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Graham Awards


Blistering attack on ‘big name letting agent’ by anti-rental activist

The author of a book described as being about “insecure renters haemorrhaging cash” has used her newspaper column to make a blistering attack on a lettings agency.

Chloe Timperley, writing in the regional newspaper Metro, says of the agency: “I was treated like a weirdo by the long-established, big name lettings agency for asking to read through the tenancy agreement before we signed it.”

She continues: “After multiple requests, they grudgingly sent over a ‘sample’ tenancy agreement via email, as if I was getting VIP access to classified information. We didn’t end up signing the real contract, however, until after we’d received the keys.”


Timperley does not reserve her criticism for agents. 

She says faults in the property she rents with her boyfriend were numerous. 

“The flat was filthy when we moved in. Light sweeping yielded huge dust bunnies, the bath looked like a goalkeeper had used it after a particularly rainy match, and the windows were thick with years of built-up grime. But this was, apparently, invisible to the landlord” she goes on.

And she adds: “We kept quiet about the cleanliness, as we had bigger complaints. The shower could barely muster a light drizzle, and the toilet flush was… unreliable. We didn’t want to give the landlord any reason not to send a plumber round ASAP, so openly challenging his definition of ‘clean’ was out of the question. This turned out to be a smart move; we had a new shower and toilet flush within days.”

Further into the piece Timperley admits about her landlord: “Despite certain annoyances, he doesn’t bother us with intrusive inspections, is generally responsive when something breaks, and the rent is reasonable for the area.”

However, in addition to promoting her book in the piece, Timperley says that “to be a private renter in modern Britain is to be a second-class citizen.”

She then claims there is “nothing substantial” to protect tenants after the end of the eviction ban in England next week. 

“Even people who don’t get evicted are at risk of being saddled with life-changing amounts of debt. One landlord told me recently that he is arranging 10-year repayment plans for Covid-19 arrears. This approaches mortgage-length debt, but at the end of the term you have nothing to show for it” Timperley says.

* The original version of this story referred to Chloe Timperley as Chloe Temperley - our apologies.

  • icon

    Your reporting on her column might be considered more authoritative if you could get the basics correct, such as the author's name.

  • Simon Shinerock

    Creating long term tenancies with security of tenure is a great idea. Sequestration of private property after tricking landlords into buying on a different basis, not so much so

  • girish mehta

    Tenants don’t clean, I get my house professionally clean at start of tenancy. In weeks the dish washer get clogged up. Pile of dirty dishes and no hoovering. Ask my agents to get have a word. The reply comes that is the way we like to live. And cleanliness may mean different things to different people and if I insist then it may be classed as harresment .now I charge extra rent to cover my cost. And when I renew the tenancy I do not give them good quality items as I know I will end up as rapping them if it is cheaper to replace than get it cleaned. It is also the responsibility of tenants to maintain the property. When there is maintenance issues it does not get reported causing lot of damage. This all comes to ahead when they want to leave and want deposit back and then they say landlords do do the repairs. It is the nanny state and politicians meddling in minor issues giving people laws rights and lately to break the law any not the responsibilities that go with it


    You could always try employing a reputable, experienced Independent Inventory Clerk to document the condition of your properties when the tenants move in, then you would be able to charge them for cleaning at the end of the tenancy, the inventory fee is also tax deductible.

  • girish mehta

    People have choice . Stay at home with mum and dad work hard make sacrifice and save and buy you own pad that’s what landlords did. If you don’t like renting.

  • Mark Wilson

    One landlord told me recently that he is arranging 10-year repayment plans for Covid-19 arrears. This approaches mortgage-length debt, but at the end of the term you have nothing to show for it” Timperley says

    When I read this I know the article is garbage and made up.

  • Roger  Mellie

    People love a moan

  • girish mehta

    Some thing not right why would agent give keys to tanent without signing the tenancy agreement. And why did the tenet ask for inventory before moving in . Did they not notice the dirt beforehand. I would be very concerned if the agents I had employed did that and the type of tenants . There seems to be a hidden agenda in order to get her story published and misreport and jump on landlords bashing otherwise her story would not get published

  • Stephen Chipp

    So basically he was a good landlord who fixed things when broken and ave a reasonable rent - but yeah that's right slag him off because the cleaning was not to your standard, which by the way was mostly taken from landlords and agents hands when the deposit legislation came in!!

  • girish mehta

    That’s fine by the landlord if the Give and the tanent follows the rules on the end it is all about cost of the landlords cost goes up then the rent goes up the tenet ends paying in the end. When I have a good tenant she work with me they stay on for long time and I don’t put up the rent. Landlords only evict when the the parties create issues.
    The issues rise because landlords and tenant have different expectations and the agents take shortcuts. If the follow guidance and do research and bit of good will things can be sorted. I get worse when people and government and pressure groups state meddling
    In the end it is. Commercial contract which sets expectations and limits on parties in order to have right to stay at the property. Both have a choice end the contract.
    I have a tenant for 15 years and I have only put up rent twice. The get 25% below market rent Maine issues are sorted quickly and it is updated ever 5 years
    I have another where I have issues I apply the same standard but get hassled from tenants . So I increase rent and they pay for it and I manage them by the rules and they do not get any leeway

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Why did the newspaper publish this article WITHOUT referring to the landlord for Comment, - that's Biased reporting which is all too common-place and we've come to expect.

    Still a complaint against the newspaper should be launched.


    She is promoting her book: Generation Rent blah blah. On sale at Amazon for £8.19 down from £9.99 and soon to be sold at a Poundland near you.

  • girish mehta

    There are lot of issues not right. Either the agents are incompetent or the talent is ignorant about her rights it of research on her part would have gone a long way to address the issues or she could have moved on. She says she read the contract and got the keys without signing the contract . Did not ask for inventory. Checking in to start with. And either did not bother understanding her rights but can understand complex legal documents. Missing basic checks when taking on tanancy.
    Or is this piece written for the uninformed tenants and pressure groups to influence the politicians to get free rides and politicians to eager to support anyone to get into office.
    The landlords invest and take risk to manage their business and risk . The tenants to honour the contract and do and checks before taking on commitments
    If the government make it hard for landlords then tenet will suffer in the end as the risk and letting won’t be worth for them
    Built to rent seems to be flavour of the day. Big companies will only invest if they get the returns the rent will be high. You will end up on matchbox houses and pay for facilities you may not need through service charges. Fine if tanants want to live that lifestyle and end up paying I person wages to service these facilities. How are these people going to finance their goals in life I.e getting married. The government politicians have saddled with education loans
    And the the high paying does not exist due to Brexit, and now Covid and as the world economy takes a nose dive

    Time for ruling class to get grips with reality and plan for future
    And move away from short term gains and party politics

  • James B

    Maybe she should buy a house then

  • girish mehta

    Clueless writing a book to push her sales. She may be noticed by a charity and end up in a high paying job. As she has written the book with out knowing and understanding the issues.
    There are few who are ignorant and join the band wagon .
    In the end they will have to suffer the consequences when the gravey train stops


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