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kbob

Tennet Refernence Checks.

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Hello All,

As I posted previously " The landlord tried to raise the rent - we refused as there are many more newer flats being built and rented in our area, he then decided to sell and is anxious to do so. First we knew of this when we got a letter from landlord action giving the required two months notice to end our periodic tenency (our tenecy agreement expired over a year ago).

We were going to allow access at a reasonable time for us, but this was'nt good enough the EA who telephoned my wife in a most offensive mannor threatening and shouting at her. We found his bullying mannor and tactics most offensive and now are uncomfortable with the EA and especily the army of strangers they intend to show through our life each evening (the EA claimed to have 10 people lined up to come through in one night!)

Since then we have been getting the usual EA 'legal' letters comming through

all maked "without predijice" and at a charge presumably out of our bond! Imforming us that they are going to take legal action for breach of contract - the TA does include provisions for allowing access for sales viewings. They have even threatened to sue us for possible loss of sale value as they won't be able to sell quickly (perhaps they think the maket is heading south now too). "

As it looks like the EA will try and cause problems with the bond I've now given notice and are withholding the last six weeks rent. In fact for previous rental I had I returned the flat cleaner that when I moved in and went out of my way to provide access and it still took six weeks to get my bond back! (another ARLA member too!)- only after I started legal proceeding did I get my bond back. I'm now in the habit of withholding the last six weeks rent.

Shame our relationship with this LL had up to the unprofessional conduct of the EA been fine. Again I'll be leaving the flat without any damage.

Looking to rent again for another six months to year - untill the HPC. But now have the problem of refencees.

My credit score is golden, so any credit agency report will come back OK, it's just this landlord refernence that worries me. I'm going ask a friend to provide this for me but looking into the web sites for the companys that provide these checks one of the assurences they proport to offer the landlord is validation of the landlord reference specificly to avoid friends providing false references.

Specifly what I'm wondering is how would these reference checking companies validate that the landlord reference was infact correct? I'd imagine that they could obtain the owners name from the landregistry but this would'nt work in a lot of cases where the property is owned by a company trust etc etc...

I think I'll be ok as it's likely to be just a credit report? Any ideas?

Regards,

kbob

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If you're worried, and your new LL wants a reference, then could you ask your boss? Shows that you have regular work to pay the rent with, and that you're reliable, and that you have good working relationship... It's pretty understandable why they don't want friends as referees really ("Mr Smith is a wonderful man, I've been friends with him for the last 2 yrs when I met him through our mutual crack dealer, his house is impeccable, and he always picks up the needles after himself..."), but most places should understand and appreciate an employers reference.

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If you're worried, and your new LL wants a reference, then could you ask your boss? Shows that you have regular work to pay the rent with, and that you're reliable, and that you have good working relationship... It's pretty understandable why they don't want friends as referees really ("Mr Smith is a wonderful man, I've been friends with him for the last 2 yrs when I met him through our mutual crack dealer, his house is impeccable, and he always picks up the needles after himself..."), but most places should understand and appreciate an employers reference.

I think the idea is that they have a reference from your last LL and what many people do is instead have one of their friends pretend to be the LL for the previous tenency.

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ARLA are wet behind the ears. They side with the estate agent and are frankly useless (as is the experience i've had with dealing with them). I believe, viewings as detailed in the TA are unenforceable terms. I've had similar hostility from EAs and that was when I just refused to accept viewings the same day as when they called (aside from the fact they just barged into our home without ANY notice when my wife was stepping out of the shower!). Just remind yourself every so often that there is a reason why EA is the most hated industry!

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These uncalled viewing can go against the EAs themselves.

My sister was in the bath in her last rented house and she heard someone downstairs thinking it was her boyfriend, as my sister was coming out the bathroom, the person was walking up the stairs and my sister about had a heart attack when she seen her. The viewing was done without any warning whatsoever.

The lady apologised and left, but before she left she told my sister she wont be renting from the landlord as it gave her an idea what to expect in terms of entering the property without permission. So people arent stupid they may work out if the EA or landlord is willing to give them access without the current tenant knowing then the same thing will happen to them.

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We were going to allow access at a reasonable time for us, but this was'nt good enough the EA who telephoned my wife in a most offensive mannor threatening and shouting at her. We found his bullying mannor and tactics most offensive and now are uncomfortable with the EA and especily the army of strangers they intend to show through our life each evening (the EA claimed to have 10 people lined up to come through in one night!)

Since then we have been getting the usual EA 'legal' letters comming through

all maked "without predijice" and at a charge presumably out of our bond! Imforming us that they are going to take legal action for breach of contract - the TA does include provisions for allowing access for sales viewings. They have even threatened to sue us for possible loss of sale value as they won't be able to sell quickly (perhaps they think the maket is heading south now too). "

You have a right to quiet enjoyment of your property. Although it is usually good policy to allow viewings, you do not have to let anyone into your home you don't want to, no matter what the agreement says. This is your right under the Protection From Eviction Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms Regulations 1999.

As a matter of fact, I would say the EA actions are damned close to harrassment. Keep a log of all communications and report them to the local council.

They cannot charge you for letters unless it is stated in the agreemnet and under what conditions.

Sue you for loss of sale value? That's really taking the piss. Tell them to f*ck off. Your rights under the above acts and the Housing Act 1988 overrule any rights they think they have.

When you have a reasonable suspicion that LL will unfairly withhold the bond (as I believe you do) it is perfectly legal to withhold the final months rent, as you have decided to do.

As it looks like the EA will try and cause problems with the bond I've now given notice and are withholding the last six weeks rent. In fact for previous rental I had I returned the flat cleaner that when I moved in and went out of my way to provide access and it still took six weeks to get my bond back! (another ARLA member too!)- only after I started legal proceeding did I get my bond back. I'm now in the habit of withholding the last six weeks rent.

Shame our relationship with this LL had up to the unprofessional conduct of the EA been fine. Again I'll be leaving the flat without any damage.

Looking to rent again for another six months to year - untill the HPC. But now have the problem of refencees.

My credit score is golden, so any credit agency report will come back OK, it's just this landlord refernence that worries me. I'm going ask a friend to provide this for me but looking into the web sites for the companys that provide these checks one of the assurences they proport to offer the landlord is validation of the landlord reference specificly to avoid friends providing false references.

Specifly what I'm wondering is how would these reference checking companies validate that the landlord reference was infact correct? I'd imagine that they could obtain the owners name from the landregistry but this would'nt work in a lot of cases where the property is owned by a company trust etc etc...

I think I'll be ok as it's likely to be just a credit report? Any ideas?

Regards,

kbob

I would find out who your LL is and their address (The LA is legally bound to give you this info, otherwise a criminal offense) and write to them detailing your concerns with EA (for your own records at least) and certainly complain to ARLA (even if it amounts to nowt).

I also believe they cannot legally withhold a reference, will check on that.

F*cking muppets!! :angry:

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Are there any legal people here? Please would you correct my assumptions and logic.

If a letter is marked "Without Prejudice" then it can not be used in a court.

Therefore, if they try and charge you for writing these letters, and take it out of the deposit, the you can take them to the small claims court.

But they will not be able to produce these letters in court to demonstrate they were written.

So they have no case for holding your deposit.

Is my logic flawed?

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1. The rules about "without prejudice" apply to negotiations; the idea is that by making a suggestion (eg, that in exchange for you paying less rent you will allow people to view the property at any time) they are not binding themselves for the future. Courts will not take regard of the term if the correspondence was not part of an attempt at settlement ... and if it was, but the term was not used, it could still be treated as being without prejudice.

2. If the agent tries to charge you for writing the letters and then refuses to produce them when you challenge their right to charge you, then they will be laughed out of the court or tribunal. They can't rely on them with the one hand and refuse they exist on the other.

3. It would not be a good idea to get a fake reference. The best thing would be to show the new LL or their agent the correspondence, explain that the matter is not yet settled and therefore you would prefer if they follow up alternative references.

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2. If the agent tries to charge you for writing the letters and then refuses to produce them when you challenge their right to charge you, then they will be laughed out of the court or tribunal. They can't rely on them with the one hand and refuse they exist on the other.

They cannot charge for letters unless explicitly agreed to in the contract. If so, the clauses are likely to refer to late rent notices and suchlike, not general letters of abuse. There is no way these charges would stand up in court, with or without prejudice.

They cannot make any charge, unless it is in the contract.

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Exactly! I was assuming there was something, but I didn't look in the standard contact to see there was something in it. If there is nothing, then stuff 'em. If there is something, the correspondence has to be for legitimate purposes.

They cannot make any charge, unless it is in the contract.

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My credit score is golden, so any credit agency report will come back OK, it's just this landlord refernence that worries me. I'm going ask a friend to provide this for me but looking into the web sites for the companys that provide these checks one of the assurences they proport to offer the landlord is validation of the landlord reference specificly to avoid friends providing false references.

For what it's worth let me tell you my story. This was the end of our first tenancy (we're foreigners), and my wife, hearing about problems to get the deposit back, wanted to withhold the last payment (or actually the 2 last payments, given that it's 6 weeks deposit - but we intended to pay the difference). I wasn't too hot about it, but I said ok. It was likely that he was the type of LL that would never have given the deposit back.

Then we were about to sign for another rental, and I learned about background checks. I totally freaked out and told my wife that we may really be in trouble, as the LL was pissed off by not getting paid, and would then tell that to the background check. But given how hard he needed cash (which is probably true for many LL), we found an arrangement where we would pay him the missing half-month in cash + both sign a paper stating that he can keep the deposit, but only to pay the remaining rents (and he signed that the house was in a good condition).

We still worried for what he would say to the background check, but finally he didn't say anything bad. We considered ourselves lucky, but with hindsight, we realize that this guy had really no interest to screw us, and if he had, we could have harmed him much more:

- we could have trashed his house: he had no deposit money from us anymore + he had signed a paper saying that the house is in good condition

- we could have made life a hell for visiting estate agents.

- we could have told his mortgage company / inland revenue that we rented the place during 2 years but he kept receiving lots of mails at our address: when he started defaulting on his mortgage, it turned out that he was pretending to be residing there (to get better mortgage rates). This is tax fraud + mortgage fraud, which are criminal offences.

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My credit score is golden, so any credit agency report will come back OK, it's just this landlord refernence that worries me. I'm going ask a friend to provide this for me but looking into the web sites for the companys that provide these checks one of the assurences they proport to offer the landlord is validation of the landlord reference specificly to avoid friends providing false references.

you sure about this? if you haven't been registered to vote for the past few years and/or you haven't had some borrowing that's been succesfully paid back (ie a record of responsible loan-maintenance, an unused overdraft should do) then you'd be surprised that this can leave you a lower score than without these.

ok, so landlords are hardly to score on previous credit-repayment history, but if you've not been registered to vote (and this fact - or omission - DOES show up on your experian report etc) then they may hold this against you. Just a point, but a minor one.

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