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To think our landlords are out of line...

(32 Posts)
BabsGordon Sat 03-Aug-13 01:03:10

A bit long, I apologise for the rant.
This week we got a call from the landlords asking if they could pop in to look at the new shower that had been installed in the house we rent from them. (we have been there less than two months, but the fitted shower broke and was leaking downstairs, so it had to be replaced) We were going to be out that day, so we were a bit dubious of them coming in without us home, but they assured us that they wanted to quickly pop in just to look at the shower and make sure it was done nicely. We agreed, but informed them that we were still in the process of unpacking some things and a few of the rooms were a bit of a mess. (There is very little storage here, so we are in the process of gradually obtaining furniture to meet our storage needs, which we told them.) They assured us that it was no problem, and that they simply wanted to look at the shower.
That day we were rushing around all morning to get ready to go. We have a six month old (teething) baby, and a four year old. The four year old was playing with her toys part of the morning while I got myself and the baby fed and ready. Admittedly, I did not tidy up the playroom before we left, and she left some toys out down in the living room. The house was however, tidy, cleaned, and hoovered. The only mess was the clutter in the rooms that we were still sorting out, where the doors were left shut. (I was sorting through mountains of baby clothes in my daughter's room as well) The shower room was in the hallway, so there would have been no need to enter the bedrooms.
Imagine our shock to receive a nasty letter from the landlords the next day informing us of their findings during their thorough 'inspection' of the property. They were horrified that we had clothes in piles and on the floor. They told us that if we did not get these rooms sorted immediately, they would not renew our lease. (They did so in a manner that very rudely insulted our level of intelligence) They also said that obviously I am overtired and MUST be suffering from post natal depression and should get to the GP right away. They know others with children (they have none themselves) who cope with moving and there is no excuse to not have the house in order. And how we should be teaching our daughter to put away her toys because 'it is not rocket science' and how else will she learn. We could not possibly clean properly with plastic toys covering the floor. Everything should be packed away at all times. The letter was extremely rude and condescending. And they called the letting agent to inform them that we were filthy, dirty people who had trashed the property.
We have done no damage to the property, have not even hung anything on the walls, and keep it clean. They did not tell us it was an inspection (said multiple times, and put in writing, that they only wanted to look at the shower). They went into our bedrooms and office and snooped through our personal belongings. They sent us a rude letter personally attacking us and threatening us over not being unpacked and having piles of clothes on the floor. I feel deceived, violated, and furious! angry

holidaysarenice Sat 03-Aug-13 01:08:13

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DoJo Sat 03-Aug-13 01:08:56

Outrageous. Just outrageous. There is absolutely no excuse for this and I'm sure someone with specific knowledge will come along and give you proper reasons why, but for now I just want to leave you with the knowledge that they are completely in the wrong.

EBearhug Sat 03-Aug-13 01:15:49

I too would be furious (though in over 20 years of renting, sadly not surprised.)

If you use a letting agent, shouldn't the letting agent coordinate their visits? Is the letting agent a member of NAEA or ARLA ? I think they have codes of conduct, and if those codes have been violated, you would be able to complain.

I don't know what other rights you have - I would have thought that if they say they are visiting only to look at the shower, then that's all they should be looking at, but I can't be sure about that without checking.

But I have had more than one landlord/letting agent through the years which have made me imagine long and painful revenge. (In fairness, I have also had some reasonable ones, and one very lovely one, whom I was sorry to have to leave, but got a job in a different area. And current landlord is good, but he's a personal friend, so doesn't really count.)

Good luck. I think many landlords forget that while it may be their property, it is your home.

WafflyVersatile Sat 03-Aug-13 01:22:01

Try the Shelter website. It may have advice or point you in the right direction.

And speak to the letting agents. They should be more au fait with the fact that it's fuck all concern of the landlord if you have baby clothes on the floor.

ComposHat Sat 03-Aug-13 01:33:12

They also said that obviously I am overtired and MUST be suffering from post natal depression and should get to the GP right away. They know others with children (they have none themselves) who cope with moving and there is no excuse to not have the house in order. And how we should be teaching our daughter to put away her toys

I find it difficult to believe that even the most dimwitted of landlords would put this in writing, giving their tenants all the ammo thwy need when the case reaches small claims or the tenancy dispute service.

AgentZigzag Sat 03-Aug-13 01:36:41

I would say it's up to them if they want to look round their property (so long as they're not letting themselves in without warning).

But the ranty moral judgement on you is just plain creepy.

Who the fuck do they think they fucking are??

Telling you to shuffle off to the doctor?? angry

If this is their first contact I would say you'd be best off moving asap, it's only going to escalate. Annoying as that is, just imagine a few months down the line wishing you'd moved as soon as you knew they were creepy fucks.

They're treating a business transaction as an opportunity to try and control/manipulate you (they must believe what they say will influence you changing your ways, or why say it?).

You have to think what kind of people would think this is acceptable? Clue: you wouldn't want them to have a shred of power over where your family lives.

AgentZigzag Sat 03-Aug-13 01:38:44

The only thing I can think to excuse them is that English isn't their first language and they actually care about you and it's all come across as wrong.

Could that fit at all?

Wuldric Sat 03-Aug-13 01:40:06

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WafflyVersatile Sat 03-Aug-13 01:40:15

There is not an exam you need to pass to become a landlord. All you need is a property to rent out. You can be as unhinged as you want.

ComposHat Sat 03-Aug-13 01:45:29

I think for an inspection they need to give written notice 24 hours in advance. it is clear that they went into the flat under false pretences. They may own the flat vut it is the op's home and landlords need to respect this - there's usually a clause about the private and peaceable enjoyment of the property or some such legalese in rhe contract.

But I agree if the scenario described in the first post is accurate, start looking for a new place.

Xihha Sat 03-Aug-13 01:48:02

I had very similar problems with my old landlord, the guy owns a lot of properties in my area and i know other people have had issues like his, he turned out to be a complete bully and ended up making us homeless, along with a few other families (strangely all the families that had complained about anything).

I would go with what AgentZigzag said.

BabsGordon Sat 03-Aug-13 01:50:06

Holidays, silly me, I thought that making an anonymous posting under the heading 'Am I being unreasonable?' would be made with the intention of gauging ones reaction to a situation as being the appropriate response. Sometimes you just want others to confirm that you are right in being upset. Apparently I have misunderstood... hmm

ComposHat, I assure you that they put all of that and more in the four page letter. I have never been so offended in my life.

The letting is through the Estage Agent, but the landlords seem to prefer to contact us directly, and frequently. We took the letter straight to the Agent, and they were horrified. They put a copy in our file and advised us to find a new property. They even said that they would move us to one of their other properties and waive most of the fees.

The whole thing just makes us sad as we were starting to feel at home here, and it was the perfect location for when my daughter starts school in September. The thought of having to pack up and move again just sucks.

ComposHat Sat 03-Aug-13 01:52:51

I am not doubting it is true, just seems remarkably stupid on their part as they are opening themselves up to an harassment case.

AgentZigzag Sat 03-Aug-13 01:58:29

'They even said that they would move us to one of their other properties and waive most of the fees.'

Well if that doesn't back up that you're OK/they're not, I don't know what would.

Bite their hand off and write it off as a lesson learned (although not sure what lesson it is, never leave piles of clothes around your house? hmm grin).

Think of it as you'll have to move anyway when they ramp up their weirdness, so you're saving the bit in the middle where you're scaring yourself thinking about what they'll do next.

I pity the next tenants though.

BabsGordon Sat 03-Aug-13 02:00:47

AgentZigzag, I completely agree with them having the right to look around their property. I just wish they had been upfront with it being an inspection, so that we could have been present before they went into our office and bedrooms. Also, we would have made sure to clear out any boxes possibly could of and tried to get everything in a presentable order, even if we did not have the wardrobes/shelves we need. And English is definitely their first language. They fancy themselves very posh. I am just astonished that anyone would write that type of letter to someone they do not even know. It just really upset me, and sometimes it is nice to know that others would have had the same reaction, and that I am not crazy!

Xihha Sat 03-Aug-13 02:03:56

moving does suck, hopefully the have something in the same area for you at least.

WafflyVersatile Sat 03-Aug-13 02:09:04

It's your home. You've done absolutely nothing wrong.

If a letting agent is telling you the landlord is unreasonable then you can be sure they are.

havingamadmoment Sat 03-Aug-13 06:42:47

we once had an inspection where the house was spotless but got a letter saying they were upset we had "bowls out on the table".

The children were eating from the a the time!!

it was the start of many problems including 3 weeks with no heating or hot water during snow because the landlord had to "wait for payday".

I think landlords sometimes forget that people actually live their lives inside their properties.

We moved and he is still trying to find someone else to rent to, every time another month goes by and i see it empty i do a little secret smile.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 03-Aug-13 07:01:11

Take the agents up on the offer,the hassle now will save you much more in the future.

crochetkate Sat 03-Aug-13 07:02:01

Deepest sympathy OP

I had this from a letting agent once. They didnt like my clutter, the house was spotlessly clean but had a lot of stuff in it. And they didnt like that the second bedroom smelled of "rabbit". Thye had given permission for me to keep my two rabbits in there, who were cleaned and disinfected every day. The smell was sawdust and hay, and obviously went once we moved out.

This degenerated to them wanting to inspect the house once a fortnight with me flat out refusing.

If your letting agent is offering you a way out, take it!

PicardyThird Sat 03-Aug-13 07:16:55

Blardy lax British tenant protection laws. No landlord where I live (European country) would dare a) do this in the first place, b) then send such a letter. It would incur criminal charges. Am glad the agent is on your side, OP. I would either accept their offer to move or, if you really love the house, get their agreement to respond to the LL via solicitor's letter.

CalamityJ Sat 03-Aug-13 07:18:14

Grab the lifeline the agents are throwing you with both hands! They clearly don't think YABU.

jnl0612 Sat 03-Aug-13 07:32:21

I own I house I rent out via an estate agents. I don't even have a set of keys. They would never let me in the just check around. You need to find a decent estate agents

monika11 Sat 03-Aug-13 07:32:24

if you like the house maybe you try to ignore their letter?
maybe they are acting that way so you won't be asking for any repairs in the future in order to avoid them?

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