“You know what? Rip me off once, shame on me. But twice?
I’m coming after you, your oversized hand-me-down suit, and your bottle of Old Spice, maggot!” – The Landlord
Ok, so yesterday I wrote a blog post about how I encountered a rude, cock-face letting agent. Well, the saga continues…
Just as a quick recap: my local letting agent wanted £500 to find me tenants. Initially, I was like, “Okay, cool, see what you find me“.
Just for context, I should clarify that using a high-street agent was my backup plan, because I generally always find tenants myself via an online letting agent these days. Paying for high-street services was literally PLAN Z, but a potential fallback nonetheless.
Defining what kind of tenant I wanted!
When the local agent came to view the property, he asked me a bunch of questions regarding my preferences in terms of what kind of tenant I would like:
- Will you accept tenants with children?
- Will you allow pets?
- Will you allow DSS tenants
- Will you accept smokers?
I said “no” to all but the children.
I have no problems with children as long they don’t cry all-day-long and irritate the crap out of the neighbours (which is agro I don’t need to be dealing with), or piss, shit, and doodle all over the walls and carpets. I also mentioned that I only want working-professionals (perhaps the most common request?).
The agent seemed to note my responses down on his clipboard so there was no confusion, and more importantly, no room for excuses for why the information may just suddenly fall out of his head (incredible how often that happens to agents. Poor things!). Although, I can’t actually confirm what he actually wrote down, but he certainly made all the expected gestures to imply he was taking notes. He could have been sketching his wildest fantasy for all I know; he held onto his precious clipboard for dear life, so it was too close to his chest for me to peak over.
Ok, so as I explained in yesterday’s blog post: a few days after the agent had made a visit and noted down my requirements, he contacted me – smugly – to notify me that he found a suitable applicant and *he* had accepted the offer.
Yes, you read correctly. He accepted.
The cock-sure wally had basically told her she can have the property without running the details by me first. I told him that his actions were unacceptable because I hadn’t agreed to anything, so questioned *why* he would give a prospective tenant the green-light without getting approval from the “decision-maker” first.
Surely that’s standard practise for even the most snake-oil of agents, right?
To my complete confusion, my agent got his knickers in a twist because he claims to have found me the perfect tenant, and his argument is that I’m being an uppity asshole by not blindly jumping up-and-down with joy, and falling over myself to sign the contracts!
Lord forgive me for having an ounce of sense!
Apparently the agent and tenant were so far down the process of getting the deal signed, that the poor woman has already arranged for her Guarantor to travel down from the other side of the country to sign the guarantor contract.
Yes, yes, I’m an asshole for letting this happen!
But, still, yeah, NO!
At this point, I had no intention of working with the agent anymore – they proved to be inadequate, to put it nicely.
The tenant I actually got offered (definitely not what I asked for)
In a lousy attempt to regain my trust – but more importantly my business – the agent contacted me last night, offering to lower their rate if I accept the tenant.
They offered to reduce their rate to £400. That’s quite a reduction from £500. Times must be hard. Perhaps if they didn’t treat their clients like assholes [by attempting to flog them an inadequate product] they wouldn’t *need* to lower their rates. Just a random thought!
While I still had no interest in working with them, curiosity had grabbed me by the throat, so I enquired about the “perfect” tenant they had unearthed. I asked the following questions:
- Who is the tenant?
- How old is the tenant?
- What does the tenant do?
- Does the tenant have kids?
She’s a 25yr old single mother, that’s a part-time fitness instructor, and she’s also in receivership of housing benefits.
WTF? I initially thought he was playing a practical joke on me, because that’s literally the complete opposite of “perfect tenant”
Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that there was no joke, and this guy was a genuine twit!
How the fuck is that the perfect tenant? And what was the point of asking me those initial questions when viewing the property if you ignored pretty much everything I requested?
The agent’s response was infuriating:
Her references are great, and she’s a lovely girl.
I felt like saying:
You fuck her then!
Of course, the tenant might be perfectly legit, and could even be great.
However, that’s definitely not the point.
Again, the agent got shirty with me, and genuinely thought he was the victim, because:
- They already tolerated my “attitude” after I refused to blindly accept their ‘perfect tenant’ (thank God I didn’t)
- They had reduced their fee, and I was still being an ungrateful little bastard
To clarify, a 25yr old year single mother in receivership of benefits is perfectly capable of being a tremendous tenant. That wasn’t my issue. My grip was with the fact the letting agent specifically asked me what type of tenant I was looking for before he started looking for prospects, but he found the complete opposite, and then gave her false hope by presuming I would accept her application.
She didn’t fit the description for what I was looking for at all. And the agent knew it. It’s like going into a restaurant and ordering a vegan meal, but being served a big, fat steak instead. Anyone normal would be disappointed by the service.
Money for doing nothing!
The reality is, the council has a backlog of part-time employed, single mothers in receivership of housing benefit that are in desperate need of private accommodation. So if that’s the kind of tenant I was after, I could have gone to my local council and they would have been able to toss me one or a million of them my way.
So why would I pay £400 (or any money at all) for one?
These guys are not only shysters, but I also suspect they’re clinically insane.
Anyways, later today I have to face these ass-weasels to collect the front door keys. That should be fun.
I have no doubt, they’ll probably be sitting there scratching their asses, wondering why I passed them up on such a great deal.
Worst service ever.
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.