Tenant in despair after she pays out over £1,200 to get landlord’s possessions removed from flat

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.”

Purplebricks says sorry after tenant moves into flat filled with owner’s possessions

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11 Comments

  1. Ostrich17

    Where are ARLA/Propertymark in this saga ?- PB display the “propertymark protected” logo on their website.

    Propertymark claim in their TV/media adverts – “We hold our members accountable in order to protect you, the consumer and your money. “

     

    Where is the evidence that they actually police their members to protect the public and the reputation of the industry?

     

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  2. DASH94

    Disgraceful.   If the landlord isn’t bothered that their stuff is in storage (I wouldn’t be giving up the key until I got the £1200 if I were the tenant), then the stuff is clearly rubbish.   I’d have given them a deadline to clear and then dumped it all I think.

    The tenant would have been better to find alternate accommodation as quickly as possible.  I wouldn’t want to do business with a landlord or agent that thought this was acceptable – goodness knows how they’d run the tenancy.   The landlord must have breached the tenancy agreement by their actions, and I think the deposit dispute would easily go the tenants way.

    What a mess!  We’ve all been in a similar boat to a lesser extent I’m sure – it’s the handling of the situation once it’s occurred that’s important here and clearly, Purple Bricks are happy to let the tenant resort to self-help rather than sorting it out themselves

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    1. CountryLass

      I’m wondering how it was all done on the inventory! If I turn up to do an inventory and the cleaner has left some cleaning supplies or there is something being removed later that day, I explicitly sate in the description that it is NOT part of the tenancy! And if there are items that have been left by the previous tenant and gifted to the new Tenant, I also state that in there, that these items are left for the tenants use, but do not form part of the tenancy and the tenant can replace, remove or repair them as needed.

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      1. DASH94

        Take a look at the images – if there was an inventory done on that lot I’d be amazed. 🙂

         

         

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        1. CountryLass

          I didn’t see the pictures until after I commented… That’s atrocious! She mentioned an inventory, so I assumed that a proper one was done. I didn’t even realise that you could use the same one on a property, as on mine it is not only dated on each page, but at the start it has the Tenants name!

          Although looking at who the agent is, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised…

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  3. jeremy1960

    Not on the inventory?  Surely the inventory is a record of the property,  its condition, its content and cleanliness? If it was there it would be either on the inventory,  a previous inventory was used or the inventory clerk was useless!

    Landlord would be hard pressed to make an claim unless the tenant is not being entirely straight?

    I think a deadline for clearance should have been set, after which, the items “not on the inventory ” should have been disposed of.

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    1. alex7675

      I think this is a classic situation of the flat NOT being checked before a lease was signed.

      My guess would be the same inventory was issued a per the previous let, just the dates changed, I wonder if the meter readings were changed on the inventory? They could have fun if the previous tenants did not pay the utility bills and then ongoing issues with them,  then the lovely disconnection letters …… o joy !!

      I hope both sides have photos, which will prove whos right or wrong

      My guess would be Purplebricks were only interested in the commission for letting.

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      1. Ostrich17

        Suggest you follow the link at the end of the article to the original PIE story.

        The pictures there will tell you all you need to know !!

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  4. DarrelKwong43

    how many of you check the loft?

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    1. DASH94

      We block lofts.  Had one house, where there was a single chair in the middle of the loft, and a padlock on the outside of the loft door, and one too many tenants who think it’s a good idea to store boxes of books between the beams. 

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  5. KByfield04

    Personally, I would be checking all major compliance matters immediately- EPC, gas safety, smoke/co alarms, deposit registration, licensing, etc. if they can’t do a basic thing like have the property remotely ready for move in the likelihood is there’s a lot of compliance missed too. As the saying goes ‘how you do anything is how you do everything’.

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