Lies That Letting Agents Feed Prospective Tenants

Letting Agent On Jerry SpringerI’m not sure if I would put letting agents on the same par as estate agents, but if letting agents are behind, they’re not that far behind. Perhaps they’re not the same breed of predator, but they’ve definitely emerged from the same batch of spawn, Satan’s spawn. I’ve had my fair share of problems with letting agents; from my experience they’re as slippery as the cheese and chive gunk that drips out of their zits. Similarly to estate agents, they equipped for combat; fully armoured with more hidden tricks than Ronald McDonald.

So, what are the most commonly used lies they deploy to trap potential tenants into their snapping bear traps? Here’s a list of the usual suspects…

Interest in this property has been extraordinary

I’m going to start this potentially titanic list by covering the most commonly used line, which shouldn’t be taken anymore serious than a nun in a thong.

“There’s been a lot of interest in this property- we’ve had 3 viewings already after 1 day of being put on the market. So if you’re interested, you should act quickly”

Well, if this property is so hot, rent it out already, beehatch!

There is never a shortage of ideal properties for our tenants

Instead of admitting there is a shortage of the idealistic property which meets your requirements, they’ll just waste your time showing you inadequate properties, whether it’s the price that’s way out of line, or the floor space. Either way, it’s all time-wasting, something which they have no qualms of doing.

“Hi, we’ve just had this amazing property put on the rental market. It’s amazing. I thought of you as soon as I heard about it”

Errr…it’s £400 over my budget, Jackass!

Everything will be repaired

“Oh that, yes, that will be fixed before you move in. It’s all been arranged. Don’t worry about it.”

Local Landlord

“You get the added luxury of having a landlord that lives 5mins away, so he can assist with any problems you have immediately.”

The landlord lives in Bangladesh.

Exclusive rights

“Oh, you really like this property? The landlord has given us exclusive rights to this property; you won’t find it advertised elsewhere”

The Rent is nonnegotiable

“The landlord won’t budge on the rent, I’m sorry”

The more rent the agent gets out of you, the more commission they’re likely to get.

Parking

“Parking is shared but there is never a problem”

Let me guess, you live in this neighbourhood, right?

Excellent Neighbours

“The neighbours are dead quiet, you won’t hear a peep out of them, and everyone is so friendly.”

Right, right, we just went over the fact that you live in this neighbourhood, I forgot.

Nothing is broken. Ever

“Everything is in working order, from every light bulb to every plug socket”

Property will be cleaned

“The property will be professionally cleaned before you move in”

a.k.a “I’ll ask the landlord to do a once over with the Hoover. If he can’t be bothered, fuck it, you would have signed on the dotted line by then”

Council Tax

“Yes, this house is Band A for council tax”

Landlord Contact Details

“The Landlords details will be in the lease”

There won’t be, nor will the letting agent pass on the details.

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6 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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David 24th April, 2010 @ 08:02

My daughter has entered into an Assured Shorthold Tenancy with 4 other girls. She has signed the lease and paid the deposit, but one of the girls has not. That girl, along with my daughter and one of the remaining three now want to get of the lease and have been trying to find suitable replacement tenants.

However, my gut feeling is that as long as ALL the girls have failed to sign the agreement, then the letting agent doesn't have a legally binding contract at hand. If that is the case, can my daughter walk away from this tenancy?

1
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Jools 24th April, 2010 @ 15:19

Complicated this as in theory all the tenants should have signed the contract at the same time thus making them jointly severable. However since one has not then it MAY be void. Would suggest you take some proper legal advice because on the other hand she has signed a legal document.

Jools

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Guest Avatar
David 24th April, 2010 @ 17:21

That's what I was thinking. Thanks for the advice; I'll get a lawyer to take a look at it.

3
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Jessica Bailey 29th August, 2013 @ 21:58

Brilliant article! As much as it is tongue-in-cheek, so many of these things are true! Shelter.org and http://londonandproperty.com/renting-tricks-scams/ all provide very practical tips for those honest ones of us house or flat hunting for a rental!

4
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Margaret 11th June, 2014 @ 09:48

Estate agent has lied about so many things. Firstly the property when the present renters moved in he said it was "spotless" and will be when they leave. Not true, it stinks of dog urine and dog poo. When we went to sign, we asked when it will be cleaned. Oh no, you are renting as is! With only two weeks left on present lease we are tied. Does anyone control these dishonest estate agents? That is just one of the many lies. He has lied about times and dates. Just too many to list. It is the filth that is a big worry, it is going to cost a fortune to get this property into a living condition.
Really worried about having to deal with this dishonest person.

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Lee 1st August, 2014 @ 08:42

Early this year my estate agent/letting agent came round and told me and other tenants that the landlord was selling the property and he'll rehouse all of us. He showed me a property that he said he's having done up and I'll be moving into that property and sharing it with another tenant. On the day I moved in he said we have a new carpet and all that when burn marks and dirty patches on the carpet stood out. I inspected the rest of the property and noticed hardly any work has been done and the bed I was given is completely unsafe which I reported to the agent but he hasn't done anything about it.

Another thing is that he told me the property and all the bills are solely in my name and demanded that I don't tell anyone that the property is being shared. I thought it through and decided to go against what he said otherwise I'd be breaking the law. A few months later the landlord the estate agent came around having a go about a bill the landlord got, he then demanded I have to go with him to sort it out, he basically wanted me to lie and was turning up at the property everyday even on a sunday when he doesn't work.

In the end he threatened to kick me out if I didn't sort it, he told me he'll pay the bill and that I need to give him the money to do so. He's now saying I'm only renting a room when on the tenancy agreement it says I'm renting a dwelling house for £85 PW when he's actually charging me £70 PW.

Before moving into the property he originally said it'll cost £400 PCM and that will be split in half with the other tenant. After all this with that bill he's now saying the house is a H.M.O. which he should've put on the tenancy agreement in the first place. After I've asked a few agencies about it they said it doesn't add up like the estate agent is engaging in criminal activity. A few agencies have rang him up then he comes round having a go, lying to my face and threatening to kick me out if I say anything else, the latest thing he said is that he can take me to court and say I haven't been paying the full amount of rent that's on the tenancy agreement which he lied about so he can get more money, it sounded like blackmail the way he put it.

Back in 2012 there was a fire at one of his other properties and he wanted me and my ex-girlfriend to sign a form saying a certain person was living in there at the time when he actually evicted that person 6 months before for not paying the rent. The agent also used the property for storage, basically putting stuff in there that would easily catch fire. There was stuff dumped outside the front of the property and a few nights later there was a fire that spread into the property and cause those materials to catch fire. A few nights before all that the property was broken into and a lot of things got damaged. It seems like all this was done by people he knows to commit insurance fraud. These are just a few of the things he's done.

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