Are You Dealing With Rogue Letting Agents? Get In Touch

If you’re dealing with rogue letting agents, or have done so in the past, please contact Claer Barrett (claer.barrett@ft.com).

Earlier this week Claer left a comment on one of my blog posts (Is Your Letting Agent Holding Deposits Or Failing To Pass On Rent?):

Any landlords who want me to investigate rogue lettings agents in a piece we are running later this year, send me your gripes please: claer.barrett@ft.com. I am the associate editor of the Investors Chronicle, and edit the weekly property section. These people deserve to be exposed, and The Landlord should be commended for his public-spirited expose!

Rogue Letting AgentsSo, if you think you’re dealing with a rogue letting agent, Claer’s your woman!

PLEASE DON’T mention any names of letting agents that you suspect are rogues in this blog post, because I’ll probably get hit by legal letters mentioning the words “libel” and “defamatory”. That would be no fun for me!

But, please feel free to discuss your circumstances without mentioning specific names. Or, perhaps you’ve had problems in the past that are no resolved- if so, what happened? Love to hear from you!

Good luck to all those dealing with rogue agents! May the force be with you.a

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30 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Jools 13th January, 2010 @ 15:20

The Letting Shop in Cardiff owned by a 'lady' called Elaine Taylor. Very dubious business ethics and allegedly a severe liking for the casino's and crappy little Mercs! Supposedly ARLA registered. Enjoys leaving her staff to deal with customers whilst hiding in the back like a coward.

No replies to any letters or previous phone calls. Lied to me regarding council tax provision for tenants, did not pick up special delivery letter notifying of legal action - a real top class business woman.

Owes me £900! HMRC getting very interested now! If anyone needs it I have her home address and her rental property next door.It might be worth the £900 notes to have her audited by the tax man!! She may think she has won the battle but she will lose the war!!

Jools

NB: This is my opinion and I can back all allegations unless prefixed with alledged, with supporting evidence and witnesses so please dont start bleating on about this being libelous or defamatory. This is not the opinion of the website owner.

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Jools 13th January, 2010 @ 15:22

PS - I don't mean YOU bleating on Landlord!! xx
PPS - If you wish to censor however I will understand!

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Jools 28th August, 2010 @ 11:22

Excellent news - this woman has been nailed and has now left the country to go back to Libya. Unfortunately, she stole (allegedly) the bonds of her tenants and has left the landlords severely out of pocket.

Apparently a nice visit by HMRC was the catalyst. Good riddance and enjoy your camel.

Landlords - it is your RIGHT to ask to inspect the Tenant bond holding account to ensure there are monies registered. However YOU will still be responsible for ANY default by the letting agent. If the letting agent won't let you see their account then get the hell out!!

Jools

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nita 12th October, 2010 @ 19:00

Allan and Bath (leaders) Bournemouth - serve tenants with S.13(2) notices which have the 'services' left out - minor increases - without the landlord asking or knowing - then pocket the difference.
Scumbags -Their motto is 'We Let Homes' (fall to pieces) - no gas checks for 4 ruddy years!

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Mar Luffrum 17th November, 2010 @ 10:53

I was also one of the many unlucky landlords dealing with Elaine Taylor from the The Letting Shop. I returned back from working abroad in August to find that my property had been vandalised and used to grow weed in. I had paid full management charge to Elaine for obviously no reason. I am now fighting with my insurance policy to try and get the damaged fixed.

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Jools 17th November, 2010 @ 13:59

Mar,

The BBC contacted me recently about Taylor. Not sure if they are still looking for landlords but drop me an email and I will forward the name of the person dealing with the prog.

Cheers

Jools

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Mark Luffrum 18th November, 2010 @ 14:49

Have no idea Jools how to email you. Where would I find your email address from?

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gemma mercurio 21st November, 2010 @ 06:19

choose and move lettings in hackney bloody awful screwed me over they put wrong name of landlord on contract their fee was 100 pound but they decided to take 282,00 out of my deposit utter scum

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Guyan 2nd February, 2011 @ 06:39

The agents I'm using have leased my single bedroom flat to a supposed couple. I've had complaints from the managers of the block that there were 5 men living in my ONE bedroom flat and that neighbours have complained of the smell. Informed the agent last year, they said they will investigate but ofcourse they didn't. I had to arrange a plumber to fix a leak and informs me there were 7 men living in my one bedroom flat! I don't know what to do. The letting agents i'm sure know whats going on but I'm sure if I confront them they'll deny all knowledge.
Secondly there has been leaks in the property on 2 occasions and their plumber refused to help as the leak he said was coming from the wall and its a big job to break through the wall. I dont think this plumber exists and the agents want me to do all the work finding plumbers. When I ask for their help even in finding one their response is "we can't recommend a plumber as we have a contract with our plumber", but that plumber has refused to do the work!
I feel really down about this, I'm not a property mogul with buckets of cash and I feel i'm being treated like a complete fool. Don't know who to report this to, it's so poorly regulated. I'm just going to give notice and get the property back, but I'm so scared as to what I'll see when I open the door to my flat. Pray it hasnt been trashed

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Monty 4th March, 2011 @ 10:54

Well advertised rental agents in Milton Keynes. Pleasant people.... but I will leave it to your imagination as to why they always run a month in arrears and make excuses about their automated system letting them down. Theyr'e yet to pay me for January's and February's rent, and keep making promises along the lines of "The cheque is in my hand, I will put it in the bank today" - repeatedly. Now March, and by all accounts this is their usual practice. I have phoned them daily every month to chase rents... for the last YEAR! Speaking to competitors in the City- they immediately knew who it was that don't pay landlords for 2-3 months. I am anxious that they borrow from Peter to pay Paul, and wonder how safe the deposits are. Needless to say, Trading Standards are interested. Watch this space! In my opinion, I would stay the hell away from this letting agency if I were looking for an agency in the area again. Time to move, but then how long will it be before I get the back rent... and what will it cost in legal fees?

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micle06 18th August, 2011 @ 08:04

I know there are good Landlords out there, and I also recognise the letting agents need for private residential tenancies; not everybody qualifies for social housing, and not everybody wants the burden of a mortgage. Fine, but if you're going to go into the business of providing such a service then you should recognise you have a duty of care to your tenants.

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Manda 31st January, 2012 @ 11:16

Elaine Taylor absconded with the deposit on 3 of my properties. Furthermore she handed over 2 of them to a Chinese weed growing syndicate, leaving me with thousands of pounds of damage to the properties.My insurance as a result have gone sky high.I would be grateful to anyone if he/she can let me know of her whereabouts.

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Mark 13th February, 2012 @ 13:22

Hi Manda

Elaine did the same to my property too. Did your insurance company up? Mine wouldn't :(

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Michael 12th April, 2012 @ 14:39

Hi,

I am a 22 year old student currently studying marketing at Leeds Metropolitan University. In July 2011 five friends and I moved into a property in the student area of Leeds, Headingley.

When we were first shown the property we were informed on plans to redecorate the property etc.

Shortly after signing the contract with the letting agent, Rent Here, we were informed that the landlord of the property had actually died quite recent and that the house would be inherited. We found this very suspicious. We currently do not have our current landlords address therefore we have stopped paying rent.

Our tenancy started on July 1st 2011. We were told we were unable top collect the keys to the property until 3pm as it was going through a professional clean. When we eventually moved into the house we were greeted by a pile of junk in the front yard left by the previous tenants, some of it quite disgusting. As we looked around the property we found that the house definitley wasn't clean, it was very dirty, it had not been redecorated, there was chipped paint and even graffiti all over the walls.

We were provided with a tenant handbook (we did not receive an inventory in) it stated in there that if there were any problems to report them and depending on the priority they will be fixed within 28 days max. We did this which exceeded the handbook onto a separate piece of paper. We are now 10 months into our contract and are still awaiting for many of the problems to be fixed. Most of which the landlord are obliged to do so!

Our complaints consist mainly of health and safety issues. We have had environmental health involved but the letting agent has done little about the matters reported.
I think our biggest problem is that whenever we use the hot water in the house a smell of human excrement spreads across the property. This happens every day and has been embarrassing when we have friends over. Another one of our issues is that there is no insulation in the attic bedrooms! It has been a nightmare living here.

Whilst been at the property I have injured myself twice and my housemates have also had to visit the doctors. My housemate Alex has asthma and is living in a damp room!

I have sent numerous letters to the letting agent showing our concerns but have been ignored. It seems to me they are just waiting and biding their time until we leave hoping that we will drop any complaints we have. I am not going to do this. I am going to stick up for my myself and make a start to putting a stop to rogue letting agents and landlords in Leeds taking advantage of the vulnerability of students.

I am aware that the letting agent, 'Rent Here' are treating all of their tenants the same, as reviews on Google show.

Please get back to me with your thoughts

Michael

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Beaumont 21st July, 2012 @ 15:22

We have a house in Leeds which we let out to students. 'LIVEIT' letting agents have been 'Managing Agents' for us. We would like to let all student know that they must NEVER use them as they have stolen Rent and Bond money from the students. They have in the last month gone into Liquidation leaving both the students and ourselves out pocket. With just unpaid Rent and Bills it is £7,000-00 and rising.
Stay away from LIVEIT in Leeds

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dave 28th March, 2013 @ 17:02

Fully sympathise with the rent here comment, been in Leeds 5 years and they have been by far the worst agency/landlord in my experience - it's very hard to put it into words how much to stay away from them. Problems with everything, they take a huge degree of bullying to get them to meet their legal obligations. House was dirty when we moved in, after two "professional cleans", spent the first day sweeping, hovering, picking blu tac off all the walls, fixing cupboards, washing egg off windows, and I will not be surprised when they withhold our deposit in a few months time

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Jools 17th June, 2013 @ 10:01

Attn: Mar Luffram - I now have an address for our favourite Cardiff lettings agent if you are interested!!

If you give Kat at Apple Estates a call on 02920 221177 she will only be too happy to fill you in!!

Jools

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Mark Luffrum 17th June, 2013 @ 13:02

Attn: Jools

Thx for the info. Have contacted Kat. Are you going to chase up your loss of money? We should all join up and do a joint civil action case on her.

I'm severly out of pocket for the damage caused by the tenants she allowed in. Over £10,000 worth of damage and insurance would not pay up.

I can be contacted on 07446620114 if u would like to discuss this further.

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Bex 19th November, 2013 @ 18:10

Hi there,

My house in Cardiff was also let with Elaine, if anyone starts any class action against her or has succeeded in recovering any of their money please do get in touch!

My house is not a business, it was my home and I let it when I left the country. I am still trying to get the house on the even keel I thought an experienced woman like Elaine would provide. Very disappointed.

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Mark Luffrum 19th November, 2013 @ 18:26

Hi Bex

I would be interested in joining a class action against Elaine. My house was damaged by a Chinese syndicate who used it for growing canabis. Damaged totalled over £10,000 which does need even include the bond money she stole from me. Pls let me know if you would like to give it a try and get our loss back. Jools might be worth contacting too.

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Fanbo 14th June, 2014 @ 10:59

Has anyone had problems when dealing with a Company called The Little Letting Shop in Gloucestershire? I am a landlord and this Company has been very unprofessional.

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mavis.crewit 10th November, 2014 @ 09:41

Has anyone had any troubles with apple estates, TRYING to get bond and rent in advance back from tony and kat

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harshad Shah 31st May, 2015 @ 09:06

A rogue estate agents refuses to pay rent. I am thinking of issuing court proceedings but need some basic agvise. Is this blog still open? Who can I approach without using expensive solicitors?

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Bashir Mohammed 27th September, 2015 @ 16:44

Avoid Square Mile Estates in London at all costs, it is a trading name of Thamesview Ltd.
Their offices are Canary Wharf/Millwall, the City/Spitalfields, and Limehouse.

They charged me for cleaning and repairs which have never happened.

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Yvonne Alpagot 19th November, 2015 @ 21:22

Our agent is a nightmare!
Collected deposit in cash which has vanished! Failed to protect said deposit, as per written agreement, exposing us to litigation and a refund at our own cost! Offered new tenancy contract without authorization, ignoring written instruction to the contrary. Acts in a way that compromises landlords interests - told tenant damages were wear and tear! Provides us with inaccurate or inappropriate information resulting in wasted time, money and legal proceedings. Holds back rent (4 months at one stage) plus housing benefit arranged between agent and tenant, without telling us. Failed to pass on alleged letters from tenant. Agent is also possibly coaching tenants in ways to make our life difficult. Tenants are another story!

ALL LANDLORDS......YOU and YOU alone are responsible for the deposit!! Save yourself many a sleepless night, and collect it yourself and protect it yourself, and serve the prescribed information yourself! (especially now, with the changes in law that came into force 01/10/15.) Its sooo simple to do, its just not worth the risk!

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Kat 7th January, 2016 @ 12:42

@Yvonne Alpagot
Are your agents in London- possibly based in Kensington? I think they are the same agents I've just had a run in with. They've now disappeared but horrid tenants are in our property and we are drowning in legal proceedings and fees!

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Dave 2nd May, 2016 @ 23:50

Hi , my sisters just found out that her estate agents are claiming more from housing benefit than the landlord asked for . The landlord advertised for £550pm but the estate agents told my sister the rent was £595 ,so that's what was put on the claim form . The estate agents have been passing £550 pm to the landlord and keeping the remainder of £45pm . Can they do this or are they pulling a dodgy.
Another question.........
My sisters previous property by the same estate agents was being sold by the landlord ,so my sister had to move,but she still owed rent on the property ,so the estate agents told her they will give her somewhere else, but they are keeping the deposit for the rent that's owed,but said they will give the deposit for the new property to the new landlord and she can pay them back £20 pw . Again is that OK for them to do ,as if for some reason my sister needs to move unexpectedly and she hasn't paid back the monies to estate agents ,does she loose the deposit as in the contract it says the deposit was paid .any help and contacts would help. Cheers

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Sohrab 14th August, 2016 @ 20:02

Theydons Property Service Leytonstone E11: Absolutely rubbish experience! They treat tenants like cockroaches and landlords like Gods! Typical rubbish agents that have no business ethics. Charged us £1000 tenants fee for 1 bed flat taking advantage of our situation which I paid as I had no other option. And gave us the wrong keys to the flat which costed me £250 extra as my furniture had to be left in removal company's van overnight. When I produced the evidence of the extra charge they denied their mistake.
They now hold our deposit saying we haven't left the flat in a clean condition although it was professionally cleaned and in immaculate condition. I'm gonna sue them and make sure they do not put any other tenant like this. Please give yourself a favour and stay away. If you want your deposit back stay away from this agent.

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i jagne 7th October, 2016 @ 15:01

I would think carefully before paying reference fees to In-House estate agents in Swindon as they will collect your money and offer the flat to the applicant they prefer , and will not give you your money back making up stories that you have some adverse credit.

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Billy Hollingshead 28th November, 2016 @ 23:36

Our block of flats were 'agency free' until the property was sold. We then had Peter Anthony Letting Agents (Stockport) thrust upon us. I discovered that the landlords were actually two of the directors of the letting agency. Despite endless complaints this company have never ever directly addressed any issue.

I wrote up my experiences on a review site which was met by the most vicious and defamatory reply from this company. All the documentation, video and audio evidence showing their malicious false statements were made into a mini documentary. They then arrogantly gave, none other than Google, false information in their attempts to have it removed. A second documentary, fully backed up with evidence exposing their false claims, was then also released.

I leave this link to potential tenants in the Manchester/Stockport/Levenshulme areas who need to be aware of what may also happen to them should they dare to stand up to this ARLA registered company. Stay away from them.

https://youtu.be/4W9dWjSWmLA

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