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My Miss from Diss

Sandy is going to see the flat today, and if I can get time off I'm going with him. Can anyone think of anything I should be looking for/questions we should ask? If Sandy likes it we're definitely going to go for it. However, I would just like to spend a moment complaining about what a rip off landlord's agents are. This lot want:-
  1. £100 deposit to secure the flat
  2. £800 (one month's rent) further deposit when we move in
  3. £85 for the first person and £25 for the other two non-returnable fee for the pleasure of checking out our references.
  4. And four references - from an employer, bank, former landlord and a character reference!

This means it will have cost us over £1000 before we pay any rent or get our stuff moved or anything. Me hates profiteering scum!

And the title is because I, too, am going to the sixth level of hell, and I couldn't resist it...

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
some_fox
30th Apr, 2003 05:54 (UTC)
Yup, I just had to shell out £70 or so for the property services, £875 for deposit and first month rent, £40 insurance, and that's all before thinking about council tax, reconnecting the phone, leccy, etc.
And I thought I'd have that grand to blow in Ikea making it look nice :-(
hughe
30th Apr, 2003 06:04 (UTC)
yeh it sucks.

grayfriars was like (rent 550):
deposit: 650, fee: 100, 1 months rent on the 15th and then the next on the 1st: 1100

thats 1850 in the first 15 days??
pavlos
30th Apr, 2003 06:15 (UTC)
yeah, yeah, be too, sixth level. We should have a themed party.

Item #2 is common, and if would axpect two references for #4. #1 and #2 sound like rip-offs. But if #1 is a deposit against idle interest, does it mean you get it back when you move in.

Once again, shout if I can help with any aspect of your moving. Like I can vouch for your very endearing and trustworthy chararcters :-)

Who are the agency? They sound like Alexanders.

Pavlos

thekumquat
30th Apr, 2003 06:24 (UTC)
Seeing as you asked for suggestions:
Check the obvious, like does the kitchen have a sink? conflux once moved somewhere which didn't...

Get receipts for all money you give them. And conditions which need to be met for you to get your deposit back. Do you get the £100 back when you move in? Make sure you get a copy of your contract and an inventory before you move in, and annotate with the condition if anything is less than perfect. If you have a digital camera that could be handy. And try to get the landlord's name and address in case something needs to be repaired and they keep saying 'we're trying to contact the landlord'!

Sounds like a lot of references! Still, probably makes them think they're doing somthing for your money...

See you in Hell! [actually at Bicon first, I believe.]
(Deleted comment)
the_maenad
30th Apr, 2003 06:58 (UTC)
I lived for six months in a house (50 Mayer Street, Hanley, Stoke on Trent) whose bathroom didn't have a bath. It was hellish.
(Deleted comment)
gingiber
30th Apr, 2003 07:36 (UTC)
my last flat didn't have a draws in the kitchen. Def not something you notice when you first go in but really quite annoying. Not as bad as not having a sink tho :)

conflux
1st May, 2003 06:08 (UTC)
It had everything else including a cooker and fridge, just no sink so I had to use the one in the shared bathroom.

Ther other problem is had (and another thing to look out for if the place comes with a bed) is to check the mattress. The one in this place had a spring pushing through it.

I gave in my notice as soon as I could but I still had 5 weeks there.
(Deleted comment)
lovingboth
30th Apr, 2003 07:40 (UTC)
References are the agency's way of attempting to avoid any responsibility should you be Bad People. 'But they had good references...'

I remember them! Google doesn't seem to, though.
pavlos
30th Apr, 2003 07:19 (UTC)
Things to test
You can check:
  • Bathroom and kitchen plumbing works well.
  • Windows are not above restaurant, or something smelly.
  • You can remove all unwanted furniture.
  • Nice furniture actually stays with the flat.
  • How much is council tax? They are reluctant to tell you.
  • How obnoxious is the lease?
Pavlos
lovingboth
30th Apr, 2003 07:34 (UTC)
#3 is appalling. That's what they charge the owner for doing.

#1 is a 'holding deposit', refundable when you move in. Check the situation in Scotland - in England & Wales, you'd expect it to be deducted from #2.

Do you have the list of questions asked when Mir was bought? Is it connected to gas/electricty/water etc etc. Plus issues as tenants: who has responsibility for internal decoration, for example.

Given the above, the scum need to be asked if they charge you for anything else - collecting rent, renewing the lease etc etc. You could give them a laugh by asking if they keep the deposits in a separate account and give you the interest on it. (Oh, in E&W, it's the landlord's responsibility to return the money at the end, even though the agency has taken it.)

And what does the agreement say about who is responsible for paying the rent. Is it you, or is it each of you for a fixed share or are you (shudder) each jointly and severaly liable for it all - ie can each of you be persued for the lot?
lovingboth
30th Apr, 2003 07:43 (UTC)
Oh, preferably without the agents in tow, you could say hello to the neighbours.
gingiber
30th Apr, 2003 07:39 (UTC)
Another thing with that part of town is noise level. Might want to have a wander round there of and evening, esp a fri or saturday and see if it at a level likely to cause you distress.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )