Wish I had known

Advice from renters to other renters.

What do you wish you had known or what have you learnt from that could help the next person?

For me, how important doing inventory is at the start. It’s a bane of your life but realistically, checking and making sure to go through your documents saves you a lot of hassle at the end.

Even when they say ‘its just a formality’ and that there is normal wear and tear accounted for, give it the proper time and complete it.

I second the inventory we found loads of small issues when we moved in last week that clearly had been attempted to be covered up

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I wish I’d known how bad/aggressive a landlord was before I moved in… Like a trustpilot for Landlords. There are companies like marks out of tenancy and rate your landlord that I think are doing good stuff - but I hadn’t heard of them before moving.

(btw by aggressive I mean greedy, demanding or too expecting of what we (tenants) were able/needed to do. Also (shocker) if I knew how much a landlord deducted from a deposit at the end that would have informed my decisions too - so far I haven’t seen a data point on this anywhere :thinking:)

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The issue with this I can see as a serial renter is that the majority of the time you have very little information about your landlord, they’re almost always hidden behind an estate agent and you almost never get to interact with them at all. The only time we ever got to communicate with our landlord was 4 properties ago when they only used a landlord to market the property but then managed it themselves.

We have this issue currently, where the estate agents are forming a brick wall between us and the landlord, we’re not allowed to communicate directly with them so we have to hope that our dialogues is transported back and forth correctly. The estate agents also have no urgency or need to help us resolve our situation and are happy to just sit and hope it all fixes itself.

We were hoping to move last week but the move fell through before xmas because having requested an early release from our tenancy through the estate agent, after two months we still had no answer and the new landlord was understandably fed up and put the new property back on the rental market.

We continued to get no response and as we lost the property we wanted, we thought we’ll just wait until the end of our tenancy in May. Last night we saw that the property was available again so I emailed the estate agent this morning to chase up our early release request, after waiting until just now, we have a response from the landlord to say that he can’t make any decisions right now as they just had a baby yesterday. No timeframe for a reason given and with the greatest respect, what about the prior 3-4 months of waiting? Just say no.

The main reason we want to move is that our 2 year old has not been allowed to sleep through the night for the last 6 months due to the excessive noise from our neighbours. I know it’s bitter, but I hope now he’s a parent he may realise the importance of peace and quiet.

The lack of communication can be the most frustrating part of the process, I’m sorry to hear about your experience @Addzy.

It is something to watch out for that when there’s a lack of response, you need to vet landlord and agencies as much as they do you - frustrating when you find a perfect property and get invested as well!

How’s it going with the move now?

The agency we’re with are supposed to be highly regarded where we are. I guess not.

Move is off by the looks of it. Landlord won’t be giving us an answer any time soon. It’s just silly and the fact we’re stuck in limbo is the worst part, I’ve chased and chased and chased over the last few months but all I get told is “The landlord is under no obligation to release you early”, I know that, but an answer isn’t a lot to ask for It’s infuriating.

Surely if a Tenant makes a request the Landlord/Estate Agents should be obligated to respond in a timely manner. I wouldn’t really care if it wasn’t for the fact my 2 year old is not allowed to sleep.

If I didn’t pay my rent, i’m sure he’d ask us to be removed.

Tenancy agreements and UK law is so biased towards Landlord it’s a little bit silly.

The agreements are a thing we have been having a lot of conversations with people in the space, it’s been a real eye-opener on experiences like yours which seem more common than less.

Trying to understand what your rights are important, but even then it can be hard to assert when at the end of the day, you really need a roof over your head.

It’s horrible to hear about your 2 year - look it’s not the best solution but I looked these up and they might help for the interim and would make our day to help in any way! Email me at tiffany@fronted.xyz and I can send them over :rocket:

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Sorry for the delayed reply, it’s been a hectic few days.

I got into a heated email discussion with the Director of the estate agent chain, safe to say she stopped replying when proven to be wrong and some of her staff biased & deceitful, sooner our tenancy is over the better, I would not touch our estate agents again with a barge pole.

Ironically, they have now lost themselves a fair bit of business, i know of two different people who were selling their properties with them who have now moved to their competitiors yesterday because of their lies and ethics.

Thanks for the idea, we’ve tried something similar, however, our daughter is a very active sleeper, all she does is move about, side to side, headboard to footboard, thery just come off :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Eep, does not sound like they looking out for people’s best interests.

Damn about the headwear but also very cute about the active sleeping - she’ll may not be one for airpods either :laughing:

It genuinely sucks how much of renting comes down to pure luck – usually on the side of getting lucky with a good landlord.

Despite my flat being a tiny studio and generally not suited for what I want/need – I’ve opted to stay here for 5 years purely because the landlord is actually a genuinely great guy…

But yeah I’ll echo the sentiment of I wish I had known what my landlord was like before signing the contract!

I also think just being more vigilant in your looking around the property. In a different property I looked in the summer, so it wasn’t apparent until winter that the electric heaters just didn’t work – should I have turned them on quickly during the viewing? Little things like that can hurt you later!

:100: on checking the heating, even checking the water pressure and shower when you walk around is really handy.

With our place I wish we had even stood in the shower - one of my roomies is 6’5 and has to tilt his head when he uses it :grimacing:

Oh damn I can 100% appreciate the height situation - 6’4 myself!

Water pressure is a great check too - so many things like this I didn’t think to check! Needs to be some sort of checklist made :joy:

The annoying thing where I am currently though is through no fault of the landlord the building management keep messing up the water. When I moved in there was really good pressure, unlimited showers, just great. Now there’s only good pressure at peak times, and showers limited to 10 minutes (which is fine most of the time but yano… shower is my creativity space :joy:)

3oqwmg

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Don’t underestimate the power of unlimited water :joy: The amount of bugs I’ve fixed in that time :scream:

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What unlimited showers really need:

Darth

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As mentioned already, a landlord review system would have saved me a bunch of headaches, seems that in a lot of cases now, google reviews have taken that role by proxy, but would be ideal to have an up front way of seeing how good/terrible an agency is, ahead of time (funnily enough, exactly that was my dissertation project back in uni :sweat_smile:), but as with any UGC platform, getting the engagement ball rolling is always the biggest hurdle.

More recently, knowing the legitimacy of agencies, especially those advertising on Spareroom, has been a huge issue for me. Seems that the vast majority of those that I’ve viewed and rented have been dodgy sublets, but paying rent month to month without asking questions, until something comes of it seems to be the norm.

I guess it’s a bit of a strange case, but being able to have something akin to a credit file for a property would have been a huge help ahead of time while renting too. To put it into perspective, out of the 5 properties I’ve rented, three of them have had large debts against them, ranging from back payments on ground rent and property management fees, to missed payments on a non-BTL mortgage. Having a bit of foresight that debt collectors would be at the door for the landlord would have been great :joy:

On a more general note, comfort metrics about the property would be a god send. e.g. How cold the property is in the winter, or how much you’ll feel like a rotisserie chicken in the summer; or even how noisy the area is, through traffic or from nearby amenities.

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@Dan I would love to read your dissertation :open_book:

My friend recently had the same experience with needing a credit file for the property! It was because the documents weren’t changed where the new tennant would just pay out the old tennant’s deposit but the actual property documents would not be changed. Now everyone in the property is moving out, getting the deposit back is proving to be tricky as it is not under her name.

I think anything to keep the debt collectors from your door is a great shout!

Speaking of comfort metrics, I’ve always found when you find a property, walking to and after work really helps you to gauge what the area is like. Depend how far away the place is though :joy: