Holding me to ransom

Many apologies before I even begin because today I am quite blatantly going to just moan.

I am absolutely sick of businesses being able to hijack people’s money and hold on to it ad infinitum … and there doesn’t seem to be anything people can do about it.

We moved house recently, from one privately rented house to another. The houses were operated by two different lettings agents.

In order to be allowed to let the new house, the new lettings agents required references for myself and gorgeous daughters number one and two. They used an external agency who charged £120 per person plus VAT for the privilege.

Now these references involved an email to the current lettings agency and emails to each of our employers to check our salaries.

The girls both work at the same company.

So one email to their firm, one to mine and one to the lettings agent – we are the best part of £400 out of pocket.

But to add insult to injury, the old lettings agent would not release the references until we had paid them £25 per person plus VAT.

So that’s four emails in total and it cost £500! Is it me, or is this just legalised theft?

Now, the old lettings agent is holding on to our original £1,300 deposit.

I had agreed to pay for professional carpet cleaning and window cleaning (roughly £200) but they are now trying to charge me £200 to fill a couple of holes in two door frames (where coat hooks had rubbed) and £400 to replace the carpets downstairs because, they claim, they stink of our cats, which I dispute. (despite two lots of professional carpet cleaning and odour control).

But, here’s the thing. New tenants moved in three days after we moved out and seem to be living there quite happily. And on the two occasions I have returned to the house since moving out to collect post (the last time being yesterday) the carpet quite obviously has not been replaced. It is still there, I can see it.

Basically the carpet was old and threadbare when we moved in – it was only a cheap carpet anyway – and the landlord appears to just fancy replacing it and we are being told to pick up the tab.

I have refused and will take them to court if I have to.

Yesterday I asked the old letting agent to return that part of my deposit that was not in dispute – about £450.

To enable them to do that I apparently have to pay £25 plus VAT!

To say I am angry is an understatement. I have no idea why these companies can be allowed to get away with such outrageous charges and practices.

On a much more positive note, I received a post from America yesterday with next year’s calendar for the children’s eye health foundation.

That’s my photo :) I am February. I was very excited.

And this is what I came home from Man’s to on Monday.

Pud had made me a birthday cake – how fabulous is that? :)



  1. Sorry to hear about the renting hassles. Best wishes with getting it resolved….maybe keep negotiating..you might gain and also lose some…start a new reality show on BBC….Cowboy Renters!
    Congrats on the beautiful calendar and the cake is really fabulous…hope you are liking your new place….keep smiling.

    • Thank you. We’ll get it sorted and, as always, the good in my life outweighs the bad :)

  2. Not surprised you’re feeling ripped off. – so would I..
    BUT the calendar is beautiful – clever old you, and as for the cake – what temptation!

    • Thanks Valerie … very excited about the calendar and the cake was delicious :)

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