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Why do letting agents prey on the vulnerable.

I am on housing benefit and in rented accomodation in Bournemouth and everytime I seem to be ripped off by the agents. My current agent was more than helpful BEFORE I moved in and then once he'd got my rent,deposit and fees everything changed. The latest is that I am being billed for having my gas central heating/hot water switched on!!! It is a new build and I am the first occupant. The brand new oven doesn't work and I've written to them several times asking for them to sort it but to no avail........not even an acknowlegement of my letters. Are ALL agents like this? Where can I find an HONEST and RELIABLE landlord or letting agent???

Asked on Jun 1 2010, Renting in Bournemouth | Report content

Answers (4)

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  • I think most agents are honest and reliable - Many are governed somewhat by the office of fair trading and I think you might want to check their affiliations (if they advertise any) and go there to complain. Don't hesitate to also seek some help from the citizens advice bureau. Good luck.

    Answered on Jun 1 2010, Report content
  • No, not all agents are like that. Seems to me that the builder/developer are responsible, inc. them in your correspondence. Often the way with new build, snagging problems, but agree its not good enough, tell the Council. Contact the utility company direct thats not really the agents fault. Hope this helps.

    Answered on Jun 4 2010, Report content
  • Letting agents often forget that they are the point of contact for renters and I appreciate that they are 'piggy in the middle' between you and the property owner but that's why property owners pay them! I agree that most letting agents are honest and reliable and sounds like you have been very unlucky, I suggest putting this issue firmly back in the agents court to deal with (the builder/developer may be responsible but its your agents job to liaise with them!).

    Answered on Jun 19 2010, Report content
  • A cooker is one of the appliances that MUST be in working order and it is the Landlords responsibility, not the agents. If however the agent isn't passing on the message to the Landlord then it is the letting agent that could be held accountable. There is no excuse for being ignored and the best method to handle such a scenario is to write to the agent stating a fair and reasonable timescale to respond or you will be taking legal advice. If that doesn't get them working then they shouldn't be in business. I'm privy to a number of letting agents that shouldn't be aloud to trade but there is no obligation for letting agents to be regulated as opposed to sales agents that MUST be a member of one of the two redress schemes. Good luck! David from the Landlords Investors Club, Bournemouth.

    Answered on Oct 30 2011, Report content

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