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Who's BU - my friend, her letting agent or the new tenants?

119 replies

LRDTheFeministDragon · 20/05/2011 13:50

My mate is in the middle of moving house and has a bit of a situation, I think it's not her fault at all but what do you think? And what would you do (bear in mind she is stressed as heck right now, so quick solutions good.)

As I understand it, her letting agent asked/told her and her wife to show around prospective tenants, which they were happy to do. Their place is a little flat with a small paved area at the back where they have put lots of pot plants. And when I say lots, I mean really, really lots - they've got potted fruit trees that go up one wall and are higher than your head, for example. I can understand someone thinking of them as permanent fixtures. But they are all in pots and when mate got the removal van in, they put had them all taken to their new place along with everything else.

New tenants came over to and threw a wobbly because 'the garden has gone' and they think it's stealing. It's not on the inventory, it's all stuff mate payed for herself or got as wedding presents and she obviously does not want to leave it. The letting agent says that it was my mate's responsibility to explain that the pots were not going to stay; my mate reckons that since there is an inventory (it's a furnished let), and the plants aren't on it, she shouldn't have had to do this.

What do you think? Does she had any legal obligations here? She's really stressed because the letting agent is making noises about her being responsible for not representing the property accurately to new tenants. I don't see she has any responsibility here but I'm not sure - and would you be cross if you moved in somewhere and found pots gone from the garden? It is just a bare patch of concrete now and I can see it wouldn't look very nice like that.

OP posts:

Dropdeadfred · 20/05/2011 13:52

it's not her fault - they should have asked about the garden

they can buy their own plants if they liked them that much


Imnotaslimjim · 20/05/2011 13:53

I think there is no legal obligation at all, and the new tenants shouldn't have assumed ther plants were being left behind, especially as they weren't listed in the inventory. I think she needs to have a chat with CAB or similar though to see the legal stance on it, just to cover her back. Hope its resolved quickly


manicbmc · 20/05/2011 13:53

I'd reckon it's wholly the letting agent's responsibility (including showing round new tenants) and also the new tenant's responsibility to read the inventory and tenancy agreement properly.


atswimtwolengths · 20/05/2011 13:53

Of course people take pots with them! They are not fixtures and fittings and, as you say, were not on the inventory.


harassedinherpants · 20/05/2011 13:54

Well...... I'm moving into a rented house next month, with a small decked garden. No grass or flower beds, but it did have lots of plants in pots. I'm not expecting them to be there.

Ours in unfurnished but the lease list the kitchen equipment (cooker etc) but nothing about the garden. Which is what I expected. The agent showed us around, but the landlady's dd was there (they're living there at present) and nothing was mentioned by either of them.

So I don't think your friend is being unreasonable.


knittedbreast · 20/05/2011 13:54

wtf? it is absolutly the agents place to tell the new tenants if anything is not staying.

there must be no way that your friend leaves any of those plants there.
she is not legally obliged to tell them anything, it might be different if the house were being sold and she had put them on the invantory list.

the agent is completly out of order. the plain square didnt look nice for either until she spent her own money making it her own.


Gooseberrybushes · 20/05/2011 13:54

I'm sorry but I think your friend should have explained it. I don't know the legal position but I don't blame her for taking the stuff as the tenants wouldn't have looked after it. If I was her I would spend 150 quid at the garden centre for cheap but plentiful and say take it or leave it.


NotQuiteCockney · 20/05/2011 13:54

What? She showed people around, which wasn't her job, and now she's meant to give up plants for it?!?


saffy85 · 20/05/2011 13:55

Unless it's listed on the inventory then it was naive of the new tenants to think the plants in pots would automatically be staying. IMO. Have no idea where your friend stands legally but surely it's up to the letting agents to deal with these wobblies because, well, isn't one of their jobs to deal with tenants gripes? Confused


Dropdeadfred · 20/05/2011 13:56

sorry - is your friend leaving HER OWN house or a house she was renting? if it was her own house she probably is more responsible for explaining what would be taken


Gooseberrybushes · 20/05/2011 13:56

Yes and knittedbreast is right: the agent was asking you a huge favour and you should have been advised appropriately. Changed my mind - tell the agents it's their fault for not doing their job propertly - if they were relying on you do to part of their job they should have advised you what to say.

Tell them to pay the extra or they lose the commission. It's the price they pay for not showing round.

I don't blame the tenants for being pissed off but the agent is to blame.


LRDTheFeministDragon · 20/05/2011 13:57

Whew, thanks. The new tenant was saying that it is stealing and you wouldn't expect to rent somewhere and find that plants had been dug up from the garden - I have no idea (never rented somewhere with a garden myself), but I guess I would feel differently about that, so I did wonder. Glad to hear there's no unwritten plants-in-pots rule I'd never heard of.

This is just the last thing she needs when she's in the middle of moving house!

OP posts:

Starshaped · 20/05/2011 13:57

If they weren't listed in the inventory then the new tenants and letting agent don't have a leg to stand on.

Anyway, shouldn't the letting agent have been showing the prospective tenants round? That's what the landlord will have been paying them to do!

I'd tell your friend not to worry, it's not her problem at all.


Gooseberrybushes · 20/05/2011 13:57

I'll make the phone call to the agents for her. They are useless and awful.


Gooseberrybushes · 20/05/2011 13:58

I don't think the inventory is relevant. That's drawn up after the lease is agreed. It would have been agreed under the impression the plants were there.

However agent is still at fault.


Katiepoes · 20/05/2011 13:58

The letting agent is being a plank. My house has a teeny garden and when I viewed it the previous owner had it beautifully decorated with pots and a bench and suchlike - at no point did I think she'd leave them behind (secretly hoped though Smile ). In any case if they were not listed on the inventory there is no claim. I'd write to the agent telling them to back off an saying that no further discussion would be entertained. CC the agent's boss if necessary.


harassedinherpants · 20/05/2011 13:59

First rule as a tenant though is NOT to assume anything!!

Personally I think it's the agents fault..... should have done their job properly and this wouldn't have arisen.


Indith · 20/05/2011 13:59

The new tenents are being a bit daft, the letting agent IBVU, I have shown prospective tenents around before and I wouldn't dream of pointing out that the pots were not part of the house and would be going with me, even in a furnished let. YOu wouldn't expect the books on the shelves or the clothes in teh wardrobe would you? As a prospective tenent it is up to you to ask what is staying. Especially in furnished where there can be some differences between properties such as TV or even some white goods.


WhoAteMySnickers · 20/05/2011 14:00

It's not really clear whether your friend is the owner of the flat, and she's letting the flat out via an agency? If so, and the viewers made lots of complimentary noises about the garden area and the pots, then I think perhaps she should have mentioned that she was taking them with her.

If she was a tenant in the flat, then she was doing the agency a favour by showing the new tenants round, and should tell them (the letting agency) to feck off.

But ultimately the new tenants should have checked the inventory before they signed up, so they knew exactly what they were signing for. She has no legal responsibility.


LRDTheFeministDragon · 20/05/2011 14:00

Oops, cross-posted. dropdeadfred, they're moving out of the flat they rented, into another rented place. They did agreed to let people come round and see the place without the agent coming over, but no-one said they should say anything specific about anything - that was all meant to be left to the agent/any prospective tenants.

OP posts:

KvetaBarry · 20/05/2011 14:00

the new tenant is being a pillock. unless they asked about the pots whilst being shown round, they can't whinge about them not being there. They are just trying it on!


clappyhands · 20/05/2011 14:01

Letting agent is an arse. New tenants are arses. End of :)


knittedbreast · 20/05/2011 14:01

also just so you know if the garden was bare when she moved in and she planted plants in the ground she is still entitled to take them with her.


Gooseberrybushes · 20/05/2011 14:01

"the letting agent is making noises about her being responsible for not representing the property accurately to new tenants."

she needs to make noises about them being responsible for not doing their job properly


socka · 20/05/2011 14:01

Seriously goose? Last time you showed people round when you were selling or leaving did you specify "The pull light switch in the bathroom is included, but we will be taking the bubble bath with us" Hmm

New tenants should have asked. Or consulted the inventory and checked with the agency.
The agency should be glad she did their job for them.

They are total knobbers. End of.

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