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May 10,2013
By: 'Expectant Mother'
May 10,2013
2 people found
this helpful
I was very excited when I called the agent to view the property. They had 2 suitable within my budget. In the beginning they were very good and efficient. I had my viewing arranged the day I called which for me is a very good thing. I don\'t like to dither.

I explained to them my situation that I was a student studying for my 2nd Masters and being 8 months pregnant I was no longer working and getting an allowance from my father. All of this seemed OK when I spoke to them over the phone. After viewing the property and speaking to the landlord face to face and explaining to him the situation also and at the time he seemed very happy with it.

The next day I put my offer in for the property as I wanted to get everything sorted. Being 36 weeks pregnant I wanted to make sure my accommodation would be sorted for my newborn and I. I paid the £350 stipulated to take the property off the market. I was told they would go to the landlord put in my offer and see what he says. This was fine by me. I was told another couple had put in an offer and they could move in earlier as I wanted to move in late June. I was advised that the landlord preferred me over the other couple and if I could move in earlier he would accept my offer. I loved the flat so much I agreed to move in mid June. I then waited to hear if my offer had been accepted which I thought would happen pretty soon but found myself having to call the agents to find out what was happening. They confirmed my offer had been accepted.

I provided details required including my boyfriend as a guarantor as he fit all the criteria for a guarantor which my dad didn\'t. Namely my dad unfortunately had an IVA from years back. This was accepted and references were taken using the company Letrisks. My boyfriend\'s employer was contacted and as I\'d briefed him on the need for a quick response he made sure everything was sorted within the 48 hours stipulated and then we waited.

I then received a call asking if my dad could be a guarantor instead and I explained again why he couldn\'t. I was told that the landlord was getting cold feet about the rental as he was worried about and I quote "if my dad and I fell out and he stopped paying my rent". I told them this wouldn\'t happen especially as he was expecting his first grandchild and.....well my parents just aren\'t like that. I also explained that even if he was worried about that if my dad was the guarantor it wouldn\'t stop this happening and having my boyfriend as a guarantor spread the financial risk meaning there was another person to fall back on if everything went wrong. I was told they would speak to the landlord and get back to me. So I waited. I expected a decision in a few hours but heard nothing. So I called back and impressed the urgency of the situation being sorted as by this time a week had gone by and I was conscious of the fact that the baby could come at any time and I wanted the accommodation sorted so that I had somewhere to move to once I had given birth and gotten my bearings. I was told I\'d get a decision by close of business. With close of business fast approaching I still hadn\'t heard from them. My worry now was I had given £350, if I needed to find another property I would need that back and as I had gone home to my parents in preparation for having the baby I would have no time to travel back and forth between Croydon and Reading to do viewings and sort out the situation, so I called again and again there was no definitive answer. The guy dealing with the situation said he was just "firing off an email" to the landlord. So I ask what happens if I don\'t have a decision by the close of business and his exact response was "what else?". I mean what am I supposed to do with an answer like that?

I then waited till the next day expecting a phone call first thing in the morning with some sort of update, but I heard nothing. I then called and was told that the issue had been passed on to some else who would call me as soon as she was done with her client. I waited for 2 hours and heard nothing, so I called back again and was told the lady had gone out to do a valuation and she would be back at lunchtime. This came and went and I had still heard nothing so I called back once again and was told she would call me back as soon as she was done with a phone call.

Luckily the lady called back and apologised for the delay. She said the person who had been dealing with it before was on his day off and she was in the office alone. I was baffled as to why I was not told by him that he would be away from the office and someone else would be dealing with the situation especially considering the urgency of my case. I was told that the landlord would only accept my offer if I paid a years rent in advance. That would have been £11,100. If my father had that kind of money he would have just bought me a house!

I was very disappointed and upset by the decision and almost brought to tears. As a tenant you pay £312 as admin fees if you\'re using a guarantor and you have 48 hours in which to provide your details and 5 working days in which to be referenced, yet it appeared that if I hadn\'t have kept pestering them for a decision from the landlord, it would have been sat on forever leaving me in limbo with nowhere to live. This I find completely unacceptable. At 37 weeks pregnant, the last thing you want to do is be stressing about whether you have somewhere to live or not. I explained this situation to the guy dealing with my issue and he didn\'t care one single bit because if he did this wouldn\'t have dragged on for as long as it did. From the time I was first told the landlord had reservations to the time I was finally told I couldn\'t have the flat I could have done viewings and found another place. I gave my notice to my current landlord and as at this point in time come 15th of June I have nowhere to move to. How can I be expected to go back and forth between Reading and Croydon with labour imminent to view properties or shortly afterwards. The situation was handled with absolutely no sensitivity whatsoever and what\'s funny is there was absolutely no dithering in putting the property back on the market to find another tenant.

All in all a very upsetting, stressful and disappointing experience.
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Park & Bailey

41 High Street Caterham

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