… tenants are hit with increasingly ridiculous demands for cash to secure properties in a highly competitive housing market. Now, in a development that not even the most imaginative scriptwriter could have foreseen, tenants in parts of London are being asked to pay £10 to have a friend to stay over, while others claim they are being charged to cook or to wash clothes in their own home. Even before they get to the point of moving in, the same tenants are being charged more than £100 just to see a list of properties.If that sounds bizarre and disturbing, don’t worry! It is.
But it can easily be avoided by not being a lazy, ignorant modern student with an entitlement chip on their shoulder the size of a plank:
Traditional letting agents are not allowed to charge tenants for registering or seeing a list of properties if they charge the landlord too, but companies such as EasyLets UK, Spacelet and Flatland are “relocation” or “appointment-making agents”. Instead of receiving payment from the landlords whose homes they market, they charge would-be tenants upfront fees.And why would anyone even half-way sensible use one of these companies?
Well, let’s ask one of those migrants we are deemed to need so much over here, them being so smart, and all:
University graduate Gloria Orphanidou, from Cyprus, has been trying to find a cheap room to rent in the capital since December. She paid West End “relocation agent” EasyLets £110 to find accommodation within her £500-a-month budget after seeing properties listed by the agents on Rightmove. She was told bills were included in the advertised rents but, when she approached the landlords on the list, one told her she would be charged a fee every time she cooked a meal or did her laundry.
“The other two were properties living with landlords, where I was not allowed to have any visitors unless I paid them £10 every time someone came to see me,” she said.If at this point you’re crying with laughter, well, reader, you are not alone!
Anyone with an ounce of self-respect would have knuckled down and done the hard work of searching themselves, not paid a company to do it for them, and then complained when they were ripped off!
Orphanidou returned to EasyLets to complain that all the rooms she had been shown were unsuitable, but she was refused a refund of the £110 fee.
“I felt so stupid and angry at myself. I am broke enough as it is, with just enough money to pay rent for a cheap room, and I had wasted £110 on an agent who clearly doesn’t care and won’t help me find a house,” she said.Feeling stupid and angry at yourself is the correct emotion to have. You are, after all, entirely to blame. I’m not sure why you think wailing to the ‘Guardian’ is going to help either your flat search or your future job prospects, though.