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Nightmare agent

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  • Nightmare agent

    This is my story so far:

    I decided to appoint an estate agent in May 09. I had 4 around and all roughly said to ask for the same ammount. All the same commision etc.

    One particualr estate agent in my area is easily the biggest, after they quoted me 2% com and £160 to advertise i got them down to 1.5% and no charge to advertise.

    I then signed the paperwork and paid for the hips pack upfront. After several phone calls to chase them and even a visit in person, a whole month later the property came onto the market! It was then incorrectly advertised on their own website! I had to phone to inform them about their error!

    I then decided enough was enough and everything was mounting up against them. I tried to withdraw the property from them. I was contacted by the branch manager almost 2 weeks ago trying to persuade me to give them 2 weeks to turn things around!

    I then had 2 viewings within days (strange that!). They were both almost a week ago and i've heard nothing from the agents since the viewings!

    I'm now looking to make a formal written complaint to them and the governing body.

  • #2
    Is your agent a member of the NAEA (national association of estate agents) ? if so you can complain to them as they are bound by a code of conduct, also check if they belong to the OEA ombudsmen for estate agents.
    You can also contact the office of fair trading or trading standards ...have a look at ukpropertyshop for some contact details of these organisations.
    As long as you are not tied into any lengthy contracts you can simply move from them and find another agent...or sell it yourself!
    PS make sure that you own the HIPs you paid for upfront, some agents won't allow you to move it.
    www.ownerhome.co.uk
    commission free property sales and lettings

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. Yes they are members of the NAEA.

      I'll have a look on that website. I am tied into a 20 week contract but I think I'll be able to break that seeing the trouble i've had with them.

      If i create enough of a problem for them then i'm sure they'll want to get rid of me!

      Comment


      • #4
        I doubt they will let you break contract and remember you have to give two weeks WRITTEN notice.
        I have had trouble with my agent who was pretty useless and gave him verbal cancellation which he told me a week later was not sufficient so had to give him two weeks notice. He then put property back on the websites and although I asked him to remove it, it is still there showing old photos as I have had it substantially renovated. This I have told him is misdescription but it is still there. Amazed they can get away with it.
        The contract runs out Monday so hopefully he will remove it so my new agent can put up new details!
        Not impressed with their lack of professionalism and considering a complaint to the ombudsman but I see you have to complain to the estate agent and can only go to ombudsman when you have not been happy with result. But unless we complain these people will carry on getting away with it. Worse than double glazing salesmen if you ask me (and I worked for estate agents for over 5 years!!!!)
        So good luck.

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        • #5
          Estate agents are just appalling. I have never heard anything positive about these kinds of organizations. It's all false smiles, and too 'overly friendly' for me. People that work in any kind of commission based job should be approached with caution. Maybe they should wear government warning signs that read "Estate Agents can seriously damage your health, rob you of all your money and sell/rent you a house that is absolutely not what you are looking for".

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          • #6
            How would you pay them, if not on a commission basis?

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            • #7
              Pay them small monthly installments, but ONLY if the tenant/buyer is pleased with what the agent offered. Otherwise, remove ALL bonuses and get them to clean the properties they sold/rented for a whole year!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kingjamesuk View Post
                Estate agents are just appalling. I have never heard anything positive about these kinds of organizations. It's all false smiles, and too 'overly friendly' for me. People that work in any kind of commission based job should be approached with caution. Maybe they should wear government warning signs that read "Estate Agents can seriously damage your health, rob you of all your money and sell/rent you a house that is absolutely not what you are looking for".
                What a lot of twaddle. With that generalisation you mean that all buyers then are gullible and stupid. I admit I have sold propertie that have been unsuitable for certain buyers but they are the ones who have insisted that is what they want despite the pitfalls being pointed out.


                "Pay them small monthly installments, but ONLY if the tenant/buyer is pleased with what the agent offered. Otherwise, remove ALL bonuses and get them to clean the properties they sold/rented for a whole year!!"

                As for this other quote sellers pay fees - it is very rare for a buyer to do so. Sellers in my experience don't give a toss if the buyers are happy or not. I am commenting on sales only as I have no experience of lettings.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It wasn't meant to offend. I am sorry if it did. I was actually joking about paying installments and making them clean.

                  However, I MUST admit that of all the flats I have rented, each one has been a nightmare to live in and the agencies seem to do absolutely nothing about even the most basic problems.

                  At this very moment I am moving out of a horrible end of terraced 1920's flat because of a number of problems. The flat is not soundproofed as I was told by the agency - in fact every sound (including coughing and the sound of a kettle boiling) can be heard through the floor. The 17 year old teenager below is completely anti-social and makes all the noise you can imagine. The agency says it "isn't their department" and the landlord doesn't deal with it either. The agency will not do anything about the leaking toilet as it "isn't their department" and the landlord just can't be bothered either.

                  When I moved in the agency had arranged for the previous tenant to move out only one hour before - the flat was dirty and I had to persuade them to get in a cleaner. The cleaner never came but mysteriously someone had been in to take a load of food from the stash that was left by the previous tenant - yuk. When I asked the agency to get rid of the piles of rubbish outside they told me that "it isn't their department" even though Environmental health had been on to them. I got rid of it.

                  When I asked the agency to fix the door (someone had attempted a break-in and the lock is half smashed and a huge crack is defacing the door) they said they would "get on to it with the landlord". Over a year later the door is still cracked and my toilet still leaks (I turn the water off to save on bills). I could go on and on but it all gets boring and predictable.

                  I called the Police about my abusive landlord and the environmental health have been on the case about the noise. The Agency have let me down on all fronts. Then there are all the previous properties...

                  One day I hope to have a good experience with an agency so that I can restore my faith in them. They look good in their freshly ironed suits and they say all the right things. It's just a shame that (in my own experiences) once the standing order has been implemented and the fee's have been paid, there is no further assistance.
                  Last edited by kingjamesuk; 05-08-2009, 12:17 AM. Reason: To personalise

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                  • #10
                    So you're only talking about Letting Agents, then...? Don't they get paid in small mthly instalments at the moment - a percentage of the rent you pay to the landlord?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kingjamesuk View Post
                      It wasn't meant to offend. I am sorry if it did. I was actually joking about paying installments and making them clean.

                      However, I MUST admit that of all the flats I have rented, each one has been a nightmare to live in and the agencies seem to do absolutely nothing about even the most basic problems.

                      At this very moment I am moving out of a horrible end of terraced 1920's flat because of a number of problems. The flat is not soundproofed as I was told by the agency - in fact every sound (including coughing and the sound of a kettle boiling) can be heard through the floor. The 17 year old teenager below is completely anti-social and makes all the noise you can imagine. The agency says it "isn't their department" and the landlord doesn't deal with it either. The agency will not do anything about the leaking toilet as it "isn't their department" and the landlord just can't be bothered either.

                      When I moved in the agency had arranged for the previous tenant to move out only one hour before - the flat was dirty and I had to persuade them to get in a cleaner. The cleaner never came but mysteriously someone had been in to take a load of food from the stash that was left by the previous tenant - yuk. When I asked the agency to get rid of the piles of rubbish outside they told me that "it isn't their department" even though Environmental health had been on to them. I got rid of it.

                      When I asked the agency to fix the door (someone had attempted a break-in and the lock is half smashed and a huge crack is defacing the door) they said they would "get on to it with the landlord". Over a year later the door is still cracked and my toilet still leaks (I turn the water off to save on bills). I could go on and on but it all gets boring and predictable.

                      I called the Police about my abusive landlord and the environmental health have been on the case about the noise. The Agency have let me down on all fronts. Then there are all the previous properties...

                      One day I hope to have a good experience with an agency so that I can restore my faith in them. They look good in their freshly ironed suits and they say all the right things. It's just a shame that (in my own experiences) once the standing order has been implemented and the fee's have been paid, there is no further assistance.
                      Apology accepted - sorry I got my knickers twisted !!

                      I think you may have a point about letting agents though I have heard a lot of complaints about some of them. I think it is an added problem just now as a lot of residential agents went into this when sales fell away and they had no experience of this before - which was why I have never diversified into lettings.

                      Sorry to hear about your problems though and hope things turn out better in the future.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think they do. I think it's about 10 to 15 percent, but I don't know for certain. If they do get this percentage then what does the landlord or myself get in return? I paid the original fee's which came to about £170 even though I found the property through an ad myself - otherwise I would have had to pay the whole £300 fee. The agents seem to have known the landlord for some time and I remember them saying "not to get on the wrong side of the landlord". I get the feeling that they are afraid of him. This may be why all my contact with the agency never got passed on to the landlord. The landlord just gets angry and abusive if a job needs doing. He has only ever turned up once, but left a job half finished. It seems that landlords just don't have any time for their tenants, as there is always the feeling of 'one sidedness' i.e. the landlord is doing us all a favour and the agencies always seem to be 'too busy' to deal with anything. Maybe I should pay less rent and say "I am doing you a favour Mr Landlord by paying you, so I will pay a bit less from now on" or "Sorry Agency, but I was too busy to pay this month and anyway it's not my department". It's all very frustrating, esspecially as I am a very considerate, clean and respectful tenant.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for accepting my apology.

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                          • #14
                            I have an issue that is ongoing with an agent - we gave 2 weeks written notice and after we sold with another agent they claimed that we were still in contract with them - Well the day we sold. This had to be after the original contract ended.. So that in its self seems wrong....

                            They then sent us a bill for multi-agency fees and now it looks like it is going to court - with them claiming we owe them when they did nothing to sell our property.

                            Our selling agent seems to think they are trying it on...

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                            • #15
                              I had problems with my agent who did very little during sole agency and they after 6 months still wanted two weeks notice. The original contract I think you will find says the agency runs on until receipt of 2 weeks written notice. They are standard documents and unfortunatly we never read them properly.... You should wait until after that before you instruct another agent. Did the new agent advertise it at the same time as the old agent as I wonder how there was an overlap?
                              It is a common pitfall and to be honest they should have released you from the contract without notice as they had not done anything. However, they did not.
                              Good luck with it, I hope it goes your way!
                              Have you tried complaining to the Property Ombudsman?

                              Also,

                              Comment

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