Complaint Letter to Letting Agency
We rent our property at an extortionate price from a letting agency.
It’s an old house, and the actual Landlord lives hundreds of miles away, and can only be contacted by the letting agency when it suits both of them.
The joys of this have involved the house being rewired after it was found all the downstairs electrics were wired directly into the shower system in the bathroom, numerous leaks, the garage door spring snapping (resulting in a very effective guillotine we had to get vehicles past for 4 weeks), and holes left in the walls from ‘repairs’ for a year or so etc etc etc.
Every few months, the Letting Agency (let’s call them ‘Simply Useless’, to protect the guilty) come to the house for an ‘inspection’. We give them a long list of faults and repairs which they add to the previous list of faults and repairs we gave them, and then they do absolutely bugger-all about anything.
On Monday evening we returned from work to find a letter from Simply Useless telling us that our gardens were overgrown, they have told the Landlord, and we must (as per our tenancy agreement) ‘maintain the gardens to a suitable standard’. We must do this immediately, inform them, and they will report back to the Landlord.
This made us both Um Plenty Big Angry. especially as due to heavy rain most days interspersed with sunshine, every garden in our street has gone through an amazing growth spurt. The only people in the street who have managed to fit in garden work are those who are retired or unemployed – including us, who both work to pay the extortionate rent.
With this in mind, I started typing like I was playing Whack-A-Mole:
Ms Tell-Tale Twit (made-up name)
c/o Simply Useless
08 July 2013
Your reference: xxx/xx
Dear Ms Tell-Tale Twit (made-up name),
Thank you for your recent letter of 05 July 2013.
In this letter, you advised that our garden was ‘very overgrown’ on a recent property visit.
I am pleased to inform you that, approximately 7 weeks after the garden was last tended to, the mass of moss, weeds and general plants sometimes described as ‘grass’ were mown and hedges trimmed to specification on Saturday 06 July 2013. Sadly, as your letter is dated the day before, you did not have the opportunity to admire this transformation prior to sending your letter.
I apologise for this tardiness, but we cannot be held responsible for erratic weather conditions and life events preventing any garden work taking place. There was a documentable growth spurt between my first cut of the year and your inspection, interspersed by periods of heavy rainfall meaning using electrical appliances was unsafe.
I trust that this resolves the matter.
I am, however, glad that the landlord responded to this contact with yourselves quickly, as we have jobs that Simply Useless are responsible for which date back almost 3 years.
On the first day we moved in, having been attracted by the large garage, we found the garage chock-full of useless junk from old bicycles to cupboards to a fine selection of spider-infested crockery. After finally pleading with you to do something, all this ‘property’ was shoved up one side of the garage and into the shed. We were told that “the Landlady was going to arrange for her friend to sort through this stuff”, lest she wanted to keep any before she would arrange to have this taken to the skip. I’d like to state again that this was almost 3 years ago. We are still storing all of this junk. THREE YEARS later. No ‘friend’ has shown up.
About a year ago (that’s 365 days, I haven’t mistyped this), following several leaks that took Simply Useless weeks to sort out, it was found that the bathroom floorboards were rotten and needed replacing. It was agreed that this would be replaced and, indeed, a whole new bathroom suite was also agreed to be fitted. A contractor came to have a look and take measurements, and I believe he submitted his quotation for the work to Simply Useless during the last Winter. Admittedly, this is not 1 year or 3 years overdue as per the last two requests that you have failed to act upon, but considering you are writing letters and speaking to Landlords about jobs that are a couple of weeks overdue, I feel it only fair that I point out the time scale involved.
Then there is the leaking tap, that is so old I’m considering registering it as a natural spring, and going into competition with nearby Malvern who also have a similarly leaking tap in their high street (I do not know who the Letting Agent is responsible for the Malvern leak). Similarly, a quote for a replacement of this kitchen tap was submitted by a contractor to Simply Useless months ago. That’s months – not an exaggeration.
Recently, after only a few weeks worth of emails to Simply Useless, you did gratefully send out a contractor to ‘fix’ the collapsed drain cover at the rear of the property. They took off the rotten and collapsed drain cover and laid this on the ground next to the now open drain. I was under the assumption that this was temporary, but a month or so later it is still lay next to an open drain. Could you clarify if you will be supplying a replacement drain cover, or taking the old one away at all?
Please note that due to this open drain, the grass cuttings from my recent garden tending will undoubtedly block the drain up.
As part of our tenancy agreement, you are required to address these matters, and have so far failed to do so.
Please also note that due to the unique way Simply Useless appear to be incapable of much in the way of customer service to their paying customers, there are many smaller jobs that we have raised at your ‘property visits’ which are still outstanding. There are no doubt others that I have forgotten about in despair.
We are also still awaiting a supposed cheque payment from the Landlord for the shower which we paid for out of our own personal money, because Simply Useless did not bother to fix or even acknowledge this issue for a month or two, despite multiple complaints in writing from us, as the paying tenants. We have been awaiting this cheque now for over two months. If this is not forthcoming we shall assume our previous agreement is acceptable and deduct the amount from this months rent. Please advise if this is acceptable to you.
I would suggest that you raise these concerns with the Landlord, and perhaps list every item from previous property inspections and supply us with a copy of this list, along with their current status and what you have done to ensure the work is being progressed.
I would also ask that you supply us with details of how to raise any concerns with your regulatory body or ombudsman. I would further like to note when we enquired about your complaints procedure previously, we were told “there isn’t one”, but have now noticed in the footer of your letter that you do appear to be regulated for your business.
In light of this, I would also request that you reply to this in writing for our records.
I look forward greatly to your next property inspection, and trust you will have completed all outstanding work before your next visit, so we can be sure everyone is fulfilling their parts of the agreement.
Nasty Evil Ninja & Partner
(sent by email and post)