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    Mis-represented contents

    Hello, I've had some good advice from here so thought i'd return, we have moved into a new property in Oxfordshire which I viewed once. During my visit I asked the obvious question of white goods being included, I was assured they were - fridge and washing machine.

    Fast forward through all of the process which was completed successfully we then received a call a day before our move in date that went along the lines of 'Hi this is xxxxx from xxxxxx, you're moving into xxxxxxxxxx tomorrow... Me: Yes... Them: Do you need a fridge? Me: Errrr yes....'

    We moved in the following day to find a brand new fridge but no washing machine.

    After a long email trail I have got out of them an admission of their mistake in telling me that white goods were included due to miscommunication within the company, a refusal to reduce the rent to accommodate the procurement and fitting of a new machine and several emails telling me to go and look at Gumtree. There was a long winded explanation about the machines breaking in the past and the tenants buying their own as replacements and from then on the landlord hasn't provided any. I suspect (but obviously don't know) that they don't want to tell the landlord about their mistake so have flat out refused any rent payment changes - I've nothing against the landlord either as I'm sure she thought she had an agreement with them.

    I've gone back to Zoopla and Rightmove and annoyingly can't get the original advert out of my cached pages so can't check the wording, however I do have an email stating that they are aware that they made the mistake. Unfortunately there is no inventory either as the landlord did not want to have one done (another bizarre situation which I can't understand but that's beside the point)

    Normally I would baulk at raising an issue like this, but the tone of the replies and the zero consideration from the letting agents has made me pursue this harder than I normally would have done. The fact is we were told something incorrect and now we will have to pay the price for it - buying the machine and fitting it.

    I've reached a point where they are refusing to accept that they have to do anything despite them making the mistake and admitting to it and now I'm wondering where to go... Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I appreciate that this is not a huge amount of money I am discussing but after letting some things slide this has really got to me and in my opinion sums up how letting agents view tenants.

    Many thanks

    Chris

    #2
    Rent a machine, and deduct cost from rent?
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      A landlord can evict a tenant for no reason at all after the end of the initial fixed term. What do you want most - staying a long time or having then supply a washing machine??

      By the way not having an inventory is to your huge advantage: How can landlord prove what was there & what condition they were in?? Were a photos done when you moved in?? You should certainly photgraph everything, inside & out.

      Cheers!
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        @JKO - I'd prefer not to do this to annoy the landlord - however that is one way of the truth getting back to her I suppose

        @theartfuldodger - absolutely fine, they are well within their rights, the issue I have is with the letting agent... Its something i've experienced with the last 4 agents as well, they have no care for the tenants as well - and i'm not a picky person...

        Re: the inventory - yes you are right, I did actually point that out to them, I suspect its the fact that the place has been on the market for 4 years that might have something to do with the landlord minimising costs - at her risk though! Photos have been done and recorded

        Comment


          #5
          Lodger not dodger: I don't dodge.

          Understand you are dealing with agent but your contract is with your landlord! Agent is just that, landlord's agent & (should...) just do what he is told by landlord...
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            Ok, so are you saying there is no grounds for me carrying this complaint on?

            Comment


              #7
              There are a number of routes for you to use to press the claim.

              The agent will be a member of a trade organisation with a code of practice and a redress scheme.
              Now you have failed to resolve your complaint with the agent, you can escalate the process to the redress scheme.
              The agent seems simply to be in the wrong.

              It's a breach of section 5 of the The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations if the presence of the fridge and washing machine significantly influenced your decision to rent the property.
              If not it's the Sale of Goods and Services Act.
              You could contact your local trading standards team.

              Both of those are actions against the agent, not the landlord.

              You could write to the landlord (cc the agent) telling them that you will reduce the rent by (say) £10 a month to compensate for the missing item(s) and then do so. You have to have some justification for the amount, so the reduction in utility of the property as a proportion of the rent, or the cost of the devices spread over 4 years - or something credible.

              None of these actions will make you popular with the agent or landlord.
              Matters of principle are often subordinate to having a nice place to live, but not always.
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                jpkeates;5,

                Thanks for the reply, the first two options seem to be the most attractive to move forward with - although good customer service in the first place would have assured no action being taken.

                You are right about the matter of principle - and it has crossed my mind to leave it - but it really feels like a kick in the teeth to now have to do the work to find the machine, get it back to our house, pay for the fitting etc etc...

                Thanks all...

                Comment


                  #9
                  There are a number of routes for you to use to press the claim.

                  The agent will be a member of a trade organisation with a code of practice and a redress scheme.
                  Now you have failed to resolve your complaint with the agent, you can escalate the process to the redress scheme.
                  The agent seems simply to be in the wrong.

                  It's a breach of section 5 of the The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations if the presence of the fridge and washing machine significantly influenced your decision to rent the property.
                  If not it's the Sale of Goods and Services Act.
                  You could contact your local trading standards team.

                  Both of those are actions against the agent, not the landlord.

                  You could write to the landlord (cc the agent) telling them that you will reduce the rent by (say) £10 a month to compensate for the missing item(s) and then do so. You have to have some justification for the amount, so the reduction in utility of the property as a proportion of the rent, or the cost of the devices spread over 4 years - or something credible.

                  - Agreed that most agents ought to be registered with the Ombudsman at very least. Although I am afraid many are not. My advice is NEVER use an agent that is not a member of NAEA and or the property Ombudsman. These are both excellent services when presented with your problem.

                  It does appear to be a misrepresentation and does appear to fall a foul of the Consumer Protection Act also, although only if they have suggested all white goods were included in writing.

                  You mention that they have reference their mistake in emails, as such send copies of these emails to them and tell them that you will send the same to the Ombudsman and or NAEA if they are members. This should not be a cost accepted by you or the landlord (their client) as the agent has made the mistake.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by WillBoucher View Post
                    - Agreed that most agents ought to be registered with the Ombudsman at very least. Although I am afraid many are not. My advice is NEVER use an agent that is not a member of NAEA and or the property Ombudsman. These are both excellent services when presented with your problem.

                    It does appear to be a misrepresentation and does appear to fall a foul of the Consumer Protection Act also, although only if they have suggested all white goods were included in writing.

                    You mention that they have reference their mistake in emails, as such send copies of these emails to them and tell them that you will send the same to the Ombudsman and or NAEA if they are members. This should not be a cost accepted by you or the landlord (their client) as the agent has made the mistake.
                    Will - thanks for the reply:

                    - NAEA - I've just checked on their website and interestingly when I put the name in I get lots of results of the company but not this particular one, I wonder if they run on a franchise basis and the sub-owners have that freedom to register or not

                    - I haven't got any pre-writing unfortunately, couldn't find a copy of the old advert so won't be going down that route

                    - We're still corresponding by emails, my next step is to ask for a reply from the particular individual's management team, if no success at that level then I will take your advice.

                    Many thanks for this its been a great help, was feeling a little trapped a short while ago!

                    Comment

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