Marathon bonkers texts – would you rent to Ms X?

Carrying on from yesterday….

So. Existing tenant gives notice a month ago. Advertise flat. Ms X decides to take it. I get a funny feeling. Ms X goes away without paying holding fee, though I say that I have more viewings. Ms X rings, I tell her if she wants it she must pay the holding fee immediately or someone else will get the flat, ours go very fast. Do next viewing, girl wants it but has to speak to person she shares with. As I come out of the building with second viewer and she leaves, Mr M hands me holding fee which Ms X has just dropped off. I chase second viewer down street to apologise and explain the flat has now gone. All good. Or is it?!

Everything was just such hard work – getting contact details as no email allowed, getting an address when it was suggested we drop information of at a local Pizzeria?!, finally getting an address and delivering the paperwork – and I said we needed the forms back asap. Wasn’t sure why things were so difficult at that stage, maybe due to Ms X being Italian and language difficulties, but partly it seemed that she was just loathe to give any information, even though she said she urgently needed somewhere to live. Alarms bells should have rung at that stage *makes mental note*

Two weeks after delivering the paperwork and one day before the agreed move in date, I got a text. The longest text in the world. I’d never had a text like it. The agents had made a mistake with the rental price, including water rates by mistake, but on top of that Ms X was basically saying I’m not happy to give you all my personal information and you should just believe what I tell you. Hmmmm. More alarm bells. We have a system for a reason and it works, we don’t change it for anyone, least of all someone we don’t know. I called back to say I empathised but if that was the case I was happy to refund the holding fee. Telephone tennis was played for a while. The next day we finally spoke, or rather Ms X spoke at me, at long, long length. I was told this was a matter of personal privacy, a matter which could cause identity theft, she didn’t want to give the information, that it wasn’t legal in Italy?!, it went on and on and on. Then I was told I was in breach of contract!

When judging tenants you have to work out if they are going to be good, easy-going, lovely people to have around, especially when you own the block and have other tenants as well. Did I get this feeling from Ms X? NO!

So I decided I could not rent the flat to her on the basis that we required this information, made this very clear, yet it had not been forthcoming nor had we been told of any problems until the day before the tenancy was due to start. And I communicated that very politely and wished Ms X well with finding a landlord who could accommodate her stipulations. Big Mistake. I unleashed the bonkersness. Another text this time 825 words long, I didn’t think that was even possible. It served to underline why I’d made the decision to keep advertising and I’m currently losing rent… but I’d rather it be empty than deal with Ms X as a tenant on a quite possibly daily basis.

Lessons learned:

  1. Always be wary when would be tenants say they need somewhere IMMEDIATELY but won’t say why.
  2. Never just take a tenants word for where they work / live.
  3. Trust your judgment if something doesn’t feel right and ask more questions
  4. Don’t change your policies, the ones which have worked for you, for any tenant, no matter what their story.

Do you *really* want to read the texts….. oh, go one then….

Text 1

Regarding your letter introducing the renting details I found a discrepancy with the details published in the advertisement by the letting agency JP & Brimelow.
When I took the decision and paid the deposit we made reference to the pricing details as comunicated and advertised.
Could you please confirm that the price per month is as advertised £435 including water rates? The price was indicated as written above and the water rates were included and were marked by an exclamation mark in the advertisement. I could forward you a copy of the advertisement in case needed.
Could you please also inform me about what exactly the Endsleigh Let is and what is it for? From what I can read they offer contents insurance for people in rented accomodation as well as provide checks on tenants. As far as I am concerned I have no requirements for contents insurance and therefore I do not think I need to fill this form and to deliver my details to this company. Is this form really essential for you?
I understand you want my employment and personal details delivered to the bulding as a first step. When would it be a good time to bring you the deposit and the first months rent? After having looked at the paper work I feel it is important for me to express the following. Renting this studio has privacy aspects both in the personal and professional realms that are important to me. I need to ask you if we could please be considerative and respectful of them.
I am sure we could find a solution for you to feel satisfied with my professional and personal information without me facing problems on the requested privacy. An example in this respect would be: if you think it necessary to obtain extra confimation from the University, would it be possibile for you just to let me know so that I could arrange for you to obtain the information while avoiding unwanted calls, emails or faxes from external parties?
I hope you trust that I am employed by X and I see obviously no need to check on XX. If of any relevance for the renting I have no history of bankruptcy and I have no County Court cases for judgments. I do not have any history of unpaid rents and I hope that it is not in question that the rent will be paid as expected.
I apologize for this long text, but I hope you understand. I look forward to hearing from you to finalize the rent and I here renew my thanks for your kindness with the forms.

Summary: What’s the rent? What’s the Endsleigh Let form for? I think you should just trust me and not ask for any information, ok?

Text 2

I understand from your telephone text message received on May 20th and my conversations with J&P Brimelow that you have cancelled by your own decision the taken agreement for the letting of the studio before the ending of the holding fee time (there is no stipulated holding fee time) and using excuses that do not reflect reality. Your actions have heavy consequences on my own situation.
I do not understand what necessary information you assumed I would not have provided you with and how you can use this  assumption to withdrow from the taken agreement. It was unbelievable to hear such a distortion of  information that according to J&P Brimelow you stated in this and other regards. (See above text?)
Please detail in writing for all of us the specific  necessary  information that you  stated “I was not going to deliver” to you in order to be able to rent the studio in respect of your needs and UK law. (Eh?)
You have been asked in writing for 1) clarification about an unexpected increase in the price with respect to the price you advertised; 2) information about the third party (serving as an insurance company for tenants) to whom you wanted to deliver my extensive details; 3) clarification regarding the possibility to respect privacy issues both in private and professional realms. None of your voice messages addressed any of the posed questions and rather insisted on your withdrawal from the agreement leaving me without the flat. I do not understand why you expected that forms could have been signed and delivered to you when containg a breach of agrement that you simply refuse to acknowledge let alone clarify. (The forms are information forms, not the contract)
It was again very stressful, when speaking with you on the telephone, to realize that you in fact wanted to exhibit your power not only to change the advertised rent price, (I initially said that I would consider a compromise as a result of the agents mistake) but also to think and change your mind about my tenancy (in line with what was communicated in your voice messages) regardless of the agreement we entered.
Your insistence on my date of entrance being May 21st or no entrance at all is indeed puzzling. (That was the agreed date of moving in, it’s not subject to moving at the tenants whim!)
A text message granting you more time – if in fact needed – for your paper processing was sent to you. (How gracious) If you felt you needed time to process the paperwork (how long does  it normally take you? Is your paperwork processing so much lengthier than ones performed by a realestate agent?) why not just inform me? I have heard no mention in this respect. (Ms X was given the paperwork two weeks previously and only the day before stated in her previous text she didn’t wish to fill in the forms)
Unless J&P Brimelow has a different policy in handling my letting fee, the paid fee should secure the holding of the flat for one month, (Why? There was no mention of a one month period by us) which surely I do not need to point out to you does not end on May 21th. The date your business partner? signed for receiving the holding fee was May (no, was April) 27th.
I am sure I do not need to point out that your choices of how to deliver the paperwork created various  delays and issues as well.(Always helps to know where the tenant lives…..)
Please note that your initial statement: there are no forms for you to pick up  in addition to your  dismissiveness in allowing me to pick up the forms at the real estate agent (as normal procedure) or at any location of your choice is puzzling. I do not think I need to remind you that the only time that I was finally granted your permission to pick the paperwork up  was strangely enough not at J&P Brimelow but at Burton Road 95. However, when I arrived with the taxi, there was no paperwork for me to pick up. (It was Saturday night, the only time Ms X said she could pick up the paperwork and I’d left them in an envelope in a safe place. Another of our tenants had brought the envelope inside thinking they were helping. Ms X only texted when she was half way back to wherever in her taxi, had she texted when there which was logical, I’d have had someone pop it back out to her)
I am speachless at your general conduct, your reported distortions, your final text message and the inconsiderate way you feel entitled to treat the situation and its consequences. An honest consideration of your acts and of the problems you imposed by your withdrawing from the taken agreement is indeed suggested.
The serious concerns about the situation have been comunicated to J&P Brimelow as the real estate agent advertising your property.
The requested information are expected in writing sent by registered post to X address.
You are requested to maintain “full respect” of privacy. This time please do not try to manage -as you put it- to go in and climb the stairs of someone else’s property to be sure you slide envelopes into flat doors when no building keys were given to you, nor were you asked, invited or given permission to do so (actually quite clearly directed not to enter any building door).  Mail boxes, which postal service can use are indeed available inside the building and actually well visibly located in the immediate vicinity of the entrance door of the building.(Not sure why we are being chastised for hand delivering Ms X’s information forms through a communal hall, it’s hardly breaking and entering)
Yesterday, May 23rd the studio was again advertised on the J&P Brimelow site. Ms. Astley, I personally would not have the competence to say  if the way you were doing business -as you put it- with us is actually legal in this country but it certainly displays too many signs of disrespect.

Summary: I’m really hacked off at you for not wanting to rent to me even though I am clearly unstable.

9 thoughts on “Marathon bonkers texts – would you rent to Ms X?

Add yours

  1. Ah, dear Si. I also had a nightmare tenant, I lost a months rent by getting rid of her… she kept saying that the boiler had stopped working, I had plumbers out 4 times who said it was fine. She then contacted the gas authority to say the system was unsafe and illegal! They came round and again (of course) said it was fine, she then contacted the water board to say the water system was faulty, they came round, said it was fine. She then said lights were falling down, shelves were coming off walls etc etc. I went round to find my house being systematically demolished bit by bit by this nutcase. I fixed things but then there were more so I decided to kick her out. Lessons: 1. Obviously always get inventory pics and form signed BEFORE they move in. 2. Even if your agent tells you they’ve found the perfect tenant (she worked in a care home but obviously should have been in one) don’t take their word for it. 3. She obviously wanted a rent reduction and was trying everything to create reasons, watch out for unusual behaviour. 4. Make sure ALL correspondence is via email if poss. I thought I was going to have to take this one to court.

    1. Aw Kate, you so don’t deserve it honey, what a ‘mare she sounded, you are well rid! It’s very one sided in the UK, the landlord is always the bad guy but it’s often the other way around!

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