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woody

Foxtons

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It was some time ago that there was discussion on the main board about the activities of Foxtons and their selling tactics.

I am currently trying to rent a property (3 beds) and showed my wife the properties in our target area on the internet – many were available only through Foxtons. So we set up a meeting and she went to see a property which she liked enough to show interest. On her way home I was rung by the agent to be told “there is another offer on the property”. Whilst it didn’t take me long to see through this, it took my wife considerably longer. The property was “oversold” – there was promised access to a garden (there was no garden) etc. He said that it has been on the market for some time and, therefore, the landlord would “take an offer”.

Meanwhile, the agent used aggressive sales tactics to push the property. Our offer was rejected as below the true value – WTF!! It had been on the market for ages, there was another offer (lie) and they didn’t like our offer.

Anyhow, I might of thought that this was just an errant agent keen on getting his commission had it not been for me talking to my colleague who rents a place in Kensington. He rented a place for £2000 pcm. He was told that he had garden access and that the building was portered – based on those facts he accepted paying a rent £300 or so above what might be considered reasonable for that area. Again, the lies were revealed only after he had moved in. He has since been burgled because of the bad security.

Whilst there can be plenty of discussion about misrepresentation etc., the fact is that if you sign up the agreement, you are pretty much stuck with the situation – a bad situation but Foxtons don’t care because they get their commission.

To add insult to injury, they charge £320 plus VAT for introducing you to the landlord – and they are charging the landlord a small fortune (meaning that the landlord has to increase the rent to pay the fees…)

The aggressive selling tactics, the lies and underhand strategy has left me with a nasty taste in my mouth. I would strongly recommend people away from renting through Foxtons if they can possibly help it.

:angry:

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I have heard rumours on other posts that fxxxxxx are also very aggressive when it comes to repairs at the end of the lease, suggestion is that they are seeking to justify their fees by treating the deposit as income.

Edit: re Mr Shed/libel.

Edited by Young Goat

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I have heard rumours on other posts that foxtons are also very aggressive when it comes to repairs at the end of the lease, suggestion is that they are seeking to justify their fees by treating the deposit as income.

I would believe it.

As for your colleague may a suggest a conversation with trading standards under the property misdescription act (of 1993 from memory).

The property was misrepresented and there is a concrete loss that can be attached to this misrepresentation (i.e. the bulglary). I think Trading Standards would have a field day with it.

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I have heard rumours on other posts that foxtons are also very aggressive when it comes to repairs at the end of the lease, suggestion is that they are seeking to justify their fees by treating the deposit as income.

I have a friend who if he lost part of a deposit for no reason would wait a few weeks and then go and put a brick through the relevent agent's window! This is shocking behaviour and I would never condone this. I think it made him feel better though.

Bizarrely he now works for the foreign office in the diplomatic section.

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I have a friend who if he lost part of a deposit for no reason would wait a few weeks and then go and put a brick through the relevent agent's window! This is shocking behaviour and I would never condone this. I think it made him feel better though.

Bizarrely he now works for the foreign office in the diplomatic section.

Scarily, I think I might know who you mean! But I guess most people would feel that way.

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Somewhat off topic, but I would not advise posting names with comments such as these. It is all too easy to slip into the realms of libel, which cause issues for both yourself and the website owner. Not saying you have done here, but just be careful with naming names without thinking, as one day unfortunately someone will be caught out.

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Guest Fiddlesticks

The property was misrepresented and there is a concrete loss that can be attached to this misrepresentation (i.e. the bulglary). I think Trading Standards would have a field day with it.

Pretty shady tactics from the agents, but I don't suppose many of us are surprised. What you say happened is indeed misrepresentation. The problem always is proving that it was said - and I guess it was said rather than written down. Estate agents never like to put anything in writing for obvious reasons. Nowadays I always make things easier for myself later by writing to them. For example

Dear Mr Agent,

Many thanks for showing me the flat, which I think is fantastic.

As discussed I am offering to take it from 1st February at a rent of £300pw. I will pay six weeks security deposit at the time I move in. This offer is based on the draft tenancy agreement which you showed me, the printed details which you gave me, and our discussion in which you told me that I will have access to the shared garden, the building has a porter in attendance between 8am and 8pm, and the broken dishwasher will be repaired before I move in.

Please call me to let me know whether your client will accept this.

Yours sincerely,

Fiddlesticks

If they take your money after you've sent them a letter like this without sending you a letter back denying it all then they wouldn't have a leg to stand on later if it all proves to be lies.

By the way, I always ask to see their tenancy agreement in advance so that I have a chance to read it properly. The tenancy agreement is the contract that your paying £x,000 for, so you should read it long before all your possessions are sitting it the van outside and the agent is standing next to you waiting for you to hand over the cash.

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Pretty shady tactics from the agents, but I don't suppose many of us are surprised. What you say happened is indeed misrepresentation. The problem always is proving that it was said - and I guess it was said rather than written down. Estate agents never like to put anything in writing for obvious reasons. Nowadays I always make things easier for myself later by writing to them. For example

I've only been lied to once by an agent when the new heating system we bought a property with proved to be old and broken.

Two years later for a different reason (you can guess if you've read my comments elsewhere) I was having a meeting with the board and was emphasises the need for accurate information within the system.

As I was leaving the MD asked as an aside why I placed a particular emphasis when I hadn't at a previous meeting he'd been at. Cue one rather surprised sacked manager a week later (not for lying to me in the first place but in the lies attached to my complaint when I complained).

What I will say is that most firms do play fair nowadays its only the small firms and the cowboys who seek to win by lying. The rest are merely doing their best to grab properties and sell them.

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What I will say is that most firms do play fair nowadays its only the small firms and the cowboys who seek to win by lying. The rest are merely doing their best to grab properties and sell them.

I don't think firms as an entitly lie as a policy. What happens (as in your case) is that individual salesmen say whatever they think will get the sale (and their commission) and then when faced with a complaint deny everything.

As demonstrated in your case, firms take a very dim view of this sort of behaviour however it can be very hard to prove.

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To answer some of the points:-

1. regarding whether direct criticism of Foxtens is libel or not, I appreciate that there is always that danger. However, to be libel, the statement has to be an incorrect statement of fact. I think that it is pretty clear that this forum is an opening for comment and debate which can either be accepted or rejected - therefore, the statements here are usually opinion not fact.

2. Regarding Fiddlesticks letter idea, I agree that in an ideal world this would be the case. However, the reality is that people don't always have the opportunity to do those kinds of actions - often you are so far down the line that it is too late to back out. My friend had to move as he was in a difficult position on his old flat - the agent knew this and knew he couldn't back out even when given the full facts of the situation.

My point remains that, for Foxtens, I hear more bad reports that I hear good reports. FACT.

My personal experiences were bad. FACT

My friends' experiences were invariably bad. FACT.

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"The aggressive selling tactics, the lies and underhand strategy has left me with a nasty taste in my mouth."

As a very quick example, first post of this thread. This comment could be construed to be libel, as the poster may have to prove "agressive selling tactics", as well as prove the "lies". It is surprising what can be construed as libel. For the sake of the temporary gratification gained by slating someone in public, it is not worth it for the potential comebacks.

Edited by MrShed

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Ok. I give in. No offence was intended and I am sorry if it was actually caused.

My comments on Foxtons are my own view and may not represent the norm.

I accept that Foxtons will have their own view of the situation and there will be regional differences in quality of individuals and offices - the same is true of any business. They are a business and need to make money to pay wages. I guess they are no worse than the next agents on the street and there are probably some which are a lot lot worse. Still, I think I have the freedom of speech to be able to say that I personally had a bad experience - there is nothing wrong with saying that!

Edited by woody

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Oh woody I agree. And I certainly personally have no problem with you saying it - in fact I welcome it, as we need to root out bad landlords and agents. I am just forewarning that, if you ever name names with any individual or company or w/ever, you must be very careful how you word your opinions - people have been sued for less! :P

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Re Foxtons

Check out today's Guardian Money section (page 7) - can't find it online so will precis the print version.

Heading: Your Cleaning Bill? It's £125 an hour.

Article about disgruntled Landlord when Foxton's charged £495 for 4 person hours cleaning.

To quote the landlord: "I knew they came out of the tenants' deposit rater than my own pocket. I care about my tenants and I don't want them to be ripped off".

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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