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About Estate Agent conduct

(24 Posts)
SeasonsEatings Fri 05-Dec-14 12:55:24

Soooo I have had a lot of stress lately, one thing after an other and this has pushed me over the edge tbh. I can't stop thinking about it and worried about my next move. Yesterday I had a terrible episode of D&V culmulating in me sat on the bathroom floor weeping and I wonder if stress attributed to it.

I recently moved out of a rented property, we rented out our house via the same agent. An Agent that I have know for eight years and have always got along with. in fact I was quoted as being the "perfect tenant" in one of the rentals I was in.

Anyhow on moving out I arranged for a cleaning company to do the check out clean, a company I had found when looking at just carpet cleaning before I knew that we would be moving out. they quoted a fee, including carpet cleaning, I was happy with it, booked it and moved out.

The agent went into the house the morning after we moved out to retreive something from the house, was apparently met by an inventory clark who said that they cleaning wasn't great. The agent then took it upon herself to instruct a cleaning company to do a full clean. The property was landlord managed and the landlord wasn't contacted about it.

I wasn't told about this for two weeks! even though I have been regular/almost daily contact with agent about a minor matter to do with the tenant in our house.

Now two weeks later I am now being asked to pay a cleaning bill of nearly �400!!!! for cleaning work that I didn't ask for/authorise or want because my cleaning firm "guarentees" its work and would have revisited the property foc had I been aware, also there was 5 days between me moving out and new tenant arriving so pleantly of time to sort it out.

I am shocked that this agent thinks its ok to behave like this. What do I do? I paid �250 to my firm for cleaning and can't afford to pay �400 to another. I don't he was right to just instruct the cleanign work without speaking to anyone first was he?

I feel sick and tearful at the thought of the �400 bill, that is my Christmas screwed if I have to pay that. What do I do? Am I unreasanble to think if they ordered the cleaning then they can pay for it?

Kab13 Fri 05-Dec-14 12:59:22

YANBU.
If you didn't ask them to do it why should you pay?
Nonono!

TortoiseInAShell Fri 05-Dec-14 13:05:05

If they are trying to take it out of your deposit it will be registered with a government agreed firm. Your deposit is protected if you do not agree with this money coming out of it. You can submit the £250 invoice to prove you got the cleaning done, and refused to pay the £400.

Any arbitration over a disagreement of a deposit would never let their costs stand, you will be entirely protected.

TortoiseInAShell Fri 05-Dec-14 13:07:39

And if they are not trying to take it out of your deposit, but Are trying to separately charge you, then simply show them your invoice for £250 and say that you've paid the costs of cleaning to a professional company already and cannot reasonably be expected to pay for it a second time.

Lariflete Fri 05-Dec-14 13:07:47

YANBU - presumably you have a receipt from your cleaners and can back up that they have a guarantee in place should their work be unsatisfactory?

weresquirrel Fri 05-Dec-14 13:16:22

What Tortoise said. They have to protect your deposit by law. The fact that you have proof that you paid a cleaning firm to do the job and also the inventory clerk did not do the checkout with you present. It all sounds very dodgy and like typical shitty Estate Agent behaviour to me (i.e. trying to get more money out of you via dubious practices).

19lottie82 Fri 05-Dec-14 13:38:53

put in to claim back your FULL deposit with the scheme. if they try to raise a claim in against it dispute it.

Did you take photos when you moved in / out?

specialsubject Fri 05-Dec-14 13:41:07

you don't pay it. And nor does the landlord as it was unauthorised. He/she will have to argue with the agent (been there) but it's nothing to do with you.

check your deposit status but this isn't your problem. Claim the full deposit back. This is what the protection schemes are for.

19lottie82 Fri 05-Dec-14 13:42:06

if they are not trying to take it out of your deposit them they are obv trying it on! respond and ask for proof that the cleaning was sub standard (ie photos, not just a report) say you reject their bill, and if they want to take you to the small claims, then feel free.

londonrach Fri 05-Dec-14 13:48:18

Talk to cab but if you have a receipt from the previous cleaning firm they cant charge you again for cleaning. Your deposit is protected. £400 for cleaning. Ive just moved out of a flat in london and no way was it that much. Go through the deposit scheme. Have you photos taken by the check out clerk.

SeasonsEatings Fri 05-Dec-14 14:05:23

The issue I have is that the Inventory clark did recommend further cleaning was required in a few places. Documented on a report that came out a few days after we moved out but the agent took matters into his own hands by instructing the cleaning firm to come in.

I would have asked my crew to go back as per the guarentee, I have since spoken to them and they actually would have been able to go back the very next morning but this agent took matters into his own hands and without consulting the landlord or me just decided to get the worlds most expensive cleaning firm in.

Lucyandpoppy Fri 05-Dec-14 14:24:40

Yanbu, estate agent should have contacted you not just arranged it without authorisation from you or landlord. Tbh even if moving out clerk reccomended that some work be done doesnt neccessarily make you liable anyway as long as you leave the property in a reasonable condition doesnt need to be spotless. Ring ee and tell them that youre not paying it and give the reasons why.

TrevaronGirl Fri 05-Dec-14 15:03:06

"...I am now being asked to pay a cleaning bill of nearly �400!!!! "

The agent instructed the cleaning firm therefore they are liable for the payment.

Any dispute is between you and the agent only.

VanitasVanitatum Fri 05-Dec-14 15:55:40

Absolutely not your liability. You paid for a clean that came with a guarantee, this was the agent's mistake.

fascicle Fri 05-Dec-14 20:17:18

the Inventory clark did recommend further cleaning was required in a few places. Documented on a report that came out a few days after we moved out

Was this communicated to you at the time, and if so, what were you required to do about it?

Is there anything in writing regarding the final clean and what happens if there are issues?

The agent's behaviour and lack of communication to you sound bizarre, especially given that you were in daily contact. It seems totally illogical and unreasonable not to simply ask you to ask the cleaners to come back and address the specific areas. As well as the agent's lack of communication to you (if indeed she had the authority to commission a second clean, to be paid by you, that you weren't aware of), there's a significant difference in the price charged by your cleaners and hers. It all sounds very odd. Did the second cleaners really do £400 worth of cleaning? (Would the Inventory Clerk agree with that figure?). Was the second cleaning company (or any of its members) linked to the agent in any way?

Fight your corner if you can. Unless there's a clause in your contract to say otherwise, it doesn't sound like there is any basis for the agent's unreasonable actions.

SeasonsEatings Fri 05-Dec-14 21:09:04

Thanks everyone for your responses. Feeling more fighty now.

To answer fascicle the agent decided to instruct cleaner without speaking to me or landlord. The morning after we left and 5 days before new tenant was moving in. I have been in contact with agency almost daily yet nothing was said about this until Tuesday. I had no idea that another cleaning company had been in.

The fact that the property is unmanaged I think confirms that the agent wasn't actually authorised to instruct this work.

SeasonsEatings Fri 05-Dec-14 21:13:05

Fascicle the quotes that I got for check out cleaning ranged from £220 - £290. £400 is extortionate!

The cleaning company they used are totally associated to the estate agency.

timetoplay Fri 05-Dec-14 21:26:08

They'll try to take from your deposit OP, you need to dispute it and say to go to Arbitration because you already had the place professionally cleaned and if the standard wasn't high enough then they should have told you and you could have taken it up with the company.

The EA will have to foot the bill.

TortoiseInAShell Sat 06-Dec-14 09:56:37

By the way, it's important that you know going to arbitration involves in cost to either party; it is a completely free service.

fascicle Sat 06-Dec-14 12:56:59

It's probably worth asking for a copy of the agent's cleaners invoice. Not to pay, but because it might be useful evidence in your favour. Interesting to see how many hours of cleaning have been claimed, hourly charge etc and see how that fits in with the Inventory Clerk's recommendations. If the invoice doesn't stack up, the agent's position will be weak and exposed.

Another consideration is whether the agent belongs to any sort of industry association. If so, there are ethical standards to adhere to, and consequences for not doing so. In my experience, reminding professionals that they are accountable e.g. to another body/organisation can be very effective if they are behaving unreasonably.

SeasonsEatings Mon 08-Dec-14 21:19:59

Update.

Agent contacted me to say that no deductions will be taken from my deposit. I am delighted and a bit confused as I was building up to sending an email detailing my position (with some advice from you lovely.people) when email arrived.

Maybe the agent took my silence as a standoff? When actually I was in bathroom being ill and working myself up into a state about this?!

No matter, I got what I wanted and Christmas isn't such a worry.

Thanks for your messages x

fascicle Tue 09-Dec-14 06:59:30

That's great news. smile

TortoiseInAShell Tue 09-Dec-14 17:10:45

So pleased for you! Life is stressful enough without being shafted like that.

windchime Tue 09-Dec-14 18:23:03

How filthy was the house that it took £650 worth of cleaning to get it up to a reasonable standard? confused

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