Last week, I emailed my Letting Agents stating firmly but politely that they mustn’t come round if I was out. They had (if you recall) left a hand delivered letter on the floor in the communal hallway giving 24 hours notice of a summary inspection.
So there I was bubbling with righteous anger, having cancelled appointments and set aside waiting time (the LA’s allowed themselves a whole day, not even specifying morning or afternoon).
I did some work, typing very fast (I do that when I’m angry) and was speaking to myself in a high-pitched angry voice when, at about ten am, I received an email: they weren’t coming round after all.
How thoughtful of them to them let me know. Were they aware I had complained about my house-keys being passed around like free newspapers? “The office manager is aware of it,” apparently, but not so aware as to apologise.
I reminded them that despite being furnished, there is no shelving or cabinets in the bathroom, so everything is piled up on the floor: not nice, not really hygienic, and so easy to remedy.
But here’s the trap: if I plough ahead, I could be hammered for repair fees. I pointed this out when the LA visited last time (I just the leave the door on the latch for them now) when their response was: “You could buy something yourself.”
I am reasonable. I bought my own towel rack, and I have a clothes rail, since for many landlords, ‘furnished’ is a vague and whimsical term. But drilling into a wall was not the way forward, as I’d lose my deposit (yes, I think I think I’d get it back after a court case, but even so…)
I have as yet received no reply to any of my queries.
So here then, is a thought. Let’s say, hypothetically, that a friend owns several large houses. And let’s say that my hypothetical friend, knowing that I was flat-hunting, had asked me to report on Letting Agents, in a mystery shopper capacity: you know, tell him how they treated me so could select a firm to manage his property portfolio. Let’s say that he wanted them to be fair to tenants, having (hypothetically of course) been a private tenant for years himself. Not wanting to work with a company who abused, disdained and trampled on the rights of residents, he wanted nice people, fair people, to oversee his houses.
And let’s just imagine that I’ve done just that, ensuring that the Office Where The Nasty People Are didn’t get the gig.
It’s sort of a motto of mine: never shaft people unless you’re willing to accept the consequences. Not for one minute do the spiny sharks ruling my world imagine that I have any standing in the world, or that I am willing to stand up for my rights (they believe that renters, like slugs may be eradicated with impunity.)
Be careful who you pick on - very careful. You never know who can bite hardest.