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ScrewsNutsandBolts

Letting Agent Lies And Deceit

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Any advice ?

A few weeks ago I received and email from our letting agent saying that the landlord had requested an increase of around 7%. They asked me to confirm if I was happy to pay the extra. I said no, as the apartment is being marketed for sale and we are staying there at short notice. They replied and said that they would confirm my refusal to the landlord and that it may well lead to us having to leave. I don’t really want to move out, so I asked that we discuss further with the landlord about the rate/notice period/continued marketing as a whole.

Then I got a bit of a strange email that mainly seemed to apologize for any confusion caused, and that they are having trouble with the landlord. Anyway, I then get a call from the landlord (who I met once or twice, really nice guy). He was pretty pissed off and said that the letting agent had completely fabricated the story about the rental increase, and that he had never requested this.

Seems to me that the landlord was getting fed up with their service and was considering changing agent. Current agent, in an attempt to keep business and tasty monthly commission, lied to me about a rental increase request to try and persuade the landlord to stay with them. Suggested to me that not paying the extra may well result in us having to move out. Wife is expecting our first in a couple of months so it was quite stressful.

So I am pretty pissed off with the agents tactics, but is there anything I can do ?

The objective would be to make them look like the b4st4ards they are, and generally not allow them to get away with it.

Edited by ScrewsNutsandBolts

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So I am pretty pissed off with the agents tactics, but is there anything I can do ?

Suggest to the landlord that having an agent is completely pointless and they may as well do an AST with you directly. My last landlord decided this was a good idea, he kept the savings but then kept the rent stable for 7 years afterwards.

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Suggest to the landlord that having an agent is completely pointless and they may as well do an AST with you directly. My last landlord decided this was a good idea, he kept the savings but then kept the rent stable for 7 years afterwards.

Seems like a good idea and was considering suggesting this when we next speak.

We are on a rolling 1 month notice so could be done pretty quickly.

Lanlord would save around 10% in fees so they may well be happy to go for it, and we've been flawless tennants for a good few years.

But... I think the landlord will drop the current agent anyway, so this won't impact the agent in a way that they wouldn't be impacted anyway.

I really want to highlight that there behaviour is unacceptable (unless I am over-reacting, please let me know if I am "being unreasonable"). Is it worth formally complaining to them, or perhaps one of the professional bodies for EA's if anything exists (can't find anything about accreditation on their website).

Edited by ScrewsNutsandBolts

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What an utterly rotten thing for the Letting Agent to do. :angry: If they have broken the law then they should face the consequences.

That is one business that deserves to go under.

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Any advice ?

First thing is your duty to name and shame the B@5tards, so others are aware of their behaviour.

Then find out if they are part of an association or similiar. Read the 2004 housing act.

Report them to the office of Fair Trading. [And follow it up]

The Estate Agents Act 1979 sets out these duties and gives the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) powers to issue warnings or prohibition notices if it considers they are unfit to work as an estate agent.

Let your Landlord know that you are doing this.

Also contact your local authority Trading Standards departments

On the whole the Industry is full of charlatans, and sharks.

If they are that way inclined. Find out if they have placed your bond with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Request written evidence. [if they have not for instance, you are entitles to 3x your bond back from the EA]

Keep us informed.

http://www.businessl...&type=RESOURCES

1979 Estate Agents Act

Rules of conduct

To comply with the rules of conduct when acting for clients, you must:

  • provide them with full and detailed information about fees and charges for your services
  • declare a personal interest in a transaction
  • handle negotiations fairly and honestly and keep clients promptly informed about offers received

If you do not follow these estate agency requirements, you can be:

  • issued with a warning notice about your conduct as an estate agent
  • issued with a prohibition notice banning you from working as an estate agent - if you fail the OFT 'fitness test'
  • prosecuted and fined - if you continue working after being banned

If you can get it in writing from the Landlord that the EA did not act with his permission. You should do so.

Then Push the OFT to audit them.

Edited by Dan1

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Just sounds like another crooked letting agent. They are slime and will tell outright lies.

As others have suggested, suggest to the landlord that he deals with you directly. Better for both of you.

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First thing is your duty to name and shame the B@5tards, so others are aware of their behaviour.

Then find out if they are part of an association or similiar. Read the 2004 housing act.

Report them to the office of Fair Trading. [And follow it up]

The Estate Agents Act 1979 sets out these duties and gives the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) powers to issue warnings or prohibition notices if it considers they are unfit to work as an estate agent.

Let your Landlord know that you are doing this.

Also contact your local authority Trading Standards departments

On the whole the Industry is full of charlatans, and sharks.

If they are that way inclined. Find out if they have placed your bond with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Request written evidence. [if they have not for instance, you are entitles to 3x your bond back from the EA]

Keep us informed.

http://www.businessl...&type=RESOURCES

1979 Estate Agents Act

If you can get it in writing from the Landlord that the EA did not act with his permission. You should do so.

Then Push the OFT to audit them.

Letting agent appears to be changing story now (claiming a misunderstanding between them and the landlord). All sounds fishy. First email I had said that "I have just been on the phone to your landlord...", and now the same person is saying that she never spoke to my landlord before and the message for a rent increase had come second hand to her from a fellow employee. I think I will squeeze this further and see if it starts to squeak.

Not sure if they are part of any association (nothing on their website)...

Other than this incident they have been fairly harmless, useless when it comes to maintenance issues and a bit too pushy arranging viewing times, but still harmless. But this has really got my back up :angry:

Will wait until everything is clearer before naming and shaming.

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Letting agent appears to be changing story now (claiming a misunderstanding between them and the landlord). All sounds fishy. First email I had said that "I have just been on the phone to your landlord...", and now the same person is saying that she never spoke to my landlord before and the message for a rent increase had come second hand to her from a fellow employee. I think I will squeeze this further and see if it starts to squeak.

Not sure if they are part of any association (nothing on their website)...

Other than this incident they have been fairly harmless, useless when it comes to maintenance issues and a bit too pushy arranging viewing times, but still harmless. But this has really got my back up :angry:

Will wait until everything is clearer before naming and shaming.

I would contact your local trading standards and explain what has happened. They can investigate the issue thoroughly. It may be the case that the LA has done this to numerous tenants, without the explicit direction of the landlords. This could be (best case for the LA) to increase the LA's fees, or (worst case for the LA) not informing the landlord and not passing on any increased rental.

It could of course be an honest mix up, but if they have acted inappropriately it should be very easy to prove e.g emails, statements from tenants etc.

Under The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 EA's must also be registered under a estate agents redress scheme see http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2008/104-08. I'm not sure if this is the case with agents that are solely concerned with lettings, I need to look that up.

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Letting agent appears to be changing story now (claiming a misunderstanding between them and the landlord). All sounds fishy. First email I had said that "I have just been on the phone to your landlord...", and now the same person is saying that she never spoke to my landlord before and the message for a rent increase had come

What gets my back up screwsnutsandbolts is that I honestly believe you could get in touch with:

Office of Fair Trading.

Trading Standards

Association of Residential Letting Agents. [Or any other association they are part of]

And even though, as you state, you have documented evidence of their lies, arguably an attempt to defraud you.

None of these Consumer based organisations will do anything about it...............

They will listen to your complaint. Document it. Give you a referral number.

And promptly forget all about it. You will call them back and asked them whats being done. They will procrastinate, listen, maybe even sympathise, whilst sounding very bored with you.

Then do nothing at all.

In most peoples experience, Ombundsmen and their ilk, are merely another element of the taxpayer based rip off system.

Edited by Dan1

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What gets my back up screwsnutsandbolts is that I honestly believe you could get in touch with:

Office of Fair Trading.

Trading Standards

Association of Residential Letting Agents. [Or any other association they are part of]

And even though, as you state, you have documented evidence of their lies, arguably an attempt to defraud you.

None of these Consumer based organisations will do anything about it...............

They will listen to your complaint. Document it. Give you a referral number.

And promptly forget all about it. You will call them back and asked them whats being done. They will procrastinate, listen, maybe even sympathise, whilst sounding very bored with you.

Then do nothing at all.

In most peoples experience, Ombundsmen and their ilk, are merely another element of the taxpayer based rip off system.

That's not true.

Often what looks like a prima facie offence to a complainant is not automatically a criminal offence. There is always both sides to consider

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This sounds very like what happened to me. It was Foxtons, by the way.

They asked me for a rent increase, I refused. Then some fool at Foxtons

managed to send an email to us but CC'ed the landlord, so we had his

email address and could finally contact him directly.

It turns out he was not happy with them, and had not asked for a rent increase.

We ended up cutting Foxtons out of the loop completely.

The way they treat people (basically threatening people with eviction for profit)

is disgusting.

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I would contact your local trading standards and explain what has happened. They can investigate the issue thoroughly. It may be the case that the LA has done this to numerous tenants, without the explicit direction of the landlords. This could be (best case for the LA) to increase the LA's fees, or (worst case for the LA) not informing the landlord and not passing on any increased rental.

It could of course be an honest mix up, but if they have acted inappropriately it should be very easy to prove e.g emails, statements from tenants etc.

Under The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 EA's must also be registered under a estate agents redress scheme see http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2008/104-08. I'm not sure if this is the case with agents that are solely concerned with lettings, I need to look that up.

The agent used to be lettings only but also moved into sales a couple of years ago.

They should therefore be part of the EA redress scheme you mention.

It could all be an honest mistake of course, but things they are saying just don't add up...

A good example would be the last email from my contact which states that she has never spoken to the landlord herself, and that the landlords request for a rental increase had come in via another member of staff. That conflicts with her first email stating that “I have just been on the phone to your landlord…”. Of course it could just be a phrase they have used to make themselves sound busy when another took the call ( :P ) rather than anything dodgy, who knows ?. Also they now seem to be suggesting that landlord had make a vague comment that they were unhappy with the rent, and they extrapolated this to a specific increase due on a specific date with the insinuation that the tenancy might end if we do not agree.

Landlord was adamant that no instruction was made when I spoke with them, but hopefully I can clarify next time we speak.

Will keep the thread updated with progress.

Edited by ScrewsNutsandBolts

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Usually the agreement between the landlord and the agent says that if the landlord deals direct with the tenant after the first year/18months is up, the landlord still has to pay the agent.

So giving the email to the landlord will give him some ammunition for using if the agent sues.

Generally, legal redress is a waste of time. The trick is to get justice without bothering with the courts. Deal direct with landlord, much the best way.

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That's not true.

What do you mean that's not true? What's not true?

Edited by Dan1

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Generally, legal redress is a waste of time.

That's certainly been my experience dealing with the OFT, TS, Ombundsman, etc. And supposedly governing, associations like the Association of Residential Letting Agents etc. when dealing with Estate Agents.

Jobs for the boys, taxpayer funded, disinterested toothless beaurocrats.

Give it a go, ScrewsNutandBolts, and report back, how you get along.

It could all be an honest mistake of course, but things they are saying just don't add up...

A good example would be the last email from my contact which states that she has never spoken to the landlord herself, and that the landlords request for a rental increase had come in via another member of staff. That conflicts with her first email stating that "I have just been on the phone to your landlord…".

Landlord was adamant that no instruction was made when I spoke with them, but hopefully I can clarify next time we speak.

Indeed. Could not be any clearer could it. A clear attempt to defraud.

Keep us informed how the OFT, TS, Ombundsman, and supposedly governing, associations like the Association of Residential Letting Agents act upon receipt of your complaint. Ten to one you get the big brush off from these useless retards.

Edited by Dan1

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