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to be furious at this letter from letting agent -

(121 Posts)
ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 13-Oct-09 18:21:32

3 month check on our flat, we have only been here 3 months. They have written to us saying that we are not paying 'enough care and attention to cleanliness'! WTF! Then they say it is not for us to dictate how people live their lives but it can be hard to clean the flat to a good standard at the end of the tenancy if it is not kept clean enough throughout. Then helpfully give us the name of a cleaning company.

Ok, we have a one year old, the place is a mess a lot of the time. They were supposed to call back to confirm visit which they didn't do so I forgot they were coming, otherwise I would have tidied. But What? It really is not dirty. Ok the wall near the kitchen bin needs a wipe and it might have needed hoovering but the general state is absolutely fine. I am furious as it is my right to live in a messy house as long as it isn't trashed, and we need the landlady to agree to a rolling contract/to renew which she might not do if she thinks we are slovenly pigs. They are coming back again in 2 weeks so I will obviously make sure it's clean and tidy but what kind of state would you expect a place to be in to get a letter like that?

Letting agents really do not work for tenants at all, do they

londonone Tue 13-Oct-09 18:27:26

No they don' they work for the landlords and part of your contract will be to keep the place in good repair. Letting filth build up is not doing that. The letting agent is right about it being difficult to clean if the dirt has built up

PeedOffWithNits Tue 13-Oct-09 18:29:07

no they do not work for you, they work for the property owner, who pays them, and who will dispense with them if not happy with the way they have let people mess up their house. less tidy = less rentable next time

but without actually SEEING your house, it is hard to say whether they were OTT or not

sometimes we cannot see what others looking in see

TurkeyLurkey Tue 13-Oct-09 18:29:30

We need pictures so we can judge properly grin.

FWIW I let a property and wouldn't be too pleased if it was in a mess - trouble is we all have different standards, what one person see's as "a bit messy" another sees as absolute squalor (not saying yours is by the way)

plantsitter Tue 13-Oct-09 18:31:10

Kat just said she is not 'letting filth build up'. I think this is just typically disgusting landlord/agent behaviour. Suggest you send them a copy of your contract with the bit about allowing you 'peaceful enjoyment' of your home highlighted.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 13-Oct-09 18:32:15

Yes but we don't let filth build up - that's my point. I mean we really don't. The kitchen surfaces are wiped more than once a day, the floors are vaccuumed several times a week, the bathroom is cleaned regularly, the bins are emptied, the hob is clean, the lino is mopped often, the walls are unmarked, what are they complaining about? The only dirt to be seen is the sort that can build up over a few days with children when you haven't had a good tidy, but even if we let it get messy we still clean, washing up and bins are done as a bare minimum.

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Tue 13-Oct-09 18:33:08

YANBU.

They have no right to complain about mess at all. So long as the actual structure of the house is not being damaged it is up to you how tidy you keep it. Obviously if you leave a mess behind when you leave they can make a fuss but whilst you are renting it, it is your home to be kept as you see fit.

And you can refuse to allow them in for an inspection in two weeks if you want. I will get you a link when I have got DD in bed.

LIZS Tue 13-Oct-09 18:33:17

They get paid a % of the rental income , so they work for landlord not tenants. Why would you think otherwise ? If they are contracturally obliged to do such checks they must also report issues and follow them up. Messy is different to unnecessary wear and tear. At least you have the opportunity to prove it was a one off.

londonone Tue 13-Oct-09 18:33:53

No they don' they work for the landlords and part of your contract will be to keep the place in good repair. Letting filth build up is not doing that. The letting agent is right about it being difficult to clean if the dirt has built up

ABetaDad Tue 13-Oct-09 18:34:40

Some agents try to force tenanst to use the cleaning company they recommend for which they get a commission fee. An agent did this with our friends - insisting on installing a gardener and then just docking the cost off the deposit at £25 / hour for a bit of weeding.

Do not agree to having a cleaner installed but do write to them requesting a written list of what they have identifed as needing doing. That way they have to be precise and not just a vague 'not clean enough'.

Photograph everything the complain about and send them copies of before and after you have cleaned.

On top of that you have the right to quiet enjoyment and live as you wish - as long as you do not damage the property. Keep all letters and photos.

Also call the council and ask for their housing officer. Tell them what is happening and that you feel harrassed. They may well intervene on your behalf and ring the agent to remind them of your rights.

plantsitter Tue 13-Oct-09 18:35:18

kat I don't think you are being unreasonable at all and even if your house were messy you wouldn't be. You have a duty to make sure the place is not a health hazard and is undamaged at the end of the tenancy - or any damage paid for. The agents simply do not have the right to tell you to tidy up mid tenancy and coming round your house and saying that is harassment imo. I find it really annoying that people think they can rent their houses out, enjoy the money it brings in and dictate that their tenants live in the way they see fit aswell!

stuffitllllama Tue 13-Oct-09 18:40:17

If you really want to dispute this with the landlord I advise you to take some photographs and email them to both the landlord and the agent.

The problem with this can be: that if a landlord believes the tenants to have held the property "nicely" they are more inclined to waive small issues at the end of tenancy. If they believe you don't care then those small issues may not be waived. Partly because, ime, whatever comes up on the inventory is rarely the sum total of damage, and if you think the tenants have been careless then you expect more problems even after the inventory.

I'm not suggesting the landlord will take more than is due. And I may not speak for all landlords, but it's a psychological thing.

eg we usually waive small issues which are our "entitlement" out of the deposit. The only time we didn't was when the tenants were careless and filthy. And they truly were.

So in short, do dispute it now if you can, not aggressively, but seriously, because it can count financially later.

junkcollector Tue 13-Oct-09 18:41:49

YANBU. God I hate letting agents. Most of the landlords (except 1) I have dealt with directly have been lovely.

They have handled it badly in my opinion and have no right to tell you how to live.

Whatever convention says, you are the customer and have the right to ask them to be generally more SPECIFIC in their complaints. If they had sent a factual list of specific things they want you to do then that would be more reasonable.

I very much doubt that the landlady is going to want to go through the rigmarole of finding a new tenant cos the wall by the bin is a bit dirty.

Don't worry they are being arses!

ABetaDad Tue 13-Oct-09 18:42:28

plantsitter - agree. Unfortunatley a lot of landlords take the attitude that it is 'their house' and you are just a guest at their convenience. Some agents take the same attitude and in particular the ones that have only recently got into lettng because the selling agency side has dropped off with teh recesison. They do not understand what letting is about.

Been a tenant for 25 years and TBH have come across it quite a bit.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 13-Oct-09 18:43:28

Thank you! I will let them come back to inspect so that they can reassure themselves that we are not filthy pigs, simply because I don't want them to report to the landlady that we are. But I will call them and ask for an itemised list of the dirt which is likely to cause permanent damage as everything I can see is cleanable in 5 minutes. In fact I just wiped the marks from the kitchen wall in literally 5 minutes.

I have never had anything like this before and have rented from letting agents many times. Usually they come round, quick squizz to make sure they walls are still standing up and go. We had an inspection as students right after finals and we were all lying in our pits after a party and nothing was said. I'm just so annoyed that they are implying that we are damaging the house with our squalor! I have seen squalid houses (I'm a SW) and ours is not one angry

JollyPirate Tue 13-Oct-09 18:45:20

Hear hear plantsitter. Jolly well said.

I privately rent too and pay £700 a month to live on the local sink estate. My landlord's agent visits every 6 months to check the place and I recently had a letter saying they were waiting to hear if the landlords require the property back at the end of the tenancy. It has a real "this house is not and never will be yours" feel to it. My local council actively encourage people to privately rent and then refuse to house them to last possible second when the landlord decides to sell and leaves the tenant with no idea where they are going to end up. I hate privately renting and wouldn't be doing it if I didn't have to. Basically you have a roof over your head but it's not a home - you cannot personalise it and enjoy it as it's not and never will be yours.

FFS the Tories are coming back in - they caused this fecking mess in the first place by selling off social housing and not allowing councils to invest the profits in building new housing. That's way there is fuck all in the way of social housing and why I am paying a large amount to live in the middle of a drug ridden estate.

Okay - thread hijack over.

FWIW I don't think you are being unreasonable at all and totally agree with plantsitter.

stuffitllllama Tue 13-Oct-09 18:45:27

i do love a polite mnetter grin

good luck kat

gloiredemonpere Tue 13-Oct-09 18:47:14

Message withdrawn

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Tue 13-Oct-09 18:49:09

Wall behind the bin needs cleaning?? When we rented and the agent came round to visit, we warned them that upstairs was a tip- one room was a junk room, the kitchen was fairly grotty as I was 9 months pregnant and a family member had just passed away and I DID NOT want to clean. They simply said 'oh don't worry, honestly'. Now these letting agents were absolute bastards but they never told us we should be cleaning more or anything of the sort. I would be furious, they have over stepped the mark, and I would seek advice on it.

You're paying your rent for God's sake. Any chance you can move and state that their letter was 'unreasonable' and that they are prying and victimising sort of thing?

This is the problem with renting. We pay a ridiculous amount on our mortgage as I couldn't stand landlords/letting agents anymore.

Be aware that plenty of people on MN are landlords/ladies and will take that side.

stuffitllllama Tue 13-Oct-09 18:50:06

totally i am a landlord and I don't!

littlepollyflinders Tue 13-Oct-09 18:50:25

I agree that this is most likely the agents trying it on and getting you to use the cleaners they 'recommend'.

Ignore it - it's horrible.

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Tue 13-Oct-09 18:52:19

It's ok Stuffit I don't mean all landladies are going to take that side IYSWIM. Just the people who take that side are more likely to be landladies than tennants.

slimeoncrazydemon Tue 13-Oct-09 18:54:01

Message withdrawn

bergentulip Tue 13-Oct-09 18:55:34

Letting agents are all a bunch a nobs. Can't stand the lot of them.... never dealt with a reasonable one.

You have a right to ask for the landlord/landlady's details and can always write letters direct to them (although that might end up blowing things out of proportion).

We've rented for years. Once you get a good relationship with the landlord, they are 99% of the time nice and normal and reasonable and moan about the agents as much as the tenants.

theDeadPirateRoberts Tue 13-Oct-09 18:58:11

grin at gloire

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