Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Blimmin Letting Agents Part 2

According to Living Space Estate Agents (105 St Pauls Road, Islington) website:

"Whatever your property needs, when you contact Living Space Estate Agents you can be assured of friendly and professional advice. We pride ourselves on being an innovative, efficient and highly motivated company with the highest quality service levels being paramount."

Obviously, this is only referring to the service they provide for landlords, as the service they provide for tenants is certainly not professional and nothing short of a joke.

Graeme and I viewed some flats with them on Saturday. The agent who did the viewings was actually very good, give him his due. We decided, after some thought, to take a property on Beresford Road in Harringay. The agent assured us once we paid our holding deposit, the place was ours. So we trailed back to Islington to fill out the paperwork, including a reference check where they basically wanted everything except your soul. We would have to pay £75 each for the pleasure of them interrogating our bank, employers and possibly our parents about our financial status. Anyway, while we were there, the manager of Living Space mentioned that the landlord of the property wasn't happy because we were waiting three weeks to move in. Apparently, it had taken him ages to get the flat back on the market and he wanted to be making money on it. Fair enough I suppose, but it's not our fault he was ages sorting the place out for rent. We explained that we were moving from Scotland and Graeme had to work notice etc, so three weeks was the best we could do. The manager then contacted the landlord with this information. Graeme and I then sat for 1 hour in a hot London office while this landlord decided if our money was good enough for him or not. Finally, he phoned back and basically suggested we "compromised", meaning he extorted an extra week's rent out of us to secure the flat. I was livid but we both thought for the sake of £200, we'd at least secure the flat. We paid the holding deposit (in cash, apparently they don't take anything which might give the payer any form of security) and left.

After all that nonsense, I was really upset by everything. I had a bad feeling about the move and by Saturday night, I was on the brink of giving up my job and just staying in Edinburgh.

So, it didn't come as a surprise, when Graeme called me yesterday afternoon. Living Space had been in touch with him and told him the biggest cock and bull story I've heard in a long time. Apparently, the landlord had received another offer for the flat. Now this is renting, not buying. Since when did renting involve offers? This supposed offer didn't go via the estate agents he was supposedly letting the property through - very fishy. Anyhoo, if we paid an extra £5 a week rent, then we could keep the flat. Now, it might only be £5 but he had already had an extra £200 out of us for a week where the flat would be empty. I just wondered where the extortion would stop - it might start with a fiver but could soon progress to more. Graeme and I felt we were being conned and everyone we spoke to felt the same. So, this morning Graeme told them we weren't paying the increased rent and if we don't have our holding deposit back by Friday, then we'll be consulting our solicitor.

In short, I am very annoyed at our treatment with Living Space Estate Agents. I feel we were part of a big con from start to finish, in order for them and the landlord to get more money from us. I certainly will not do business with them again, and I would recommend them to nobody.

Unfortunately, it means we have no where to move to at the moment. Eep! I think we'll have to work something out a bit better. I don't want us rushing into renting a place now. I think I'll have to put my job start date back another week to give us more time. It really is very confusing and hard to know what to do at the moment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I have been down this road once or twice and have the same experience. I would have just got solicitor (a close friend) to call them directly and query it. This usually brings things about very quickly. A nasty experience to have to go through all the same.

4:37 pm  
Blogger Kat said...

Oh, hun! So sorry about that!!! But don't give up - you will get something, and hopefully soon....

Although... if I'm totally selfish ... then... STAY HERE!!! ;)


7:41 pm  

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