Problem with agent .....

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    Problem with agent .....

    I think the easiest thing is to post copy of letter I've drafted. Too much? Sorry for length!

    I am writing to complain about the actions of your staff at the Stevenage branch. I was called on Thursday afternoon and was asked when would be suitable times for people to come and view the flat we are currently renting. I said that, as long as we had notice, anytime after 4.00pm on a weekday and anytime on weekends. I reiterated, as long as we were given notice.

    My partner received a call on Friday afternoon saying that an agent was at our property, with a family for a viewing. Neither of us knew anything about it and had, in fact, left my son in the house on his own. The agent did not have the courtesy to ring the buzzer located at the communal door, but used her key to let herself in. She then, after knocking on the door and receiving no answer, proceeded to try and enter the property. Luckily, I had instructed my son to leave his key in the door in a certain way which prevents entry from outside, even with a key. I have instructed my son that, should this type of thing occur again, he is to call the police.

    The reason I have told my son to leave the key in the door in this manner is because this is not the first time this has happened. I have been home ill and woken up to a workman trying to access the property. Again, with no notice. *When I raised my concerns, stating that my son was sometimes home for short periods of time on his own (he was only ten at the time) I was told not to worry and that the workman had loads of children of his own and was fine! The general attitude of a number of your staff at the Stevenage office is, at best, lacking in common sense and, at worst, bordering on stupidity. I cannot imagine a case where a tenant would be happy for people to enter their property without consent. It is a horrible feeling, not being able to trust the people who hold keys to your property.

    I subsequently called a manager at your Hatfield branch, who was extremely knowledgeable and managed to pacify me and agreed that the situation was unacceptable. I was told that the date for the viewing had been confirmed in the diary for the Friday afternoon. The reason I knew that this had not been confirmed with me is that we completed the purchase of our new house that day and it would have been an inconvenient time. Also, as you can imagine, the flat is upside down, due to the impending move, and I would have wanted an opportunity to tidy up.


    I am now only willing to accept viewing requests by email and the only confirmation acceptable for the Stevenage office to receive from me are via email. If an attempt is made to access the property again, I will take legal action. There also not to be any viewings without either my partner or myself present. I had previously agreed, on the phone, that we did not need to be present for viewings, but I cannot trust that the staff at this branch would even inform us of the viewings, so I certainly don't want them to proceed without one of us present.

    Please try and put yourselves in our place, at the very least, and understand how distressing and stressful it is to be put in this position. I'm sure everyone concerned is of good character, but that is not the point. Anybody coming into our home, without prior consent, is a criminal offence. I understand we are not under any obligation to agree to viewings of the property and will not hesitate to fall back on this if this matter is not taken seriously.

    On a side note, I would like to inform you that I do not want the final check on this flat to be made without myself or my partner present. I will not accept any report made on the condition of the property, if the check is carried out without one of us present. I have taken several photos of the property so far, and will continue to do so.

    #2
    And your question is...?

    Comment


      #3
      The question was the bit with the question mark after it.

      Is it too much? OTT?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Gingerlou View Post
        The question was the bit with the question mark after it.

        Is it too much? OTT?
        Ah - I thought that was referring to whether your post was too long, rather than whether your proposed letter was too long!

        I would say both actually - not disputing that you're totally in the right, but really no need to go into so much unnessecary detail. A succint complaint is more likely to be read and understood, I think. eg "We've agreed what time you can visit for viewings; don't come at any other time or enter without my permission or I'll take legal action" just about sums it up?

        You could always just change the lock (replacing the original when you leave) if it makes you more comfortable. The agent will never even know unless they try to enter without permission, will they?

        Comment


          #5
          Love the lock idea! If we weren't leaving in a couple of weeks, I'd do that for sure.

          You are right; far too long-winded and emotional. More like the sort of letter one would write to an ex, and then not send!

          I went with this in the end ...

          This is to confirm that any viewings of the above property are only to be arranged in the following way;

          Requests for viewings to be sent to this email address
          Confirmation of acceptance of appointments only to be accepted via this email address
          No access to the property without either myself or my partner present
          No viewing of the property to be allowed without either myself or my partner present

          I'm afraid we have been forced into this position due to the failings of staff in the Stevenage branch. I understand that we are not, in fact, obligated to entertain any viewings of the property whilst we are in residence, but feel this would be rather extreme. We will, however exercise this right if the above conditions are not adhered to.

          Please confirm your acceptance of these terms by responding to this email.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Gingerlou View Post
            Love the lock idea! If we weren't leaving in a couple of weeks, I'd do that for sure.

            You are right; far too long-winded and emotional. More like the sort of letter one would write to an ex, and then not send!

            I went with this in the end ...

            This is to confirm that any viewings of the above property are only to be arranged in the following way;

            Requests for viewings to be sent to this email address
            Confirmation of acceptance of appointments only to be accepted via this email address
            No access to the property without either myself or my partner present
            No viewing of the property to be allowed without either myself or my partner present

            I'm afraid we have been forced into this position due to the failings of staff in the Stevenage branch. I understand that we are not, in fact, obligated to entertain any viewings of the property whilst we are in residence, but feel this would be rather extreme. We will, however exercise this right if the above conditions are not adhered to.

            Please confirm your acceptance of these terms by responding to this email.
            Good luck lou: Next time don't ask for their agreement - you are simply stating your terms...

            In your shoes I would have said something like ".. I am of course willing to have viewings at times & dates agreeable to both us & the agency. I suggest Sunday mornings 10:00-11:00am. Any other visits, inspections, viewings, surveys of any nature are only to be made with my prior agreement in writing or by email"..

            Alternative to changing lock is a "Shed Alarm"... and gently ask neighbours to call Police if they hear it going off...
            http://www.amazon.co.uk/Security-Key.../dp/B002AGX860

            Do you need a reference from the agency or 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


              #7
              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
              Alternative to changing lock is a "Shed Alarm"... and gently ask neighbours to call Police if they hear it going off...
              http://www.amazon.co.uk/Security-Key.../dp/B002AGX860
              I like it!

              Sounds a good deterrent solution to the problem of agents/landlords entering a property uninvited - "Please note that I have equipped the property with a burglar alarm and will not be providing you with the code"

              Comment


                #8
                Yes, but even more fun when agent turns up, gets deafened by alarm, neighbours run round & Police turn up... after agent told only come round when agreed....

                There is always the "where's that £250 in cash I left on the bed-side table" discussion of course as well...

                Still, live & let-live as they say in mother Russia...
                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

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