to fling myself at prospective new tenants for our flat and scream DON'T DO IT!(23 Posts)
We're private renters in a very
exploitative pricey area of the country. Landlords are definitely in charge here and because there's such a housing shortage no-one can really complain. We're moving out of our current place after just a few months because of many, many problems which the landlord promised to sort and never did. I suffer with allergies and the house has been making things so much worse for my health - am on drugs I never had to take before, constantly feel run down. So, at the moment am stuck ill at home and they have started showing prospective new tenants around the place while I happen to be here. Saying disingenous things to them like "we hope the bath will be fixed by the time you move in" - no it won't be, you promised that to us 6 months ago! Saying stuff is the landlord's when it is ours and will be gone with us - those nice shelves? Ours. The Ikea storage? Ours. The bed looks comfy? That's our mattress topper, landlords bed so old you can feel springs digging in without topper on. I feel so bad for whoever ends up living here, they're in for such a rough time. I can't exactly speak up about the place in front of the letting agents - want to get our deposit back! But am so so tempted to say something. Particularly when the new tenant people seem eager or nice - I want to warn them! Especially if they ask me "what is it like to live here". May try damning with faint praise - eg, good location, am sure is nice if you don't have allergies? But if someone is in love with a place they aren't going to listen...
Just wanted a bit of a rant, really! Anyone going through/gone through similar?
Whilst it's a nice idea if people are that desperate they will live there no matter what.
I really loved the flat we were in before we moved out of London, but although it was a spectacular flat (very unusual layout, huge windows, lots of light, in impeccable condition, very quiet for a London zone 2 flat) it was also FREEZINGLY PERISHINGLY COLD and very hard to heat. I found it hard when people visited because I loved the landlady but I did also want to grab people by the shoulders and scream "YOU'LL FREEZE TO DEATH". (I didn't.)
PS I'd have no compunction about correcting the estate agent if they were telling tenants that my stuff belonged to the landlord, though - I had to do that a couple of times because the estate agents don't really bother doing the homework for rentals.
Hopefully someone really awful will move in and get just desserts. Mwaaah <evil>
If the agent is saying that things belong to the landlord when they actually belong to you, just correct them. Be polite and factual. The agent will apologise for getting it wrong and maybe stop doing it so much for future viewings.
Are they asking you what it's like to live there within earshot of the agent? If so, it's tricky. If not, be honest. Just say it's a nice area but you've had problems with the landlord not making essential repairs.
You can probably report the landlord or agent for failure to make the repairs, btw. CAB and Shelter have good advice on it.
I have been speaking up about the furniture - can't believe the letting agents sent someone who had no idea what was ours and what was the landlord's, so have been trying to bring it up in conversation eg "would you like to know what pieces of furniture are staying?" But am ill and mostly stuck on couch, not up to following them about and correcting for each room. Don't know what they are saying while am not around. They did that to us when we moved in - expected 2 couches, only found there was one - oh yeah the others was the tenants - that's not what you said before...
I'm also a tenant in a rip-off area, and I understand it's unwise to say 'this place is a shit-tip' in front of letting agents (although they can't easily dock hundreds from your deposit for vague reasons any more).
But I don't know why you'd let people think your furniture belongs to the landlord. As AnotherEmma said, that just requires a polite correction.
I did once warn prospective tenants who were looking round the house that we were renting that next door (terrace) had just been granted planning permission for a substantial extension. I was torn about whether or not to say anything, as I liked our landlord and he had always been reasonable, but the couple looking round had 2 small children and I knew that their lives would be made a misery for several months if they took on the tenancy. Still not sure whether it was the right thing to do!
What makes me feels bad iyswim is the fact that we have done a lot of things to the place to make it look nicer than it is. Eg putting our own artwork up, fairy lights, putting up our own curtains, using a pretty looking chain to keep the dodgy cupboard closed, using own showerhead in place of broken one supplied, putting a tablecloth on the horrible sticky surface of the landlord's table, etc. Everything I have done to make the place feel more like home is going to have to come down when we move or we won't get our deposit back - they will be left with a shell and realise how nasty it really is, too late.
I want to shout "this place looks nice because of all the stuff we did to it!" Then whip off the throw from the landlord's couch to reveal the Dorian-Grey-esque wreckage lurking underneath.
I think if I were in your shoes, particularly as you're ill, I'd be saying no viewers until you've moved out. You don't have to allow viewings at all, and it won't affect your deposit.
Then the viewers will see exactly what they're getting. Just plead illness and say you can't deal with viewers any more
People should realise that, though. It's the reality of renting.
I would take down all of your lovely stuff (artwork, fairy lights, whip the throw off the sofa) and let the prospective tenants see exactly what it is.
I'd correct the LA when they pass of your stuff as the LL's.
I'd definitely be truthful if the people looking around ask you directly about the place but perhaps couch this so it seems less harsh. "What's it like to live here?" "Well the area is lovely, there are great restaurants etc. The flat, yeah, not so much but I guess manky furniture [insert other complaints] is the price you pay for living here"
When DH and I were students we lived in a large studio flat. It was FREEZING
think period property with large drafty Windows! We would have to sit watching TV with two jumpers on and a duvet wrapped around us. It didn't help that our rent included our heating where the bastard land lord had the thermostat set very low.
Anyway, we gave notice and the agents began to show prespective tenants....I was evil and made it known how cold it was when the letting agents had their back turned
It is ok, being ill sitting at the sofa, during showings, is more than a deterrent than you can imagine. Honestly.
If you want to be nicely mean, just leave the bedrooms untidy before they show up. That will show them the misery of the place, even if it was a nice place.
We once lived in a flat that was fine, I mean it was ok. We gave notice and the landlord started to send people round for viewings with no one accompanying them. So we dutifully showed one or two people round. Problem was, the landlord was trying to put up the rent by a couple of hundred quid a month. Since we were leaving and there was no one with us, we gave the prospective tenants an entirely honest appraisal of the flat: "Yeah, it's ok. Boiling hot in the summer. The neighbour downstairs has ears like a bloodhound and will complain to you whenever you walk across the floor. And we're paying much less than that per month by the way, the amount they're asking is a joke. Offer much less."
I could never understand why they didn't do viewings with an agent!
Oh. I do wonder if the previous tenant 2 houses ago wanted to do this. We viewed it and she sat in the living room as the landlord showed us around, looking grumpy (I thought then!). Fast forward 18 months and we left because it was fucking freezing and horribly damp. It had useless crappy storage heaters downstairs and money-draining electric panel heaters upstairs. The spare room was damp when we moved in but ll said he was getting that fixed. We believed him. It was only when he spent ages, aged 70, trying to do all repairs himself or hiring useless friends to do things at mates' rates that we realised he was a skinflint. When we moved out we took down our bookcase in the living room and discovered that the back of it was running with damp - we hadn't realised that wall was also damp. I warned the next-door neighbour because it was a party wall, in case it went through into her property. Funnily enough when we moved DH's chronic colds and nosebleeds cleared up almost immediately! I must have an iron constitution.
Sadly, there's not much you can do - you'd need to go into a lot of detail to convince them, which isn't really possible with the LA standing there! What we need is a website where you can put the address and then give an honest review after you leave - does such a thing exist?
Maybe you could offer them your mobile / landline number and say 'Do ting if you have any questions'. With a meaningful look.
I remember coming home whilst the estate agents were showing people around our house. There was a flat roof halfway up the communal staircase which you could access by climbing out the window, and the agent didn't see me come in as he was too busy standing there telling the prospective buyer "it's not an official roof terrace but every summer when the weather gets nice the current owners drag a bunch of deck chairs out there, have people over, bust out a barbecue..."
This was a complete figment of his imagination. It has never, ever happened and will never happen. It's the basement floor flat's kitchen roof, if you had a group of people clomping around on it his ceiling tiles would fall off.
It's a top-floor flat and so has no outdoor space. Just admit it.
Oh, fuck 'em. I'd give the prospective tenants both barrels and tell them the truth. Actually, I tell a lie, if I were ill I wouldn't agree to viewings at all. Leave the key in the lock so the agents can't just come in, either.
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