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Rental Hunting Nightmare

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charlesfare
Posts: 92
Joined: 14 Jan 2013, 01:31

Anyone else caught in the middle of one of these right now? Trying to find a new place to live as our tenancy is up (and our landlord refused to take care of damp and structural issues). Have been looking for nearly a full calendar month now and it's just been disappointment after disappointment. The PCM price of a two bed rental in and around this area and further out has gone up in almost three figure increments each week.

We've been caught in bidding wars, almost lured into prohibitively long three year, zero break clause contracts, had to offer chunks of rent upfront and even lost one place in Forest Hill due to another couple who viewed it after us being mates of mates with the landlord.

Still not found anywhere to live. Close to pulling my hair out. Anyone else in the same boat?
diable rouge
Posts: 2506
Joined: 14 May 2018, 09:27

I can understand a landlord wanting a long-term tenancy, I would've thought it was in a tenant's interest too.
If prices are going up as you say on a weekly basis, wouldn't it be in your interest to sign up to a long-term contract and thus nullify future increases? Like the housing market in general, it's a basic supply and demand problem, more people looking than properties available. I can't see the problem being resolved for quite some time, certainly not under the current Gov.

Asking for money up front (over and above the normal deposit) is taking the mick though.

You don't elaborate as to the extent of the damp and structural issues, but I would imagine neither is an easy fix with tenants in-situ. Such remedial works can be noisy, dusty, extremely inconvenient e.g. lifting up of carpets, floorboards etc, and depending what the structural issue is, even dangerous. These sort of repairs are best done when the property is vacant...
charlesfare
Posts: 92
Joined: 14 Jan 2013, 01:31

I was actually hoping to hear from other people in a similar situation and gain respite from my stress by way of an empathetic ear. But thanks for your response!

A three year tenancy with no break clause means we'd have been locked in to a tenancy with no way of getting out if something went wrong ? like the damp and structural issues (some sort of crack on an external facing wall, which combined with guttering that hasn't been cleaned has left a big black damp trail up our living room wall and lead to damp throughout the house) ? the only way we'd be able to leave would be by breaching contract at cost to ourselves.

The property we're leaving isn't going to be vacant or repaired, they found new tenants within a week and put the rent up by ?100...
Angelina
Posts: 1656
Joined: 30 Nov 2014, 09:20

My daughter is looking to rent and find the same - places going very quickly. Although she doesn't actually need to move but just wants to before she starts uni.

It is moving very fast and it is expensive.

Is your tenancy actually finished? Did they issue you a proper notice to move out? Do you know about this?
The landlord has to actually take you to court and get an eviction notice before you HAVE to move.

I'd build up a rapport with the lettings agent and ask for early viewings before they are listed.
Are you able to offer any rent up front? It can help. I would prefer a tenant who can pay cash in advance - and the landlord does get to choose who they let their property to.

Also you may need to look further afield and spend less but have a different commute.

Have you tried renting privately?
diable rouge
Posts: 2506
Joined: 14 May 2018, 09:27

A standard AST usually has clauses which state that the landlord has to maintain and if required repair the property to habitable standards, by not doing so they would be in breach of the contract, not you, so you could leave without costs to yourselves.

Anyway, the key to all this is finding a decent landlord, have you heard of Grainger PLC?
They have a huge portfolio nationally with plenty of properties in this area. They are so big they even have a specialist repair company that tenants contact directly, so no issues with a missing or disinterested landlord. I'm sure there might be some downsides e.g. at the pricier end of the scale, but if you're looking for some certainty and peace of mind after your unhappy experiences they might be worth contacting. Google 'Grainger east dulwich rentals' and you should get plenty of info...
charlesfare
Posts: 92
Joined: 14 Jan 2013, 01:31

Angelina Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My daughter is looking to rent and find the same -
> places going very quickly. Although she doesn't
> actually need to move but just wants to before she
> starts uni.
>
> It is moving very fast and it is expensive.
>
> Is your tenancy actually finished? Did they issue
> you a proper notice to move out? Do you know about
> this?
> The landlord has to actually take you to court and
> get an eviction notice before you HAVE to move.
>
> I'd build up a rapport with the lettings agent and
> ask for early viewings before they are listed.
> Are you able to offer any rent up front? It can
> help. I would prefer a tenant who can pay cash in
> advance - and the landlord does get to choose who
> they let their property to.
>
> Also you may need to look further afield and spend
> less but have a different commute.
>
> Have you tried renting privately?

Thanks all. Yes our tenancy has actually finished. We're not being evicted, but rather chose not to extend our lease another 12 months once it became clear that all the things wrong with the flat weren't going to be fixed and that we were going be charged another ?100 a month for our troubles.

Great advice about building rapport with lettings agents. We've tried and are trying our best with this but they're a mercurial bunch who turn off the charm as soon as they've gotten what they're after.

diable rouge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Anyway, the key to all this is finding a decent
> landlord, have you heard of Grainger PLC?
> They have a huge portfolio nationally with plenty
> of properties in this area. They are so big they
> even have a specialist repair company that tenants
> contact directly, so no issues with a missing or
> disinterested landlord. I'm sure there might be
> some downsides e.g. at the pricier end of the
> scale, but if you're looking for some certainty
> and peace of mind after your unhappy experiences
> they might be worth contacting. Google 'Grainger
> east dulwich rentals' and you should get plenty of
> info...

Will look into these now, thanks for the heads up.
Angelina
Posts: 1656
Joined: 30 Nov 2014, 09:20

"Great advice about building rapport with lettings agents. We've tried and are trying our best with this but they're a mercurial bunch who turn off the charm as soon as they've gotten what they're after."

Not suggesting you make friends - it's business. Be super nice to them (even if you're faking) until YOU get what YOU want.
You need them to think about you more than anyone else. Call them and ask for things coming up

You have to be persistent.

Tyr renting privately. Have you posted on this site? or used the facebook page?
kristen
Posts: 168
Joined: 14 Nov 2010, 13:48

I really sympathise, I live in dread of having to find another place to rent.

Re friends of friends of the landlord getting the flat in your original post
Have you tried posting a request in your networks/social media maybe with a pic & a jokey glowing ref might help it get shared more widely. Trying to find something in a specific location this way is tricky though. I have a few friends (of friends) in my network who rent below market rate and private landlords (as suggested above) are more likely to do this - estate agents often bump things up.

It won't make things better for you but I'd also suggest reporting the landlord to Southwark (once you're out with your deposit and references) - I'm not sure what good this will do but it might result in them getting a nudge to fix things. Damp is a health risk to tenants - especially if mould grows and in winter. I found this link -
https://forms.southwark.gov.uk/ShowForm.asp?fm_fid=1590
charlesfare
Posts: 92
Joined: 14 Jan 2013, 01:31

Finally managed to secure a place just a few hours after posting this. With a lovely pair of landlords who really seem to care. My heart goes out to anyone in the situation I?ve been in. I dread to think how things are going for people with less options than even we had, things are really off kilter in this country at the moment and the growing rental crisis is just one element of it.
Sue
Posts: 23494
Joined: 04 Dec 2006, 20:18

Great to hear that, hope it all goes well for you from now on.
Angelina
Posts: 1656
Joined: 30 Nov 2014, 09:20

Im Happy for you. That?s really great news šŸ˜
Newmum2019
Posts: 18
Joined: 26 Sep 2020, 07:26

Great you found somewhere! Housing market is an absolute mess and second home owners have a lot to answer for
Angelina
Posts: 1656
Joined: 30 Nov 2014, 09:20

Nothing to do with the government policy then, or overseas investors?
Snorks
Posts: 4
Joined: 17 Jun 2022, 12:37

Landlords and the parasitic rentier cadre are to blame
Pugwash
Posts: 3139
Joined: 12 Dec 2007, 00:21

Does anyone know of a reputable source for flat shares north of London Bridge? My granddaughter is due to start a new job in the Islington area, initially was going to flat share in London Bridge, but someone else took the room. She has done the journey from Orpington to the Medical Centre by train,underground and 30 minute walk and found that this took her just over 2 hours. Given the rail strikes etc needs to find somewhere north of the river to live. Is there a north London equivalent of the EDF?
beansprout
Posts: 1155
Joined: 19 Aug 2008, 13:58

Only one I can think of is spareroom.com
alice
Posts: 3350
Joined: 03 Jan 2008, 15:55

Snorks not sure who prc are but without landlords there would be 1000s more homeless in Southwark.
CPR Dave
Posts: 229
Joined: 20 Apr 2021, 09:03

There are also quite a lot of accidental landlords who had no intention of becoming renty and they did their bit, worked hard and bought a flat and then found they couldn't buy a family home in areas like ours because

1) stamp duty is 10% plus in ready cash on a 4 bedroom house here and

2) the feckless youth want home ownership but don't want a mortgage and don't want to commit to a career and don't want to pay to own the home they feel they are entitled to.
JohnL
Posts: 8487
Joined: 09 Feb 2008, 10:24

If you're in Shared Ownership and you move to get a job you'll find

- its difficult to sell as there are issues with cladding (this is the same for many flat owners)
- You're not usually allowed to rent out as a term of the lease but with all the issues Housing Associations are relaxing this.
- I've seen flats left empty.

Ask a housing association as so many people seem to want to move out and can't - they must have a load of flats to rent out.
JohnL
Posts: 8487
Joined: 09 Feb 2008, 10:24

Angelina Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nothing to do with the government policy then, or
> overseas investors?

I'm coming to believe that cut in Stamp Duty caused a lot of issues that haven't worked through yet.

Overseas investors is a problem in some areas - not so sure it is in SE22 and SE15
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