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Worst Letting Agency In Berkshire In My Opinion

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Since relocating back to the UK in March 2006, me and my family rented a property from John Mortimer property letting/John Mortimer estate agents.

Rather than piss around with background credit checks that would have held up the letting by a week or two, we decided to pull out 6 months rent up front as well as a £1200 pound security deposit. The letting was for a period of six months, John Mortimer property letting smiled at us like it was Christmas as they took almost £7000 from us, and how it so quickly turns around when you want your deposit back, but that's not even half of our nightmare with this horrible little Mickey Mouse agency, in my opinion!

The house was furnished with old worn furniture and dated appliances, the carpets were pretty well stained and badly worn, for the first 3 weeks we itched and scratched in bed (obviously bed flees) the slum lord owner who now resides in Spain with all it's water problems, (bet he's thirsty) had not done any real work or spent money on the ageing property for years.

The only reason we decided to rent such a run down property was purely and simply because we have 2 very small children. We knew the kids would drop food on the worn carpets and probably scribble on the walls, so the house suited our needs at the time. The kids had some accidents in the bed and our main bedroom mattress was stained through to the bed frame (all our doing) the ageing leather couch (possibly 20 years old and worn) in my guess was picked up for a couple of quid in a second hand shop! The kids scribbled with some felt tip pens on the most uncomfortable shitty couch.

7 weeks before our lease was up, we found another rental property in a rural part of England, with a nice large garden on the edge of the river seven in a quality area (UNESCO World heritage site) and made a deposit and subsequently paid another 6 months rent up front. (Not dead money because of HPC). We informed the letting agent that we will be leaving the property on or around 15th August 2006 whilst our rent was paid up until the 23rd of September. We begged the letting agency to let the property so we could escape the lease and get some rent back. On showing the property, many people walked away because of wear and tear on the property all due to lack of investment by the owner. We then had a carpet guy come over to price up for new carpets and also a painter come to asses how much it would cost to paint the property.

So, it seemed obvious that (John Mortimer letting, Bracknell, Berkshire) had informed the property owner that the house was in dire need of a window dressing if he wished to continue to rent the property through them, and on one occasion whilst showing the property to an eastern European family (what a surprise) we heard the agent advise that the landlord was thinking about throwing out all the furniture and letting the property un-furnished as he didn’t want to maintain his property any longer. A few weeks went by and each time we were informed that someone was coming to view the property,

so as to help let the property ASAP for both agent and owner.

Finally, on or around the 13th August the property was finally let, as the renters arrived before the agent. My wife pulled out all the stops to advise the renters what a lovely child friendly house it was! They wanted to move in immediately and asked us how long before we could be gone? we advised three days and 3 days later we cleaned up as best we could and moved out.

On the morning we moved out we had arranged to meet the inventory clerk who performed the inventory check prior to us handing over the keys. The inventory clerk advised us he was checking in the new tenants that day and a few phone calls to the locals confirmed this as they advised new tenants were now occupying the property (same day as we left).

We then went to the property letting agent who assured us we could have our rent back that had been overpaid.

Once arriving at John Mortimer lettings Bracknell Berkshire, we obviously asked for our money! The scruffy agent advised us that the credit checks on the prospective tenants had not come through yet and that they had not signed a tenancy agreement (all ******** lies of course, Isn't that what letting/estate agents do for a living?) How can a tenant move in the same day if his references have not been received and he has not signed a contract? He moved in two hours later though!

Eventually after some nasty arguments with John Mortimer lettings bringing out the worst in us and my wife almost begging for rent due back, and myself advising the agent that we would re-occupy the property, they gave in and gave us £750 pounds of over paid rent back.

As for our security deposit, there trying to screw us left right and center by saying that the dilapidated furniture needs renewing. And they are also trying to take £200 pounds fees because we left early although the property was let again the same day!

These people obviously make little money renting property and try to screw hard working families for there deposits, i was warned about this letting agency prior, I wished i had listened, how quickly there friendly demeanor on contract turned ugly at the end of the agreement and they didn’t want to work with us anymore. Funny how quickly things turn around when they owe you money. Any advise anyone?



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Any advise anyone?

Taking each of the three different kinds of money owed.

1. Rent. You are liable up to the day the new tenants moved in. Collect evidence that they have moved in.

2. Deposit. You should have checked the condition of the property and furniture against the inventory when you moved in. This should state the age and condition of the furniture and prove it's practically worthless. Photos are also a good idea. On checkout the condition should have been checked against the inventory and the inventory clerk should have pointed out any damage. If you are paying for damage they can't charge you the price for new replacements. They can't charge for a new carpet say, any charge has to take into account the age and condition of the carpet and yours sound like they are worthless. Document what you can of this now if you haven't already. If the inventory didn't specify the condition of the items then the landlord has no proof of damage caused by you.

3. The 200 admin charge. Did they make you aware of this up front for exmaple in a list of charges? If not they can't just invent this charge now.

Put your objections in a letter to the head of that agency branch, State they have 14 days to return the money or you will be perusing a claim against your landlord in the small claims court. If they don't return the money then make the claim, the procedure is cheap and easy. Note you claim against your landlord, not the agent.

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Can I suggest that you remove the name of the letting agent. Leaves you wide open to libel claims, especially in the way you have worded the post. Not only for yourself, but for the people who run the site.

With regards your deposit, did you sign a complete and detailed inventory upon moving in?

And with regards the £200 charge, another point you can make to them. This charge is for the landlord not the tenant. Therefore, they cannot deduct it from the deposit, the it is for dilapidations only. However, they can charge the landlord for it, who can in turn sue you for the charge. They may well have a chance of winning such a claim, as part of it is a financial loss to him due to you moving out early.

Edited by MrShed

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However, they can charge the landlord for it, who can in turn sue you for the charge. They may well have a chance of winning such a claim, as part of it is a financial loss to him due to you moving out early.

I can't see the landlord has suffered a financial loss due to smiffy1967 moving out early.

smiffy1967 is leaving just 5 1/2 weeks early (15th August 2006 - 23rd of September) AND the the new tenant moved in on the same day smiffy1967 left.

If it's the agents standard fee to the landlord then he would have to pay pretty soon to find a new tenant anyway and he's suffered no other loss as there was no void.

The agent didn't advise smiffy1967 of this charge when arranging to get the new tenant in. Maybe some admin charge is due but £200 is way over the top.

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It is fairly ambiguous, I agree. If you take it as a month early, the charge should be £200/12...about £20. This is because the landlord has technically lost 1 12th of the use of the charge at the start of the posters tenancy. Have I explained myself better there? That is just the way I see it, I can totally see your point of view, and I am unsure as to what the legal position would be in court. I certainly agree he is not liable for the full £200.

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MODS: PLease remove agents name for me as i dont know if i can edit a post once posted and i'm skint. LOve you all and thanks for the great advise, i have had some posative feedback from the agent since i mailed them.

I'll keep you posted.

Edited by smiffy1967

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You can....just click the "edit" button after the post :)

No can do, the post was made 1 day ago, no edit facility, can ya help, its either that or i'm of to New zealand!!!

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