Take agent or inventory company to court?

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    Take agent or inventory company to court?

    Summary:
    Who is responsible for keys if they break 3hrs into tenancy by bending (poor metal) and later proven the 2nd copy of key I had was stiff (and lock has a "knack" and a "fraction") and was later given agency copy of keys which were better than my "stiff keys".

    Who is responsible if I have to pay for a cleaner, because inventory company gave estate agent wrong check-in for me stating clean when it was not? (or wrong check-out when old tenant left).







    I am renting a 1 bed flat, 12 month contract, 6 month break clause.
    I am via. an estate agent, TPO registered. I have LL address/name from agreement.

    On a Friday 12/1/18 I received keys to the place, within 3 hours the key bent in 2 with very little force, it did not snap, the metal bent. I have pictures of key head.
    I sent an e-mail to the agency and got a call back Saturday morning. I was told that I must have used force and that it was my fault, my responsibility. I refuted and was passed on to Lettings Director who told me that if I walked in to the property and set fire to it, I'd be responsible (no relevance?). I said the keys were of a poor quality and was told they were cut "in a proper shop, in CITYNAME". (Note: the key snapped as the lock was unlocked - though there was a 2nd, lower lock on the door I could use).

    ANYWAY. They went to the property and tweezered the key out the lock and told me to cut my 2nd key copy as it was my problem.
    That 2nd key copy did not work.I left it there for them to try. Got a call back next day and was told "it has a knack to it... you need to pull the key out a fraction". I asked if perhaps this knack and fraction I knew not of was what caused this key to break perhaps, or perhaps the keys/locks are faulty. No useful answer. They said that they've left me the agency's keys for the place, as my keys were stiff. That negates the first accusation of it being my fault. Do I refuse to pay for a key cut??!!


    ISSUE 2:
    The place had food in the microwave, not clean.
    There was dust all down the side of the bed on the floor. Dust on cupboard floor in hot water tank cupboard. Dirt and hair in drawers under bed.

    The inventory stated all was clean, from the separate inventory company. Have just relayed my comments and images to the estate agent, in response to inventory.


    I was told:
    "Whilst we can only go by what is reported in the check in we acknowledge the pictures you have sent over."
    They said they have negotiated inventory company to pay for a 2hr clean but that if I wanted dirt beside bed cleaned, I would have to go up there and move the bed as not in remit of cleaning company. (Go and move bed before the clean tomorrow - I work 30 miles away and haven't even been able to move in yet, and live elsewhere, side note: I am redecorating property for free with LL permission as they didn't want to paint it and it's in terrible state but good potential).

    Just got a DISGUSTING call from agents speaking over me and ignoring my questions. I asked who is responsible for the fact the place was not cleaned and inventory was incorrect, she categorically said she will not answer that. She later said we're going in circles and that she was going to carry on working but I can talk into her headset.

    I've agreed to the clean being done to get her to go away and also get something for my money.
    I said I intend to go to small claims once I've paid for a cleaner who WILL move furniture, to clean what dirt will be left by their paid for cleaners who will not move furniture.
    Who do I take to small claims? Agency or inventory company for their failures? That's the technicality I can't afford to pay a solicitor to advise me on.

    Thanks so much guys. Stressing to death and feel like I've been ripped off and people aren't being held to account.... and are getting lovely and rude now they have my cash and signature.

    Spence

    #2
    Also - can I claim for loss of quiet enjoyment in court due to all of this?
    To what extent? Rent is 825pcm

    Comment


      #3
      I know this is not what you want to hear, but this is my experience :

      My tenants rarely leave my properties in the condition I would like. I usually just get on clean and fix whatever, and unless it really is something of great cost or loss, just stomach it and move on. The reason is that it is just so much simpler and stress free. Which is what I believe you are after. It just isn't worth the hassle in my opinion

      Comment


        #4
        You want take court action over a bent key, dirty microwave and dust in airing cupboard? Im astonished to be frank.
        "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

        What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

        Comment


          #5
          You are responsible for the cleaning, as you should have checked the inventory when it was made. It will now be very difficult to prove that it was wrong.

          I find it very difficult to believe there is a market in such obviously sub-standard key blanks, but I would guess the person who commissioned the cutting of the key is responsible.

          Key cutting, as done by normal service shops and lock smiths is never that accurate, so keys may be fiddly, particular if second or third generation. The person who supplied the master for current, if it wasn't an original, is probably responsible.

          I don't think any of this comes under lack of quiet enjoyment.

          Any court action is likely to produce a section 21 at the earliest opportunity, and I don't see that the council would back you up on these issues.

          Comment


            #6
            Inventory was done Friday and given to me today and I have raised the points (sorry, this is further down in my lengthy post). The agent said that they've gotten inventory company to pay for a 2hr clean tomorrow but that they won't be cleaning down side of bed unless I travel up there and move the bed... before tomorrow... I finish work at 6pm and 30 mile drive.. why should I? I plan to claim for a cleaner to clean side of bed, that I can pay for separately to their clean. They have done the inventory negligently. They can get off their back side and move the bed, or pay for a cleaning co. that has adequate insurance to move furniture. NOT my problem, right ?

            I am worried about a s21... but why should I be? I'm only getting the clean done because I had to fight for it.
            It's not fair or just what has happened.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Wannadonnadoodah View Post
              You want take court action over a bent key, dirty microwave and dust in airing cupboard? Im astonished to be frank.
              I want to take court action if I have to pay for a cleaner, because those responsible for the property will not.
              I want to take court action as the agency I'm sure will take it from my deposit if I do not pay for a 2nd key to be cut.

              I'm not a slave, nor a cleaner, nor do I have any particular interest in being the one whom cleans prior to a tenant moving in.

              Comment


                #8
                So with the 2 hour clean you'll be taking court action over a dirty side of a bed and a key? Last time I had a key cut it was less than a fiver and it sounds like a 3 minute cleaning job to do down the side of the bed. It really does feel like a massive over reaction. Taking this into consideration I can't see this tenancy running smoothly for the agent or LL, could you not store up all the other trivial issues that will undoubtably arise during your stay there, bundle them up then take your court action then?
                "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

                What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

                Comment


                  #9
                  A tenant is as entitled to compensation for any loss arising from the non performance of a contract by the other party. Which loss has to be fully mitigated.

                  So, as far as I can see, the tenant can sue the landlord as they’re the other party to the contract.
                  In theory, the tenant can sue either the letting agent or inventory company in Tort, because they probably have a duty of care and no contract, but (honestly), they’d be laughed at.

                  The inventory company did a crappy job and the tenant, quite correctly, highlighted that. The agent employed them, not the tenant, so you are right to point out the issues. The agent possibly has a claim against the inventory company.

                  The inventory company, similarly, is not responsible for the condition of the property.

                  The key issue is just one of those annoying things, and, probably deserves compensation. But that’s of the order of £10 to £20 or so.

                  The fact that the property wasn’t clean isn’t a contractual breach unless it was promised in a particular state of cleanliness or advertised in a different state than delivered. If it was and that state wasn’t delivered there’s a contractual breach and the cost of putting it to the state in which it should have beeen (kept to a reasonable minimum, is claimable).

                  This tenant is going to spend a lot of time frustrated.
                  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


                    #10
                    jpk, I believe you may have omitted to mention that none of these supposed problems equate to legal. 'loss of enjoyment'.
                    OP, I predict if LL most likely activates the break clause, your occupation will be >12 months.
                    We don't condone misguided LLs, LAs nor Ts.
                    Despite minor irritations, you are better off than many Ts and the homeless.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you jpkeates, that is actual useful advice. Thank you.

                      Wannablablabla seems to be landlord that doesn't like human beings enforcing their RIGHTS and thinks they can tell people how/when they should use the small claims process to claim money - do me a favour please. Are all your 3 thousand posts that useless, informative, unhelpful and confrontational?

                      Mariners. "Despite minor irritations, you are better off than many Ts and the homeless."
                      I am. That's because I get my a** out of bed every day for work, and managed to pay over 2 thousand pounds for 6wk deposit, rent, FEES etc. AND SO I should be better off than tenants that perhaps went directly private or didn't have proper contracts.... and should be better off than homeless that don't work. THANKS

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Spencerjdb View Post
                        Thank you jpkeates, that is actual useful advice. Thank you.

                        Wannablablabla seems to be landlord that doesn't like human beings enforcing their RIGHTS and thinks they can tell people how/when they should use the small claims process to claim money - do me a favour please. Are all your 3 thousand posts that useless, informative, unhelpful and confrontational?
                        You have the RIGHT not to have dust down the side of the bed (not sure which though) you have the RIGHT to sue anyone for anything, no matter how trivial. Irrational people have an irrational response when you try to point out that they're being irrational. I'm more of a 'lifes too short' kind of person, I would have moved the bed, spent 4 minutes cleaning it, got a key cut and moved on instead of wasting my time and energy on frivolity.
                        "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

                        What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Life is too short? Then stop wasting MY time and YOUR time with your unhelpful rubbish.
                          I'm asking for an answer to my question, not a multi-paragraph explanation re. your take on life.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Spencer - coming here asking for advice, not hearing what you want to hear, and being a d*ck about it isn't doing you any more favours. You already sound like you are wound a bit too tight regarding a key and some dust.

                            I'm a tenant also - paying very similar ££ amounts to you. My advice is that if you adjust your attitude a notch - both to anonymous people on the internet who are offering advice, as well as to those who haven't provided you the gold-plated standard service you feel you deserve - you may find your 'quiet enjoyment' that little more quiet and enjoyable. You dont always get what you pay for in life, but you dont always have to throw your toys out of the pram.

                            Sorry - there it is. You came for validation, but got a bit of a reality check from people who have far more experience (I don't count myself in that group). Once again - that's life.

                            You could always set up a kickstarter for a duster, some polish and a new key.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              A reality check? You obviously didn't read my full post as you'd have seen the bit where I am redecorating the entire flat for free. So don't call me tight. Do yourself a favour and get up to scratch with the realities by making yourself fully informed before making another, useless comment.

                              Comment

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