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Lee Harvey Oswald

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  1. Thought I should send a quick update. Agent continues to insist upon professional cleaning, and is asking for evidence that it was removed from the contract. Have suggested the contract itself! Reviewing the check-in inventory (all 34 pages of it!) marks were shown on 5 bedroom carpets, and furniture indentations on 6. We have thus pointed out that the carpets were returned in better condition than when received. Agent has implied in an email that she didn't check the condition of the curtains on check-out. Agent advised early last week that she was away on holiday for a week, and would pick-up on her return. This return was more than 10 days after check-out, so we have advised in writing that this is not acceptable. No response has been received, but we have had partial refund of the deposit, implying that around £600 has been held back. No details have been provided regarding how this sum has been calculated. I am currently compiling the TDS2 claim form for the balance, and intend to submit tomorow. Will keep you posted, but please advise if any pointers.
  2. Many thanks for the responses MacGuffin and Tim, have responded to agent as below, and will let you know how we get on. As regards what the inventory previously said about carpets, I will have to check on that. I don't believe that it said anything, as I know that I commented upon their assumed conditions of some of the curtains, which they stated "as new". Thanks agin for the help & advice. Best. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear _______, Many thanks for your email. Unfortunately though there still appear to be fundamental misunderstandings as to the content of the contract for the above property. You refer to "carpets and curtains professionally cleaned as per your tenancy agreement", yet no such provision exists. The contract provides for: "Pay for the washing (including ironing or pressing of curtains which shall have been soiled during the tenancy the reasonable use thereof nevertheless to be allowed for) together with the steam cleaning of all carpets". We made it quite clear prior to agreeing a contract that we had access to a carpet cleaner, and that we would not entertain paying for superfluous cleaning; please see my email dated 1st June 2009 if any doubt. This email also outlines our objections to the checkout fee. Your records should show that the contract was amended to reflect both of these points, and many others. It is also my understanding that OFT guidelines rule that insistence upon professional cleaners to be employed is an unfair term, and thus not enforceable. We hope this helps clarify the specifics of the agreement. We can however confirm that the curtains were cleaned by cleaners that we employed at our expense, and would point out that your checkout confirmed their condition as faultless. With regard to the carpets, you highlighted two potential issues during checkout: - A mark on the carpet of the middle bedroom (top of the stairs, turn right). You will recall that I took a high resolution picture of this mark, which I deem to be fair wear. - Furniture indentations, and a very feint mark in the upper study. I would point out that carpet cleaning does not lift all indentations (I actually noticed on cleaning the carpets that there were still indentations in the southeast corner of the dining room, from furniture that the landlords had previously had in place). As regards the very feint mark, as this would have been where feet were resting while using the desk/pc, then again I would put this down to fair wear (similar wear exists in front of where both sofas were in the lounge). Again, a high resolution image was taken of this piece of carpet. In view of the fact that the carpets were returned in the condition received, subject of course to fair wear and tear, we are anticipating refund of deposit in full, with no deductions. In the event that this is not forthcoming, then we will not hesitate to pursue via TDS channels. I would also like to remind you that we are still awaiting receipt of: - overpayment in respect of the rent - a refund in respect of an authorised repair to the washing machine Please could you forward settlement in respect of all of the above without haste to us at the following address: __________ __________ __________ Please can you ensure that you have this address correct, as we have had a number of issues with utility suppliers, due to the fact that you have incorrectly advised them that we have an address in ___________________. Regards,
  3. I wonder if someone might be able to give me some advice. Checked out of a property last week. It was a very large property, and we put much effort into the cleaning. I had access to a carpet steam cleaner, and did all of the carpets myself. This took me 5 hours on the Saturday afternoon, and a further 12 on the Sunday. We engaged two cleaners to assist with miscellaneous cleaning, including bathrooms, kitchens, and steam cleaning of curtains. They did actually advise that some of the curtains were spotless, and thus wouldn’t need doing. The cleaners were found via a forum (mumsnet actually), and were paid cash-in-hand. The checkout was fine, and the only things noted were: - a mark on one of the bedroom carpets. I had not noticed this after cleaning the carpet, and so wonder whether it was the light on the day of the checkout that showed this up. I acknowledge though that there was something there, although this could have been as much wear as anything - Furniture indentations not fully lifted out in the study, and a possible very feint mark. I would question whether this was actually wear on the carpet in this particular place, as it was where feet would have been resting while using the desk/pc. The agent has now mailed me stating: “I have now been in contact with your landlords and they do require the carpets and curtains professionally cleaned as per your tenancy agreement…Please can you arrange for us to have the receipt for the curtain cleaning you have already had done. However, with regards to the carpet cleaning, I will get this arranged and advise you of costing as soon as possible.” The tenancy agreement itself states that we are to: “Pay for the washing (including ironing or pressing of curtains which shall have been soiled during the tenancy the reasonable use thereof nevertheless to be allowed for) together with the steam cleaning of all carpets” Hence there is no mention of the word “professionally”. The carpets are around 3 years old now; they were in very good condition when we moved in (just over a year-and-a-half ago, although some rooms then did have furniture indentations then. Would appreciate thoughts as to where we stand.
  4. Even Dennis Healey agrees that there need to be cuts. Would never have recognised him from the pic though, nor Geoffrey Howe for that matter. I wonder why Ken Clarke is not mentioned. As the only ex-chancellor still in frontline politics, you would have thought that he would have wanted his two-penneth.
  5. Hi, Would appreciate some advice. Was checked out of last property by landlord at the end of June. No issues. was paid several hundred pounds in cash, and given a receipt to acknowledge that a cheque for the balance would be forwarded to my new address. This time last week I was contacted by the landlord, and advised of some 'issues' that were spotted post check-out. One of these issues was a dirty driveway; I ponted out that the LL had employed contractors since we vacated, for fixing some rending on the property, and that the issue could well be of their doing. I stated that I was not interested in LL's problems, as I had been checked out fairly, and that was the end of the matter. I said that I would be applying to the court if I did nolt receive a cheque within seven days for the full balance. I sent a letter confirming our position. A cheque arrived this morning, for the full amount, although addressed to our old address! Fortunately we have had our mail redirected. When paying in to my bank this morning, I noted that my name had been mis-spelled. The bank accepted the cheque, but I am wondering whether it will be returned to me when the mistake is spotted. I am convinced that the mis-spelling was deliberate, so as to delay payment. I would thus appreciate advice regarding whether I have now done enough to commence an action, in the event that the cheque is returned, or whether I need to further contact the LL and advise that they have another deadline to meet. Further points of interest: 1. LL did not protect my deposit. Had been in the property for 3 years, but signed a new lease after 12 months, thus am of the opinion that it should qualify for protection. 2. We had overpaid the rent for the last 6 months of the term, as a good-will gesture. The two year contract did not have provision for a rent increase, but we added an extra £50 per month for the last six months, so as to remain on good terms. Nothing was ever put in writing for this, so am interested in whether I have a leg to stand on in the event that I want to 'reclalim the amount that I paid in error'! Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
  6. Interesting. If you google them, there seem to be some angry people out there. This cached page suggests that there was an ongoing depate about the practices of this company, that has now been deleted: MSE also have a thread from earlier this year: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showth....html?t=1418589 Best of luck.
  7. Apologies for posting another link to the other side: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showth....html?t=1788075
  8. Post on MSE apparently, asking whether you are liable for their share of the rent! http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showth....html?t=1782221 Please restrain yourselves from posting on the MSE thread; the poster might in fact be genuine, and I wouldn't like us to cause any offence.
  9. I move house tomorrow. I haven't got a reduction; but I am moving from a 5 bed detached with standard garden, to a huge 6 bed detached with a pool and 3 to 4 acres, for peanuts more. The lounge on the new property is almost the same size as the entire downstairs living space of the current one. There is a glut of property out there, it is a renter's market.
  10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8120647.stm House prices in England and Wales fell slightly again last month, according to figures from the Land Registry. The average house price in May fell by 0.2% from April to £152,497, while the annual rate of decline was 15.9%. This was a slight slowdown on the 16.2% year-on-year drop recorded for both April and March. The latest Land Registry data comes a week after the Council of Mortgage Lenders said lending levels across the UK fell back again in May.
  11. It isn't in the scheme! Not worried about this, as there is always the 3 x deposit thingy to hit them with, if they don't refund in full. Present property has been owned by LL for many years, so plenty of equity there. Am not expecting them to do a runner with my deposit! May perhaps have considered buying this place, but I think we have now outgrown it. One of the much overlooked advantages of renting is the ability to upsticks and move, as and when personal circumstances dictate. Given what we are moving to, I am not in the least bit bothered about buying for some time. Thnaks for the reply.
  12. House next to our current rental has been on the market for a year now, empty for most of that time. 5 bed detached. I have posted elsewhere about our move at the end of next week. We are also in a 5 bed detached currently. Our current LL lives in the house the other side of our current one. They divided the house into two spacious flats several years ago. LL lives in one of these flats, the other was eventually let after being empty for the best part of a year. Tenants of the other flat moved out yesterday. At this rate the road is going to be empty before too long! No real point to this story, but I wouldn't like to be in our present LL's shoes.
  13. Hi Bankside, Am in Essex for my sins, and went through an EA. Need a big house. Last time I moved, it was a case of waiting for a house that size to come up, in the area that we wanted, and then pay asking price. This time around we really have been spoiled for choice. Have signed up for two years, it really can't stay this way forever. My thinking is that, as accidental landlords realise that they are not getting the returns they wanted on these houses, they will have to sell them. This additional supply will have a downward effect on prices.
  14. Agreed. I am in London commuter belt, and rates are ridiculously low. I move at the end of next week to a place that was bought for just under £1m last summer, my monthly rent is well sub-£2k per month. LL thus getting a return of sub 2.5% pa, before taking any of his costs into account. Fortunately he is stinking rich, and is only letting the house because he is being seconded overseas.
  15. My advice would by not to wait until September. Start negotiating now, as your hand will be weakened if the house next door is gone by then. It is a renter's market out there at the moment. We move at the end of next week from a five bed detached with bog-standard garden, to a massive six bed place with a swimming pool and the best part of 4 acres; All this for roughly an extra couple of hundred quid a month. Who wants to buy when there are such fantastic deals out there? Good luck. Hope this helps.
  16. Just a quick line to advise that the additional Tenant Obligation has been approved by all, and that the unaccompanied entry clause is to be deleted. The LA spent far too long in this instance in becoming entrenched regarding a clause that he wanted. What he should have done, was to stand back, identify what it actually was that he wanted to achieve, and then work out an alternative way to achieve that objective. This new clause gives him what he wants, and dispenses with a clause that horrified me. I understand some of the advice regarding the fact that I don't have to include this clause, but at times it pays to be pragmatic. Inspection dates have been advised 12 months in advance, none of them clash with birthdays or school holidays etc, and Mrs. Oswald doesn't work. Hence I have no doubt that we will be able to comply with inspection dates. Regarding mortgage company, I don't really have any concerns there. LL is a very high flyer, in an extremely senior position at one of the investment banks that we all know and love! Despite the fact the house cost him close on £1m last summer, it wouldn't surprise me if he paid cash. If not, I would be very surprised if he defaulted. Am content that he is solvent, and don't wish to insult him by questioning his financial position. Like I said, I believe that a little pragmatism is required from time to time. Thanks again for all of the excellent advice.
  17. Thanks for the advice on changing locks. Would prefer not to go down this route though, and have agreed to a clause in the contract that prevents me from doing this. Entry may be required in the event of an emergency, and I wouldn't like to find that my changing the locks had prevented this entry. House has not been let before, so I would only expect LL and LA to have keys. Wireless alarm seems the way to go though; it does not prevent access, but would certainly deter unnecessary access. Update - Had a conversation with the LL earlier, and he understands where we are coming from. He acknowledged that he wouldn't like strangers in his home either. The agent has however got him concerned that perhaps the inspections might not take place without this provision, and thus that there will be no way of checking up on the well being of his investment. I have suggested that maybe we incorporate an obligation into the contract, that the I am to permit quarterly inspections at times pre-agreed with the LA. Thus, in the event that we were not there at the agreed time, we would be in breach of contract. The LL would then have the option of terminating the contract, or for getting recompense from us in respect of the additional costs of arranging a further inspection. LL has no legal expertise, but he thought that this was a reasonable way forward. Does this seem reasonable, or are there any flaws in this thinking? Wording of the clause should be fairly straightforward, perhaps something along the lines of: To make the property available for inspections on a quarterly basis, at pre-agreed times and dates, by the landlord, and to be present at aforesaid inspections. Any thoughts/advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  18. Many thanks for all of the kind responses. Flopsy It is a risk that a new tenant might be found, but my experience is that these larger houses are difficult to move at the moment. Not everyone wants the hassle of maintaining such a large property, or the pool and grounds. Due to move in at the end of next week, landlords are leaving the country in the next few days. A lengthy void could cost them significantly. I don’t believe that they will want to lose us at this stage, certainly not over a clause that does nothing other than make the agent’s job easier. heather Thanks for the suggestion of landlordzone. I had previously ignored this area, as I thought that it was purely a discussion forum for landlords, and that as such it would be o no interest to me. I have found an excellent discussion there on quiet enjoyment: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showt...hlight=viewings Sorry to hear about your experience with credit card fraud in the past, this is just one of many reasons for me objecting to having a stranger in my home. skullingtonjoe Have already had the quiet enjoyment conversation with the LA, but they just don’t get what this means. Their argument was that by publishing the dates well in advance, that this would not interfere with our quiet enjoyment. surfcat Perfect – you are quite right that there is almost certain to be something in my contents insurance, covering this. Thanks for this additional angle that I had not considered. v23nb Thanks for the suggestion re the wireless alarm, someone else has referred me to a cheaper alternative, that I am yet to look into in detail: http://www.all-about-the-home.co.uk/...very-601-p.asp I think one of these is definitely going to be on my shopping list. Sir Sidney Roughdiamond Thanks very much for this, the law certainly does seem to be on my side. I would however prefer to be upfront about what is agreeable. I don’t want to signup to just anything, and then set out what is agreeable after I have moved in. This would be likely to alienate the LL, and possibly generate an early S21. By being open and honest from the start, I would hope for a good and lengthy relationship with the LL. shylock LA does deserve nothing but contempt, but the LL seems genuine and pragmatic. Unfortunately the bulk of my contact would be with LA, so I see where you are coming from. It is a balance I guess between how much we want the house (and it really is a dream property), and how much hassle we can take. I would like to think that this is nothing but muscle-flexing by the LA, to see how far he can push us; and that, now that I have stood my ground, contact will be minimal. I have dropped the LL a note this morning, outlining the conversation that took place last night, and expressing my hope that the LA will come back today with a more conciliatory and professional attitude. It would be a pity for negotiations to stall at this late stage, purely over the insertion of a clause that does nothing but make the LA’s job easier. I have promised to call the LL tonight, if things have not moved on. A good result for me would be for them to appoint an alternative agent, perhaps this is something that I will suggest, should the LA remain entrenched. LL has alot on at the moment though, with finalising visas, flights etc, furniture shipments etc, so I don’t want to give them a headache with this just yet. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for all of the advice.
  19. update - Spoke with partner at LA tonight, and he asked what my objection was. I said that I valued my privacy, and thus didn't want people in my home while I was not there. I responded by saying that it was not my home, as I was only renting it! I went ballistic at this stage. Row raged for some time, and he also said "what do you do for a living? what gives you the right to dictate what can or cannot go into my contracts?". I really could not believe the patronising attitude, and gave at least as good as I got. The way it was left was that he was going to contact the LL, and advise that my change to the contract was going to prevent him from doing his job properly! Still have not calmed down. If the property was not so spectacular, we would have walked by now. Still very tempted to. Will let you know where it goes from here.
  20. Thanks for taking the trouble to respond Tim. So long as the clause stands, and the agent has a key (I am reluctant to change locks, as I don't want to get the LL's back up from the off), there is nothing to stop them from letting themselves in. Am looking at the 'quiet enjoyment' covenant at the moment, as I believe that their wording breaches this. I should be able to control who enters the property and when. I guess that there is nothing to stop me from signing the contract, and then subsequently writing a letter to the agent, withdrawing my agreement to unaccompanied entry, and informing them that any breach would be treated as trespass?
  21. Hi, One final sticking point on my new contract. Agent is insisting on the right to enter the property unaccompanied in order to conduct inspections, should we not be there. We are adamant that this is unacceptable, other than in the event of an emergency. There seems to be little way forward at this moment in time. While I am convinced that we are being reasonable, I would appreciate any views either way, together with anything that might back up wither viewpoint. Thanks in advance.
  22. Thanks Bloo Loo, nothing in there specifically relating to this so far as I can see. Closest I can get are: and Thanks
  23. I would most definitely walk too. This LL is not worth the hassle. If they can show you this contempt before you have even moved in, then what will it be like when you are in the property, and they have you over a barrell? If you let them do this, they will have you marked as a soft-touch, and so are hardly likely to be pro-active in making any repairs etc. Walk and sue.
  24. Many thanks for the repsonses. So, in the event for instance that I knock over a candle that sets fire to the curtains, and then damages the building; my liability stops at the curtains? I think that I can live with this risk. I can replace curtains etc, but would baulk at rebuilding a house! LA has treid every other trick in the book for add-on fees etc, so am surprised that this one hasn't been mentioned. Perhaps they are keeping this one up their sleeves as a last minute surprise! Have asked for a copy of the LL's insurance policy, so will be able to identify any gaps. Thanks again for all of the help and advice.
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