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Cowboy Estate Agents

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  • Cowboy Estate Agents

    Dear Forum, I have been a private tenant for nearly 10 years when (in September 2009) my landlord's agent Watford Estates gave me only 2 weeks notice to agree to and to sign a new tenancy agreement (with rent increase). As I thought this was unreasonable I sought legal advice and was told that the new agreement (like the last agreement) should not be signed as it does not contain a clause about when and how any future rent increases could be applied (as legally required). I then wrote to the agent to point this out and even appointed my legal advisor to mediate on my behalf as I did want to stay in the property and agreed to the rent increase as long as the clause about increases is added and that I now wanted (after nearly 10 years of being a good tenant) to be issue with a 12 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (instead of my current 6 months). However, not only was the manager of Watford Estates (Mr Steve Hardy) aggressive, and very rude to my legal advisor but he also flatly refused my compromise completely and has this week issued me with an Eviction Notice. Now, as I am categorised as a 'Periodic Tenant' (as I have been there for more than 12 months) I have been given the legal minimum notice of 2 months, i.e. I will have to vacate property by 30 December 2009, which will have its associated difficulties at this time of year finding somewhere else. So, I would like to warn any prospective tenants about Watford Estates, particularly as the lettings arm of their business is not registered with any of the usual trade bodies or the Estate Agent Ombudsman - i.e. they are cowboys - watch out people!

  • #2
    Re: Cowboy Estate Agents

    Mr Lauder I'm sorry to hear that you now have to find a new property. Lettings agents vary in their ability and reputation, I have no experience of the ones you mention (be careful you don't expose yourself to a libel charge by naming them publicly like this), but I agree with your intimation that the best letting agents are members of the industry body (ARLA) Association of Residential Letting Agents.


    • #3
      Re: Cowboy Estate Agents

      I have just read this from last year and would be interested to see if and how the case was resolved.
      Looking for a large mortgage?