Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
I’m looking for some advice here as I’m having no end of problems with my letting agent.
I have found their standard of service and communication to be appalling whilst being charged extortionate fees. They have carried out repairs without first obtaining quotes, not returned calls, not paid money into my account on the date that they assured me they would and generally been downright rude.
If my tenant only stays for six months I have calculated that I’ll have paid them 60% of the rental income in fees, with their monthly management fee being 18.3%.
I had to chase them to obtain an invoice for a repair that was carried out on a 9 year old washing machine and this showed a part which cost £55. In correspondence with one of their managers he revealed the part actually cost £53.88 but they allowed their contractors to round this up as he had to source the part, this was on top of a £40 job charge which I assumed would include sourcing parts. I was also forwarded an email from the contractor which had been sent to my agent in which he admitted that the machine was old and anything could go wrong at that age. Had I been contacted prior to the original repair I’d just have bought a new machine in the first place and saved myself some money.
I realise the amounts involved aren’t huge but its the principal of them allowing such rounding up.
On top of that I had to chase my agents in order to have them chase the tenant for late paid rent despite me paying for a fully managed service. I was told they give the tenants 10 days after the rent due date before they even begin chasing it, which was never once explained to me prior to this incident.
I’m now past the point where there is less than two months left on the tenancy so I cannot serve notice, although with the exception of the late paid rent which was a simple oversight on the tenants part and rectified within an hour of it being brought to their attention, they have been good tenants and I do not want to evict them for no reason other than a poor standard of service from the letting agent.
My contract states that if I cancel the agreement with the tenants in place or move to another agent with the tenant still in place I’ll owe my agent one month’s rent plus VAT. However there is a clause that states if either party breaches contract and a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached and the agent is at fault I can cancel my contract without any penalty.
My question therefore is whether or not the above issues, which is just scraping the surface of a downright joke of a service, will constitute a breach of contract?
As far as I’m concerned I’m paying for a service which I am not receiving and do not think they are complying with their duties as agents. I have sent a letter to their customer relations department and have been assured of a response sometime next week but any additional advice is very much appreciated.
I realise I should never have signed a contract with such extortionate fees but I found myself with a vacant property at very short notice and very little time to get it all sorted out and stupidly assumed a company the size of this particular agent (one of the Nationals) would be professional and fee competitively.
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