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  • FIRST POST
    • Benji7278
    • By Benji7278 10th May 18, 4:19 PM
    • 2Posts
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    Benji7278
    Estate Agents Behavior
    • #1
    • 10th May 18, 4:19 PM
    Estate Agents Behavior 10th May 18 at 4:19 PM
    Hi all

    I suppose the point of this thread is two parts. Am i being unreasonable in what i have expected from my Estate Agents, and should i proceed to contacting the Landlord/further action.

    We have rented a property from a local estate agent, managing the property on the Landlords behalf for a little over 12 months now. In that time we have raised no issues in late payments or problems with the property and feel we have been what would be considered ideal tenants (professional couple, no pets, no smoke etc)

    You may be familiar with the type of front door that we have, that is permanently locked from the outside and the handle can be simply opened freely from the inside. 2 weeks ago a friend commented that the door should 'double lock', and that we are at risk by not doing so. I then went to try double locking, and found that this did not work. So we have a shut door, but unable to lock as it should.

    By chance, we had an inspection booked with the agent the next day. Our issue being that we were going on holiday the following week. I informed the manager of the estate agents who attended, and he said that he would contact the landlord and come back to me. This was a Friday afternoon.

    By Monday, nothing had been arranged, and we were due to travel the next day. I phoned the agents, who explained that the door was under warranty and the Landlord would get it repaired, however would not be able to attend that day. In my eyes, this was not suitable as we would not be at the property. I then asked that if i can arrange a local locksmith to come out and attend, i can pay for it and send them the invoice for the job. Agents confirmed was acceptable and to proceed.

    A week later, i received an email stating that the Landlord was refusing to pay the invoice, as the work could have been carried out as part of the warranty. I questioned this, as a) this option could not have been completed in time for us, and b) if we left the property unsecured, the insurance would have been invalidated.

    My understanding is that the Agents have contacted the landlord, and informed him that i would simply pay for the work, when it was actually agreed that i would send an invoice and expect recompense.

    Things have become heated with the agents since with them arguing that they did not agree to this. Then the owner of the agents called my partner 'A Naive young woman' over the phone. I went to the branch, and raised my issue in a calm manner to which the agents held their hands up and said 'its our mistake, and physically got her purse out stating that she would pay for it out of their wages..

    The landlord has since agreed to pay half, but i dont see this as the landlords fault, the estate agent is in the wrong, but is allowing the landlord to pay for half the work. I requested the landlords contact details but was refused under data protection (i know my rights and will be writing to them formally).

    Its all left a biter taste in the moth, and i feel like our reputation as tenants has been tarnished, as well as the landlord seemingly unfairly been told to pay for half.

    Was i wrong to expect this door issue to be resolved in a couple of days? And is it worth informing the landlord our side of the story?

    Any thoughts appreciated! I just want to know i'm not expecting too much..
Page 1
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 10th May 18, 4:33 PM
    • 706 Posts
    • 1,084 Thanks
    Slithery
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 4:33 PM
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 4:33 PM
    Why did you have to be there for the repair?

    I would have let the LL do it while I was on holiday.
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 10th May 18, 5:11 PM
    • 562 Posts
    • 384 Thanks
    pinklady21
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 5:11 PM
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 5:11 PM
    I am not sure that I understand why the repair to the door lock was urgent if you had lived there with it for 12 months already?
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 10th May 18, 5:29 PM
    • 1,170 Posts
    • 821 Thanks
    dunroving
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 5:29 PM
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 5:29 PM
    I find it strange that someone can live with an issue unaware of its importance for 12 months, then insist that it is dealt with within one business day of becoming aware of it.

    I think you jumped the gun by getting the job done yourself without written consent from the landlord.

    You say, " if we left the property unsecured, the insurance would have been invalidated." - was the door left unlocked? If not, then it was secured.

    "Was i wrong to expect this door issue to be resolved in a couple of days? And is it worth informing the landlord our side of the story?

    Any thoughts appreciated! I just want to know i'm not expecting too much."

    - I certainly think you were a bit impetuous and brought the situation on yourself. You could have allowed the LL to do the repair while you were away.
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 10th May 18, 5:51 PM
    • 654 Posts
    • 666 Thanks
    HampshireH
    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 5:51 PM
    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 5:51 PM
    I'm confused by your post.

    You say it was secure from the outside but didnt double lock. So presumably you have never used a key to lock up after you leave.

    Yet the door security has been fine in your eyes since you moved in. The only thing which changed was Knowledge.

    I think your expectation was unreasonable and I also think that if you were told it was under warranty then went ahead and got a locksmith you have probably invalidated your landlord warranty.

    I imagine they weren't best impressed.

    It wasn't the landlords fault you had a holiday booked. You could have allowed the repair to be done in your absence.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th May 18, 5:58 PM
    • 5,587 Posts
    • 11,376 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 5:58 PM
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 5:58 PM
    I agree that the OP was too hasty in wanting the repair done too quickly.

    BUT its not their fault when they suggested this and the EA agreed to the suggestion.

    EA is in the wrong as they should have explained to the OP that their suggestion was not acceptable and the repair could be done whilst they were away.

    OP I would get the LL details and write/speak to them explaining in hindsight you realise your expectations were unreasonable but the EA should have pointed this out to you and they are at fault as they agreed you could go ahead then leave it at that. The LL might not be aware that the EA has omitted fault or he might be and still agreed to pay half, either way I think they have the right to make sure they know as they are paying the EA to act for them.
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 10th May 18, 6:06 PM
    • 1,170 Posts
    • 821 Thanks
    dunroving
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 6:06 PM
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 6:06 PM
    I agree that the OP was too hasty in wanting the repair done too quickly.

    BUT its not their fault when they suggested this and the EA agreed to the suggestion.

    EA is in the wrong as they should have explained to the OP that their suggestion was not acceptable and the repair could be done whilst they were away.

    OP I would get the LL details and write/speak to them explaining in hindsight you realise your expectations were unreasonable but the EA should have pointed this out to you and they are at fault as they agreed you could go ahead then leave it at that. The LL might not be aware that the EA has omitted fault or he might be and still agreed to pay half, either way I think they have the right to make sure they know as they are paying the EA to act for them.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    There are two sides to every story and I'd be interested in the EA's and LL's opinion.

    First time I ever heard of an estate agent getting their purse out and offering cash to a tenant. Very bizarre.
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th May 18, 6:14 PM
    • 5,587 Posts
    • 11,376 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 6:14 PM
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 6:14 PM
    There are two sides to every story and I'd be interested in the EA's and LL's opinion.

    First time I ever heard of an estate agent getting their purse out and offering cash to a tenant. Very bizarre.
    Originally posted by dunroving
    I heard of it before happen to my friend. Not literally getting a purse out but the EA did pay as they made a mistake (if the money came the person who made the mistake wages I have no idea).
    • Benji7278
    • By Benji7278 10th May 18, 6:20 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Benji7278
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 6:20 PM
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 6:20 PM
    Thank you all for comments so far.

    Let me be clear, i have no issue in the way the Landlord has conducted things. The landlord has offered a solution in getting the repair resolved under warranty, and i totally recognize that it is acceptable to offer it as a solution.

    It wasn't until the day before our inspection that i recognized we had an issue with locking the door. Until then, in my eyes the door was secure, My friend physically showed me a very simple way in which to get the door open (he had had the same issue with his own door) that i was aware we had a problem.

    The estate agent was informed the very next day. Our Home Insurance company confirmed under the circumstances that insurance would not be valid until the door was secure, and that most likely the building insurance would be invalidated also.

    The option to have the work carried out was not suitable. We were in the states, returning back on a fortnight later on the Saturday evening before a bank holiday. At the time, we were unaware what would need to be carried out, change of locks etc.

    Our EA confirmed on the phone that we could proceed with a locksmith. They said they could not get one to attend, i called someone out within 30 minutes. Furthermore, they have confirmed that they provided us with the go ahead to proceed.

    My issue is totally with the EA. They denied giving us permission at first, then changed the story. They have clearly not communicated the full picture to our landlord, and are allowing the landlord to pay half of the invoice. I take issue with this, as i believe neither i, or the landlord should be out of pocket, and i believe the landlord should be made aware of this.

    the fee was a call out charge, the fix in the end turned out to be minor, but it did need someone to attend.

    I completely recognize the time frame here. That being said, when a property is legally uninsured and the EA gives you the go ahead they should be held to account?

    Thanks again for thoughts everyone.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 10th May 18, 6:31 PM
    • 44,114 Posts
    • 52,297 Thanks
    G_M
    ....... I then asked that if i can arrange a local locksmith to come out and attend, i can pay for it and send them the invoice for the job. Agents confirmed was acceptable and to proceed.
    Originally posted by Benji7278
    It's really very simple. If you have this is writing, then the landlord must reimburse you, as his agent speaks on his behalf.

    The landord can, of course, demand that the estate agent reimburse him ( the LL) if the he (the agent) exceeded his authority in making this promise.

    On the other hand, if you have nothing in writing, and the agent denies giving you this undertaking (ie either he lies, or, as seems likely, there was a misunderstanding about what was agreed) then you have little chance of getting your money back since, as others have said:

    * this was a warranty matter. Few LLs would ignore that
    * it was not an urgent matter - the door still required a key to open it
    * you chose to deny access in your absence

    Let us know how it pans out....

    *
    Last edited by G_M; 10-05-2018 at 7:16 PM.
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