Mar 08,2013
Katie Du Toit
By: 'The Italian One'
Mar 08,2013
11 people found
this helpful
We rented this property for over 2 years with Webbers, we never had a problem with this estate agent until Miss Du Toit took charge of the Ilfracombe letting branch.

We have a disabled daughter which was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (she\'s going blind...) last year. We asked Webbers to contact the landlord for permission to install a hand rail on the stairs as social services offered one because they thought it would help our daughter.

The landlord (Fiona Mathers) refused point blank. On the 17th of December 2012 we asked Miss Du Toit to ask the landlord to reconsider regarding the hand rail. The same evening we got a notice to quit hand delivered though our letterbox. Although the landlord did not need to offer a reason for the eviction notice (bearing in mind that we passed each and every quarterly inspection by Webbers), it seemed obvious to me that it had something to do with the hand rail. I then discovered that the landlord, by law, would not have been able to increase the rental fee for 2 years if she did agree to the hand rail modification suggested by the social services.

On the 17th of February 2013 we vacated the property. We deep cleaned the kitchen, the bathroom, shampooed the carpets, repainted the kitchen and generally left the property in very good condition.

In order to move out in time with the landlord deadline, we had to leave a couple of broken items outside the property for me to collect and take to the skip during the following week.

Webbers held our deposit of £795 in a scheme. At the time of leaving we owed £375 rent for February.

Miss Du Toit contacted us informing me that she had the broken items outside the property collected by tradesman on the 18th and she mentioned that we would be charged £60 for this (bearing in mind that the skip is 5 miles away from the property).

She also mentioned that there were a couple of scuff marks in the dining room where a picture was hanging and scuffs also on 2 radiators where a clothes hanger was used to live.

We offered to go back to the property and fix these small markings but the landlord (Fiona Mathers) refused us permission to do so.

We then received an email from Miss Du Toit (outside the 2 weeks limit they had for returning our deposit) with the following costs quoted:

£375 rent arreas (not disputed by us)
£100 + Vat for retouching 2 radiators
£150 for repainting the scuff marks on the wall and filling 2/3 tiny holes in the walls.
£60 for unnecessary rubbish removal

This would mean we would only get £90 back from our deposit. We told miss Du Toit that we would dispute that, at which point she said that if that was the case, she would apply a admin charge to the amount owed, meaning we would get nothing unless we agreed to their quotes, which in my view amounts to blackmail....

I also would like to mention that I have taken photographic evidence of how we left the property should anyone want to see these pictures.


I would also like to point out, that the rest of the Webbers team have always been polite and reasonable to us.
Was this helpful? Yes
By: concerned member of the public
Mar 24, 2013
This is just wrong. I would suggest that you take this directly to the MD of Webbers and if you dont get a satisfactory response then take it to the press or Shelter.
By: Department Manager
Mar 20, 2013
We welcome the opportunity to respond and we totally refute the comments made by the tenants. There are a number of inaccurate allegations within the statement, and many points have been taken out of context or are misleading.

We can confirm that the landlord gave the tenant notice because of matters completely unrelated to the tenants request to have a hand rail fitted.

After the tenant vacated we carried out a thorough check out of the property. We conduct a very precise and detailed check out process which ensures absolute fairness and transparency which is to the benefit of both landlords and tenants. However in this case we were very disappointed to find that a number matters required attention. We are pleased to note that the tenant has acknowledged there was some rent arrears and that rubbish was left at the property after they departed. We had to organise a significant number of black bags and some broken furniture to be collected and disposed of, as for hygiene and safety reasons such items cannot be left on the pavement in this busy sea-side town.

After we presented the tenants with all our findings, we did advise them that they could refer any disagreement to the deposit schemes dispute process. However we prepared a very thorough and specific report with supporting photographic evidence that clearly showed that the damage caused by the tenants was above acceptable limits of wear and tear and their decision not to dispute the matter is testimony to this.

It is disappointing that the tenants chose not to address these issues before they vacated. We are proud to maintain the very highest standards of customer care and attention which benefits thousands of tenants and landlords and this case only reinforces the fact that we will always and without hesitation act honestly and in the best interest of all parties to deliver these standards.

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Webbers Estate Agents

48 High Street Ilfracombe
EX34 9QB

01271 863091

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