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Formally complaining to your letting agent

Why complain?

Over the course of a tenancy, you are likely to have reason to complain to your letting agent. Often, repairs take a long time, whilst communication is poor, fees are astronomical, and landlords or agents may be engaging in harassing or intimidating behaviour.

Topic:

Manchester SF Support Brighton Tenants

Last weekend, Manchester and Liverpool Solidarity Federation organised pickets in support of  6 Brighton student tenants. The tenants have been organising with Brighton SolFed after being treated appallingly by the Brighton letting agency, Fox and Sons. Treatment which led to the 6 students being made temporarily homeless. 


Manchester SF picketed Gascoigne Halmon estate agents, while Liverpool picket Jones & Chapman, both are sister companies of Fox and sons. All three companies are owned by  Connells group,  one of the largest estate agency and property services providers in the UK, which last year made £104.2m in profits. In turn, the Connells group is owned by the ever so friendly - we do not have shareholders - Skipton Building Society.

Unsecure Lettings

Liverpool Solidarity Federation concluded its dispute with Secure Lettings. The dispute ended positively with the three tenants involved receiving the whole deposit back and a compensation due to the damp and mold issues during the tenancy.

Manchester Solidarity Federation Concluded Its Dispute With Fortis Student Lettings

Manchester Solidarity Federation concluded its dispute with Fortis Student Lettings in July. The dispute ended positively with the four tenants involved receiving a total of £832.00 in compensation. We have delayed issuing this statement until after confirmation of the compensation payments.

Before our involvement, the four tenants' complaints had been ignored; they found themselves being passed from pillar to post; their efforts to speak directly to Fortis managers were invariably met with claims that the person was not available; in some cases, these overseas students were met with what could most kindly be described as insulting claims by Fortis staff that they cannot could not understand them.

Brighton Housing Union: G4Lets rent strike

G4Lets anti-deposit theft rent strike

For the past year and a half, we have organised on a regular basis with tenants being messed around by the student lettings agency G4Lets. This has included tenants who have had significant sums of money stolen from their deposit by G4Lets, as well as tenants living in uninhabitable accommodation that G4Lets have neglected to repair.

Housing Union: Holding deposits

Holding deposits

What are holding deposits?

Agencies usually charge what they often call ‘holding deposits’ in order for a property to be taken off the rental market. The tenant pays an amount of money, and in return, the agency stops advertising the property. A holding deposit cannot be any more than a total of one week's rent for the property. An agency should stop advertising a property once you've paid a holding deposit, and shouldn't take multiple holding deposits for a single property.

Brighton Solfed Housing Union: Harassment

Harassment

Harassment is illegal

If your landlord is harassing you, it’s potentially a criminal offence. Examples of harassment include:

Brighton Solfed Housing Union: rent increases

Increasing your rent

If your contract has a procedure for increasing rent then your landlord must follow it. In a fixed-term tenancy agreement (i.e. a six month or one year contract), your landlord can only put the rent up at the end of the fixed term, and you are allowed to try and negotiate the amount. You can reject the rent increase and your tenancy will continue at the original rent on a rolling, month-to-month contract, though this may mean that your landlord begins eviction proceedings against you.

Brighton Solfed Housing Union: Disrepair

Disrepair

In summary:

  • Your landlord is responsible for the structure and exterior of the house (including drains, gutters and external pipes)
  • Your landlord is responsible for the water, gas and electricity supply, as well as for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary facilities)
  • Your landlord is responsible for making sure that the heating and water supply are safe and working

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