A tenant who moved into a flat she was renting through Purplebricks only to find it full of the landlord’s possessions has told of her ongoing struggle.
The tenant has cleared the flat by packing up all the possessions herself, hired a van to take them away and put everything into storage for a year.
It has cost her £1,241.59, including storage costs and packaging, plus the hours that it took her and her partner to resolve the problem.
However the tenant has contacted EYE to say that she could not get a response from Purplebricks about deducting the sum from her rent.
Purplebricks had originally told her to box up all the items and store them in the flat.
But the tenant said that the one-bedroom flat was too small. She says she had to take matters into her own hands to resolve the situation because it was clear that “remedial action would not be forthcoming from either the landlord or her agents”.
She has now put in a claim, accompanied by photographic evidence which EYE has also seen, together with photos of her receipts.
The pictures back up the tenant’s claims that the property looked as though it was actually being lived in with items like greeting cards on display. The tenant says that in addition, baby bottles and food were left behind.
The tenant also sent us a response from Purplebricks, who sent on an email from the landlord, demanding that certain items be returned from storage.
These items included a laundry basket, bathroom scales and paintings, with the landlord saying: “The property is rented as furnished and these items are part of the furnishings. If she doesn’t want these items in the flat, she can keep them in the storage and pay for it. But I will expect them to be in the flat when her tenancy is completed.”
The tenant has disputed that such items are furniture, and says that none of them were in the inventory.
The tenant says that while she feels within her rights to withhold the amount she has paid out from the rent, she is concerned that the landlord will simply dock that amount from her deposit, leading to a dispute requiring arbitration.
A spokesperson for Purplebricks said: “We’re sorry there have been these issues and we’ve been working to support both parties so this situation can be resolved.”