8 Ways To Challenge Your Letting Agent or Landlord

Greedy letting agents and landlords know their industry and will try every trick in the book to make you pay more during your tenancy.

As a former private rented sector tenant myself I have faced financial claims made against me that have been false or have been exaggerated by letting agents.

I want you to learn the following steps to ensure you can better protect yourself from losing your deposit at the end of your tenancy.

1) Check your tenancy agreement Keep a paper and digital record. Look out for any clause that mentions ‘cost’ or ‘money’- that could lead to additional charges. Identify the charges and prevent them from happening. Some charges could be deemed unreasonable and you may wish to raise this at a deposit protection tribunal.

2) Document control – Keep all documents in a safe and easily accessible place for future usage. This will help support you should any claim be made against you at the end of your tenancy.

3) Return your inventory as soon as possible. I always advise you go through your inventory with a fine toothcomb in the first week of moving in. Items on the inventory may be listed in the wrong condition or there may be things listed that are not in the property. Go through this thoroughly and email your letting agent with any alterations as soon as you can.

4) If you see a problem then report it! If you do not report an issue and it is identified during an inspection you could be penalised. If you cannot be expected to reasonably fix it – then report it!

5) Know how to complain! If you are unhappy with the service provided by your letting agent then complain to them. Some letting agents do not list their complaints procedure in an easily accessible place – this is to reduce escalation to the Housing Ombudsman. Email your letting agent and ask for their complaints procedure and go through it.

6) Know how to work the complaints process. If you feel that your letting agent has not dealt with your complaint, then escalate to the Housing Ombudsman who will assess whether you are entitled to compensation following your complaint.

7) Always challenge claims made against your deposit at the end of your tenancy. Try to resolve this with the letting agent directly via email. If this doesn’t work then go to your registered deposit adjudication scheme and state why their claims are wrong. Keep a written record of all communication with your letting agent.

8) Keep an eye out for cleanliness charges which are commonly made by letting agents. Make sure your tenancy agreement does not contain a professional cleaning clause. If it doesn’t, make sure your property is the same cleanliness standard as you moved in – check your Check In Inventory!

Stick to these rules and you should stop/reduce the amount of money you may lose at the end of your tenancy.

7 Methods To Reduce Your Broadband/Phone Costs

I have seen time and time again people who have failed to negotiate with their providers and continue to see increases in their telecoms bills.

Here are some tips on how to reduce your costs:

1) Remember your contract start and end date – place a reminder in a calendar two months prior to contract end date to look at the current marlet.

2) Keep an eye out for early cancellation fees. Some companies require 30 days for cancellation. Make sure you take this into account when switching provider – otherwise you could be penalised.

3) Negotiate with your current provider. Look at what they are offering new customers as these deals will likely be better then what you currently have.

4) Do market research on other suppliers and keep a record of this. Use this research to see whether your current provider can do better.

5) Speak to your provider via a live online chat. This will ensure you reduce any phone costs and you will have a written record of any response made by the company to refer back to.

6) Threaten that you will leave. If your current provider cannot provide a better deal then check their cancellation policy and make that switch. Let the new company manage the switch.

7) Check that your current provider don’t need your internet router back. Confirm with your supplier that they do/don’t want your router back – you may incur a charge if you fail to return within a specific timeframe.

Stick to these tips and you will reduce your monthly telecoms costs. Keep a record of your contract start and end dates and set a reminder on when to do market research and negotiate with your supplier.

Reducing your costs will mean you can save/spend more money on yourself!