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Which? calls on the public to submit "nightmare rental stories"

Which?, the consumer organisation which this week revealed details of an undercover investigation of 30 viewings of properties marketed by lettings agencies, is now calling on the public to submit what they call “nightmare rental stories.”

The call came in the form of an email sent to supporters of the organisation.

It says: “Choosing somewhere to live is one of the most important decisions of your life. But we have found that renters are being let down by their letting agents.


“We sent undercover researchers on 30 property viewings across England and Scotland. They found a concerning lack of vital safety information on issues like gas safety, and poor conditions, with one in five homes plagued by damp. Some researchers reported being rushed into making a decision by agents, and not being able to check the specifics when viewing a property.

“This is unacceptable. Tenants need to be given clear and accurate information before moving into a new place.

“Your nightmare rental stories can help us investigate the problem and highlight where the sector is failing renters. Have you had an issue with renting in the past?”

Which? recently revealed it had sent undercover researchers on 30 property viewings across England and Scotland to assess the conditions of properties and also provided them with a list of questions to ask the letting agent, designed to uncover whether they were giving vital information and following health and safety rules.

Some 20 per cent of the properties visited had problems with damp. None of the agents showing the properties were able to commit to fixing the problem, with little knowledge about what would be done about it.

Eight out of 30 viewings were rated ‘poor’ for answers to questions on property maintenance and repairs. 

On several occasions letting agents apparently brushed off questions about maintenance, with many stating that work would be carried out before the tenant moved in, or would need to be dealt with by the landlord. 

Poll: Is Which? starting a vendetta against letting agents?


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    So basically they will conduct research and/or fan public concerns in such a way that will allow them to create a money making opportunity. Expect the launch of a "Which? Approved" Letting Agent scheme soon.

  • Angus Shield

    Err, what is the point of having a Complaints Procedure and a Recourse Membership.

    I would have hoped that any 'genuine' applicant would have used any such process, or even a telephone call into the Branch Manager so I also hope the Journalist did precisely this to qualify if it was simply poor training or a genuine culture within that company.

    Have I missed my invitation, or statutory requirement, to subscribe to Which's arbitration service???

  • jeremy clarke

    Nothing says that agents and landlords cannot submit their rental horror stories! I have, and I'm sure every agent and landlord has a horror story to tell about tenants and the health and safety issues they cause!

  • James B

    Which may aswell jump on the landlord bashing wagon like everyone else.
    Pity landlords don’t outnumber tenants or they would be more interested in ‘tenants from hell’ stories and I could provide a few..
    Just yet another report for self gain at landlords expense

  • icon

    Why dont tbey also ask for 30 made in heaven stories or better still why don't we professional landlords just sell up and leave the likes of Which and the government Muppetts to provide rental accommodation?

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    Surprised at the tone of the comments for this article. If you are a good landlord/letting agent, surely you want any that aren't to be dealt with so that they don't tarnish the reputations of everyone in the lettings industry? Tenants have to live with problems in their homes on a daily basis. If you live in a property that is damp, have faulty gas equipment or trouble with your electrics your life can be hell. If you are a landlord/letting agent of a property that has these issues, and you don't sort them out, tenants pestering you to make repairs etc. is a minor irritation and you can get on with your life without it having a significant impact. It's in everyone's interest to weed out the bad landlords/letting agents. Does anyone disagree?

    James B

    The tone of the comments are to be expected with routine landlord bashing articles .. there are plenty vehicles to ‘weed out’ and deal with bad landlords without the need for articles like this blatantly tarnishing the PRS and landlords generally .. and typically there is zero balance by asking landlords to publish tenants from hell stories alongside. This is nothing other than finding the 1% of bad landlords to hit the 99% good. Just usual landlord bashing makes pretty boring reading now


    The problem is those that do rent out properties as you describe are not the norm, so again, all the good ones get the bad name. most landlords and agents want happy tenants as it makes life alot easier.


    This is the problem, good caring landlords who carry out 2 or 3 monthly Inspections for the good of their tenant and their own dont get mentioned. We have been providing properties to rent for over 30 years and a lot of our tenants have been so for over 5 years some over ten. The answer is not to keep increasing rents and to show respect but if a tenant misses rent does not look after MY property has antisocial habits they are out, immediatly. However now is the time to get out. The inexperienced government bods have not got a clue and just hammer away at us b2l landlords. Sell up and let the government house them and then see the likes of Which and Chaw cry.

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    Good landlords are easy to find and should be given tax breaks and not have to licence their properties.
    Bad Landlords need putting out of business for good.
    Also, Landlords that have paid tax from day one should be rewarded not bashed to death!
    Regarding HMO this needs looking at again,How on earth can a 4 bedroom house with 4 people be an HMO just because say two are related and two not,when they live as a family!


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