My Letting Agent Lied To Me- But That’s No Real Surprise

Lying Letting Agent

A friend of mine recently told me about one of her letting woes as a landlord; her misery had me so amused that I convinced her to quickly jot her story down so I could share it with ya’ll. My initial plan was to regurgitate the corpse of her notes, and develop it into an inappropriate mess, so it fits in with the rest of the shit I put out there. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she had surpassed my expectations by handing over a piece that was fit for print- there was literally very little that I wanted to change about it.

I don’t know if it was fate, or just remarkable timing, but I felt her experience was a direct consequence of 2 or possibly 3 blunders, which I listed in my most previous blog post, 12 Of The Biggest Mistakes Landlords Make.

She definitely fell victim to mistake number 10, “Accepting DSS tenants without knowing what it is”, and number 7, failing to do research.

This is her story…

My hubby decided he was going to keep his bachelor pad and rent it out when we bought our first place together. We were completely new to the whole buy-to-let thing and decided we didn’t want the hassle of dealing with tenants ringing with every stupid problem, so we asked a local letting agent to manage the property for us. We met with a young guy, a typical estate agent full of BS, but their managing fee wasn’t too extortionate and we thought “what can go wrong?”

A few days later he called to say he’d found a nice single mum who would be perfect for the property. Alarm bells went off straight away as the flat is above some shops in a busy shopping area, on the second floor with no lift! The agent assures us she’s fine with the stairs and location. He also said “She’ll be getting housing benefit, so we get paid directly by the council. No late payments or excuses” We give her the OK and the tenancy agreement is signed and she moves in.

All is well, until…

The end of the month arrives and no rent appears in our account, so we chase the agent. They give us some line about an issue with the housing benefit, but promise it should come through quickly and we’ll get the money straight away. Three months later and there’s still no rent and excuses are flying left right and centre.

We contact the owner of the letting agency, only to be told that the guy we’d been dealing with had been sacked for inappropriate behaviour with our tenant. As the story started to slowly unfold, we discovered that the tenant hadn’t even applied for housing benefit when she took on the tenancy!

The letting agents were totally shit and turned out to be the biggest bunch of crooks I’ve ever come across! They blamed the agent they had sacked, saying that he had promised the tenant that he would pay her rent until her housing benefit claim went through, and he had told her that each month’s rent had been paid. Needless to say, he wasn’t passing on any of the letters which told her she was in arrears. Sorry, do we live in a world where companies aren’t supposed to take responsibility for their employees actions? It didn’t seem to register that they’re the ones that employed the adolescent, horny, little numpty.

The tenant asked for our number so she could call and apologise, and when she did, she told us that she’d told him the flat wasn’t really appropriate for her and her baby because of the stairs, but he’d promised her that all she had to do was call him and he’d pop over to help her get the pushchair up the stairs! She said that he’d called her at least ten times a day to check that she “was ok” and promised her the rent was being paid. She also said that he’d asked her to go out with him “millions of times and told me he’d treat me like a queen”

I’ve met some naive people in my time, but come on!!!

I couldn’t believe it, I know she was young but how can anyone be that stupid? It was obvious that he wanted to get into her pants and promised her the world to try and achieve it. I wanted to string the little shit up by his short and curlies and slap her silly – although it’s got to be said that I think she was actually a conniving little cow who knew exactly what he was doing and played along with it to get what she wanted out of the situation. A free place to live while she strung him along – there’s a name for girls like her! We had to spend the next four months trying to evict her and get the arrears paid. Needless to say, she was evicted but we never saw the money again!

The moral of this story?

I think the moral is to do your research before you sign up with a managing agent. There are so many around and it really pays to make sure you don’t just go with the first or cheapest one you come across.

We now have a good agent – although we had some teething problems with them at first – who does a rent guarantee scheme. We pay a little more on the managing fee, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind.

Ouch. What a mess. I just hope someone got laid out of it.

On that note, you may want to check out the blog post on how to find a good letting agent and/or how to complain about a letting agent.

8 Join the Conversation...

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Emma 27th March, 2013 @ 09:46

OMG!!! I can't believe someone would risk their job/career/beer money for a quickie - thats desperate!! Saying that, I know a couple of estate/letting agents and have heard stories of the sexual nature during viewings of properties!

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Matthew 27th March, 2013 @ 12:27

I have written this many times before, but I have been stung by many letting agents, here in Newark, until I found Martin and Co. They charge slightly more, but are honest and trustworthy. The other agents all let me down, one way or another, whether it by keeping the rent or inventing repairs that were needed to be done. I am a retired, disabled detective, from Manchester, so had to rely on the agents, who took advantage. Philip at Martin and Co. is honest and straightforward. Matthew Dickinson

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houseandflatstorent 27th March, 2013 @ 13:47

I feel for your friend as i have been involved with letting agents before and not had a good ordeal they seem money hungry and once they have your money their services seem to go down hill.

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Bingola 11th April, 2013 @ 16:43

Two things to ALWAYS check when signing on with a letting agent:

1) They are signed up to a redress scheme - either Property Ombudsman or Ombudsman Services (Property)
2) They have professional indemnity insurance, professional liability insurance, or both.

That way, if the man dealing with your tenancy turns out to be an enterprising but ultimately cretinous little shagger who bollockses everything up for everyone, you get duly compensated :)

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jiggs747 3rd May, 2013 @ 05:35

Welcome to the world we live in. You are partially at fault too if your naivety can't see these type of conmen a mile off. As they say on the internet you got '0wned'!
And of course no-one wants to be accountable when the shit hits the fan.. do they?
The most transparent and accountable Letting system imaginable is what's needed.. but wait a minute, sorry.. that would too much like common sense!

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Natalie G 7th May, 2013 @ 12:34

So sorry to hear about your story!

I work for a letting agency in London and we actively warn potential tenants about the problems with some letting agents; and checklist things to research before signing up with them as as your story details...They aren't all good!

Natalie x

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Krystal Kay 23rd January, 2014 @ 00:01

As a landlord myself, I often wish for model tenants to rent out my precious property to....unfortunately they're hard to find. So I got to talking to this lady I met at the Business Show. Here's model tenant for grabs, guys! She's an ideal tenant, a senior business executive type who likes to live on her own. She told me how her landlord's taking back his property and she has to move out next month, showing me a whooper of a reference from her landlord! She's a non-smoker, non-drinker, very clean person too. If you are renting out your furnished 2br flat in Hammersmith & Fulham at reasonable rate, she's the one for you as it’ll be loved and cherished like her own, saving you Agency fees and refurbishment costs!

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Martina 5th July, 2016 @ 22:37

I have been trying to find tips for tenants.. I am a middle aged (4 years of 50) lady.. I have two children 10 and 9. Feels wierd saying that "middle aged " thing ..

I made the classic mistake of giving up my Accountancy Career to live in the shodows of my ex husbands... (Military background)
One never thinks your going to end up a single parent, I stuck out the abusive shit for fear of being desolate and here I am "on my ass " so to speak " but alive and happy could I get a house ..I didn't think for a minute it would be quiet this difficult

I Grew some balls and kicked the shit to the kerb...nobody puts Martina in the corner (well not forever)..

I find myself in London wanting to move my little family back down South to be near family and friends. Isolation is a head bake.. and a demotivator!!!

I have built up a very good dog walking business and have been rebuilding my accountancy carreer working in a practise and studying hard. I am in a very good position to get a good job and or build up both businesses.. Which is what I really want to do...I am a Employer not an Employee... Or possibly unemployable haha

I have always paid my rent on time .. Even when the asshole ex used to laugh and say "He is am not paying it "..control freak !!!!

I have a great relationship with my landlord...he says " you have been the perfect tenant" .. He had given me permission to claim a top up of DSS.. .once I had split. I am so Thankful or I would have been in the work house for sure !!!

I will leave his house spotless and make sure I tell any potential tenant how great he is as a landlord.

.I have been a landlady myself (never had any issues with the DSS tenants that I trusted on every month !! I know I am very lucky from the horror stories on here make me sick :/ unfortunately I regrettably sold the house to buy something else .. We didn't and the rest is history :(

I have 6 months rent upfront , I get £760 per month maintenance (which is NOT taken into concideration as income .. Which baffles me??????

Most decent people are not going to give up their jobs to not pay maintenance for their kids for gods sake .. Maintenace is provided to support the children and their living expenses .. Rent food and so on ..why is it not concidered ???????

My annual income From self employment would be = "sky's the limit" ( well higher tax bracket haha)
working employed about £25k to start with ..
I know I am in a fairly good position compared to most single Parents ..I genuinely feel quite concerned for many middle aged women or men who must be trapped in abusive controlling relationships for fear of being talked about like some piece of shit single parent who may need to claim a top up of DSS.. (It's quiet humiliating to constantly come up against brick walls and that stigma..;(

Mention The Three Capital Letters DSS and it's like I have Ebola people are running away from me the minute I say I MAY need a top up for housing benefit for a while ' ....just Untill I am on my feet example built up my two businesses or until I get a pay rise !!

No self respecting hard working person WHATS TO BE CLAIMING BENEFITS... But in the real world its there to help most people get to a better position so they are self sufficient.

I want to be Honest about who I am and what I am doing ...But can't even seem to get a look at a property !! So should I lie ..

Not all claimant of DSS are scum bag scrounges..

Many of us are hard working professionals that in the short term could do with a little bending of "imaginary rules.. Laid down "aka no DSS

Many of us are the potential long term , great paying , descent and respectable tenants that any landlord dreams of having .. And that makes good business :

Less admin
Less costs
More loyalty
Smoother transactions for the landlord
Happier life for those genuine hard working people ..

Maybe someone could rent me a
House ??? Or at least look at the bigger picture when I apply

















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