation? Do I have to ask the plumber whether he\'s ever committed an offence that he got away with? Totally absurd.

Add to this the blatant lies - "We\'ll call you back today", "We had no idea you were leaving even though you came in and served notice 4 days ago" , "Well maybe the contract says 10 days but I don\'t know the technical details" - as well as the unpleasant, mendacious staff, and you have a pretty awful service to deal with. Go somewhere else.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Adopted a more sensible policy on return of deposits. Actually told us what would be required to get the deposit back instead of moving the goalposts after documents had been sent. Provided rational explanations for their actions instead of making things up. Sent the Tenancy Deposit Scheme certificate as provided in the contract. Featured less ridiculous forfeiture clauses.
Attached Files
Was this helpful? Yes
By: Office response
Dec 15, 2012
After looking through our records we do not appear to have a Derek that lived in any of our properties but in any case we feel that a response is necessary to clarify the major points that you have raised. We take complaints of any nature even through a forum seriously and use them productively to help improve our service where possible. Also in our tenancy agreement it does state we have an internal complaints procedure that you are able to voice your concerns to the Managing Director.

Firstly your point regarding the utility bills, the reason we request proof that utility accounts are paid up until the move out date or last meter readings is that it is a fact, if the utility companies have exhausted all avenues of re couping outstanding balances from the tenant they will then put the outstanding amount on the property or pursue the owner as they do not simply write off debts. Having tangible evidence that the bills are paid eliminates both you and the landlord of any queries of outstanding accounts in the future and can be dealt with first hand by the office if we have the right information provided by the tenants who have vacated. Before we set this procedure up we had bills sent to us dating back up to 3 years previously demanding outstanding amounts owed so we do not think that it is an unreasonable request to ask for finalized utility accounts 99% of our tenants have no problem what so ever providing us with this information.

Secondly your point regarding the clause in the contract, we do not feel this is ‘absurd’ as unfortunately in today’s society rented properties are used for illegal and immoral use and we think any landlord renting out a property would feel that this is a completely valid clause to highlight that this type of conduct is unacceptable. If you were unhappy with this clause it does state at the top of the agreement that you do not have to sign if you are unhappy with any clauses of the agreement and you have the option of taking the agreement to the Citizens Advice Bureau or solicitor.

Lastly over the last few months Bennett Residential has invested heavily in market leading software to fine tune our office procedures so we are able to work to the highest standards possible for future clients of ours.

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Bennett Residential (Uxbridge)

18 High Street Uxbridge
Greater London

01895 812222, 01895 812244

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