Help we're international students ....

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    Help we're international students ....

    We arrived into Cardiff, wales from various countries around the world.
    We met with a letting agent on September 13th and instantly liked a property he showed us.

    On september 13th a few hours after returning back to our hotel, we called back the agent and told them we are taking the property. They confirmed it is ours and that it will be taken off the market.

    On september 14th, we arrived at the agents office with our deposit and agency fee. They told us the property has been given to someone else.

    After threatening to complain to the UWIC, Cardiff U where we ar studying (we had already checked out of our hotels and we would have been homeless) the agent finally gave us our house.

    On september 14th we paid them 2250 British pounds.

    1000 deposit.
    1000 first month rent.
    250 agency fee.
    -------------------------
    2250 pounds.

    Today the agency told us that next months rent is due today. To our surprise, despite the receipt saying 1 month's rent, the managed property agency is claiming we paid for September 1st - September 30.

    We have only been in the property for 14 days and we only recently gave them 2250 pounds. The next billing date was to be October 14th based on the receipt which said 1 months rent.

    Unfortunately, the contract says payment will be made on the 28th of every month. The receipt does not mention any pro-rated rent.

    Also we have no heating in the house for 2 weeks now . The radiators are not hooked to the gas, and many roomates accustomed to warm climates have fallen ill.

    What can we do? Please help.

    #2
    Originally posted by Uwic_student View Post
    We have only been in the property for 14 days and we only recently gave them 2250 pounds. The next billing date was to be October 14th based on the receipt which said 1 months rent.

    Unfortunately, the contract says payment will be made on the 28th of every month. The receipt does not mention any pro-rated rent.
    The receipt only means that you have paid £x. It is the contract which says how much rent is due and when. You don't have to pay any more than it says in the contract.

    Also we have no heating in the house for 2 weeks now . The radiators are not hooked to the gas, and many roomates accustomed to warm climates have fallen ill.

    What can we do? Please help.
    Assuming you have already reported the lack of heating to the landlord, and he hasn't responded, then contact the Environmental Health Officer at the local council. They have the power to make the landlord comply with his repairing obligations.

    Also read the Shelter website, which has a lot of information on your rights as a tenant
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...n_private_lets

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by westminster View Post
      The receipt only means that you have paid £x. It is the contract which says how much rent is due and when. You don't have to pay any more than it says in the contract.
      But the contract is what's indicating they need to pay for the 2 weeks before they even contacted the agent to view the property... that can't be right?

      When did you actually move in? Does the contract actually state the start date of the tenancy? If it does, and you've signed it, I'm not sure what position that leaves you in. Whatever, I would make very sure you keep whatever evidence you have that proves you weren't resident there 1-14 September (hotel bills); that you only contacted the agent on 13 September etc. You may need to rely on this later. At the very least, you should write to the agent (and keep a copy of your letter); setting out in detail all the dates involved and what was agreed, and what you expect them to do about it.

      Comment


        #4
        As a student at Cardiff, you should try seeing the Housing section of the Students Union. My sister was a student there and they have a team who give advice to students with housing issues. They also know most of the local landlords.

        Comment


          #5
          First of all, Welcome to the UK! and I'm really sorry to hear about whats happened, it's rubbish agents/landlords like that that give everyone a bad name and turn a lot of people off from coming to the UK to study! Which is of course bad for the rest of us who's niche is the student market. All I can say is, we aren't all like that! and seek help from your local university! Whats happened to you is not totally uncommon unfortunately and their will be someone who can help you. I know it isn't the best solution but you might consider getting a little electric heater just for now as a quick fix until you get it all sorted?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
            But the contract is what's indicating they need to pay for the 2 weeks before they even contacted the agent to view the property... that can't be right?
            The term *might* commence on 14th September, with rent due on the 28th of the month, in which case the tenant should factor in the rent paid (up to 13th October), and pay the remaining rent for 14th - 27th October.

            My point was that although the tenant's receipt says "one month's rent" and although the managing agent is saying that rent was for the period 1st-30th September, it's the contract they should look at. I agree it seems possible that the agent may have conned the tenant into signing a term commencing earlier than the move in date.

            Comment


              #7
              I understand that unless you use the term "calendar month" in such agreements then the term "month" is open to interpretation. So, for the students a month is 30 days or 31 days commencing the date they paid for and took up occupancy? In this case the date they paid their rent, 14th, to the 13th of the next month is "a month".

              If you have a receipt showing "one months rent" dated the 14th September and it does not state for what term the rent covers then surely you have paid up to the 13th of the next month?

              If the contract states that rent is due on the 28th of each month, then if my interpretation is correct you owe a portion of rent equal to about 2weeks.

              pm
              Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Uwic_student View Post
                We arrived into Cardiff, wales from various countries around the world.
                We met with a letting agent on September 13th and instantly liked a property he showed us.

                On september 13th a few hours after returning back to our hotel, we called back the agent and told them we are taking the property. They confirmed it is ours and that it will be taken off the market.

                On september 14th, we arrived at the agents office with our deposit and agency fee. They told us the property has been given to someone else.

                After threatening to complain to the UWIC, Cardiff U where we ar studying (we had already checked out of our hotels and we would have been homeless) the agent finally gave us our house.

                On september 14th we paid them 2250 British pounds.

                1000 deposit.
                1000 first month rent.
                250 agency fee.
                -------------------------
                2250 pounds.

                Today the agency told us that next months rent is due today. To our surprise, despite the receipt saying 1 month's rent, the managed property agency is claiming we paid for September 1st - September 30.

                We have only been in the property for 14 days and we only recently gave them 2250 pounds. The next billing date was to be October 14th based on the receipt which said 1 months rent.

                Unfortunately, the contract says payment will be made on the 28th of every month. The receipt does not mention any pro-rated rent.

                Also we have no heating in the house for 2 weeks now . The radiators are not hooked to the gas, and many roomates accustomed to warm climates have fallen ill.

                What can we do? Please help.
                The signs were there, at the beginning, that the agent was a bastard and so next time watch for such signs and don't ignore them. Your instinct is your best protection.

                i appreciate that you may not have had much choice of property and if so, I can understand why you may have discounted the agent being a a-hole.
                Next time, make sure you have something in writing and signed before moving out of one property and into another.

                In the end, you cannot be asked to pay for rent for a property for which you have not had possession or agreed to be responsible for from x date.
                I wouldn't pay the agent (or LL) any more money until the 14 October.
                I would also ask the agent on what basis they are demanding rent is payable for the period 1-13 September.

                Whatever documents you have that show dates, these should be what you should rely on and refer to.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by property mongrel View Post
                  I understand that unless you use the term "calendar month" in such agreements then the term "month" is open to interpretation.
                  No, a month always means a calendar month.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by property mongrel View Post
                    the term "month" is open to interpretation
                    As Westminster said, this is not so.
                    You may be confusing 4 weekly with a month - a confusion that was perpetuated by the public sector, particularly the benefits sector, who as we all know, refused and still refuse to update themselves with the rest of society and the world and who live in a mainly fantasy world.

                    Few people are rated, paid or are charged on a weekly basis anymore.

                    Perhaps the benefits sector should understand that and change their decrepit & stone age systems.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Uwic_student View Post
                      The radiators are not hooked to the gas
                      I would hope not!
                      Liability statement. My liability to you is not to exceed the amount you are paying for my recommendations or advice.

                      I see a bright new future, where chickens can cross the road with no fear of having their motives questioned

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by HairyLandlord View Post
                        As Westminster said, this is not so.
                        You may be confusing 4 weekly with a month - a confusion that was perpetuated by the public sector, particularly the benefits sector, who as we all know, refused and still refuse to update themselves with the rest of society and the world and who live in a mainly fantasy world.

                        Few people are rated, paid or are charged on a weekly basis anymore.

                        Perhaps the benefits sector should understand that and change their decrepit & stone age systems.
                        Are you really as Hairy as you claim to be? How Hairy exactly?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by westminster View Post
                          No, a month always means a calendar month.
                          Thank you for that correction. I would like to edit or delete my post so as not to add to any confusion, but I cannot get into it.

                          pm
                          Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Terry_Baker View Post
                            Are you really as Hairy as you claim to be? How Hairy exactly?
                            http://open.salon.com/blog/garybaumg...re_doesnt_work

                            This is something like me on a very good day.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thank you all for your informative replies.

                              In the end, we gave up on the system here. It seems in most parts of the world, "month" is defined as a "calendar month; 30 days or 4 weeks" while in the UK month is legally defined as "sept 1 -- sept 30".

                              This shall not damper our spirits or our experience here, we will take this is as a valuable lesson for the history books.

                              As for the agency, they make their money from cheating students in every way possible. It seems the government allows this to happen. Perhaps, someone of authority should look into this matter for future students. This does not reflect well on attracting future business into this city.

                              Comment

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