The appalling letter from rooms4every1.com

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8 comments

  1. Danny Smith · September 3, 2009

    Hey I let a room out with the same company last year. We had REPEATED problems with electricity and they repeatedly told me that they couldnt send an electrician untill they contacted the landlord(?!?!). I brought up the fact that they advertise that they own all their own housing and never received a reply from them. The power cuts made me loose close to £300 in food as we had about 8 weekends from saturday through to monday with no access to the fuse box, as it was in an empty bedroom that noone had a key for. Leaving messages on the voicemail number they provide on their letters did nothing. The same power cuts also led me to loose work, and have to replace several parts of my very expensive PC that I had only just bought the summer before moving in. I repeatedly contacted them with written responses and emails asking if they could replace things that were broken and they said they werent liable due to things such as power cuts, but the fact was it was due to their shoddy wiring in the house and shoddy electricals causing the fuse box to trip all the time (ancient kettles/microwave/shower that leaked inside itself). On top of all of this I was presented with ridiculous charges after I moved out. I was promised to be given my deposit back within 10 days which is the legal requirement, but I recieved it 32 days after the 10 days I was promised. When i was phoning them to inquire about my deposit I asked how much I would be recieving on numerous times and I was constantly told £250, but when it came down to recieving my check I got £154, almost £100 less.

    If that wasnt bad enough our house was contracted to be all bills inclusive. I moved in to let a single room as part of a house share with foreign students as I myself am somewhat older than most freshers and didnt want to go into halls. I recieved a phone call from one of the girls I lived with last year approximatly 3 weeks ago crying, saying that the agency were claiming none of the bills had been paid for and she needed to pay over £1000 to them to cover, or she would be taken to court. I find this hilarious because they still have all my details on file, and details from all the other previous tennants, but they decided to plant this on the last person to move out, who sadly was one of the more vulnerable people as she hasnt been living in the UK for long and doesnt know much about legalities here.

    If you have had any more responses from people with similiar concerns I think it would be worth while collecting information and taking it to the Guild of Students and seeing what can be done there. Im fairly sure they can offer advice and support and even put pressure on local letting agencies and landlords.

  2. georgina paterson · March 17, 2010

    Hiya,

    Very sorry to hear about your unbelievable bill!

    We’ve been experiencing some quite intense problems with rooms4every1 this year and are going to be filing a complaint with the Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme… if anyone else has issues with them too I urge you to speak to someone at university and try to complain too- the more people take a stand the more weight behind the claims and the more likelihood the exploition of students will stop!

  3. Marcelle · July 22, 2010

    Hi
    Did you have any success in getting your deposit? My son and his flatmates are having exactly the same problems and we are not prepared to let these sharks get away with it. If you can help with any advice it will be much appreciated.
    We intend to threaten with the small claims court and feel the university should be aware of the way this company operates.
    Regards
    Marcelle

  4. Ali · July 26, 2010

    Hi,

    I have just finished my tenancy with rooms4every1 and am experiencing very similar problems. They are trying to take nearly 60% of our deposit, with most of their deductions being in direct conflict with the contract. I believe they are routinely doing this to students in the hope that most will not challenge them. I would like to stop rooms4every1 trading as a letting agent and try to ensure no other students have this problem in the future. I have contacted the university accreditation scheme who are happy to listen to what I have to say and have a complaints procedure that could potentially see the company discredited. I also intend to contact Birmingham City Council, the Redbrick student news paper, Guild of students itself and anyone else who I think will listen. Ideally I need to get as much evidence about this company and their operation as possible. If anyone here would like to contact me and help me prevent this company from their operations then it would make a huge difference. Please contact me if you have any information that can help.
    My email is alimutch@gmail.com

    Thanks

  5. Ali · July 26, 2010

    Also if you are on facebook, have a look a this group…

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=141107789246499

    thanks

  6. Frankie Ward · August 26, 2010

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the facebook group link. I’ve now joined.

    I didn’t get my money back, but I should have tried harder (I had third year workload and needed whatever money they gave back.)

    If people would like me to collaborate on a plan towards getting Rooms4Every1.com taken off the accreditation scheme then I am fully on board!

    Best,
    Frankie
    frankie.ward@gmail.com

  7. jonsgot · December 24, 2012

    You may find the FaQ on the Rooms4every1.com website helpful.

    Our Tenants Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

    Accreditation and Status

    Q) What accreditations do rooms4every1 hold or adhere to?
    A) rooms4every1 is accredited by the Midlands Landlord Association and is listed on Birmingham Universities Landlord Accreditation Scheme. All our Gas Engineers are Corgi registered and all deposits are held in accordance with Tenancy Deposit protection with MyDeposits

    Q) Are rooms4every1 agents or landlords?
    A) rooms4every1 are the agents AND owners of the properties. As in any business financial decisions have to been made in consent with the business owner. Most agents are dealing with a number of landlords at rooms4every1 there is only one.

    Q) Has rooms4every1 ever been found guilty of running a sub standard deposit scheme?
    A) No, rooms4every1 has never been found guilty of running a sub-standard deposit scheme.

    Q) Were rooms4every1 taken off the university accreditation scheme?
    A) In 2009 rooms4every1 was temporarily suspended from the University’s landlord accreditation scheme, while investigations were made. There were no issues raised by these investigation and rooms4every1 was immediately reinstated.

    Moving in

    Q) Does rooms4every1 take an inventory of the property and provide it to the tenant?
    A) rooms4every1 takes their own inventory including photos of any existing damage as necessary. This is provided to the tenant so they can check the inventory is correct or promptly report anything that is not.

    Q) Are tenants made aware of the properties boundary?
    A) Tenants should make sure they are aware of the properties boundaries when moving into the property. The agent will provide this information if the tenant is not sure.

    Fees and other costs

    Q) Other than the cost of the rent what other bills do I need to plan for?
    A) rooms4every1 will require a letting administration fee and deposit from every tenant. The way the administration fee is charged depends on the type of tenancy, professional or student. Tenants will also need to plan for council tax and utility bills. Some properties may have electricity, water and or gas included in the rent. Tenants may also need to consider the cost of a television licence and other telecommunications bills.

    Q) Is there a standard administration fee, at what point in the tenancy is this fee meant to be paid?
    A) There is a standard administration fee which covers staff time for setting up of tenancy agreement and chasing tenants for associated items at the start and end of a tenancy. For professional lettings this is charged at the start of a tenancy. For student lettings the fee has been historically charged at the end of the tenancy. As this has proved unpopular the charge is now added to the rent and paid throughout the year. This is explained at the start of the tenancy before any agreements are signed.

    Q)Are any properties lets inclusive of ALL bills? ( water, gas, council tax)
    A) rooms4every1 operates a number of different letting agreements. Some are inclusive of bills some are not. Where bills are included this would only usually cover electricity and sometimes water and gas. It wouldn’t normally include council tax or telecommunications. Although some students are exempt from council tax it is the tenants responsibility to register for exemption.

    Q) Do rooms4every1 chase tenants for outstanding bills related to properties?
    A) rooms4every1 passes on a tenant’s details to suppliers if bills are provided after an tenant has moved out. rooms4every1 does not chase tenants directly except in relation to council tax.

    Customer Satisfaction

    Q) Do rooms4every1 receive many complaints?
    A) The vast majority of tenants are very happy with our service and rarely make complaints. We have over 70 properties and have been letting for over 28 years.

    Q) How does rooms4every1 handle disputes over deposits?
    A) rooms4every1 tries to be fair with all tenants. All charges are carefully explained both verbally and in writing before the tenancy agreement is signed. If a prospective tenant isn’t happy with any charges they shouldn’t enter into a tenancy agreement. rooms4every1 has been successfully letting houses to students for 28 years with very few problems.

    Q) I have read some bad publicity about rooms4every1 on the internet, are these comments true?
    A) There are occasional disputes between the agency and tenants with regard to the return of deposits. rooms4every1 will not issue comments on discussions between Tenants and rooms4every1. Disputes are very rare and the majority of our tenants do not receive any deductions from their deposits, due to leaving properties in a substandard state.

    Q) Has rooms4every1 ever authorised a representative to impersonate an tenant on the internet?
    A) rooms4every1 has never authorised anyone to impersonate a tenant to post positive or negative information about the rooms4every1 on the internet.

    Condition of Properties

    Q) Will the property have been cleaned when I move in?
    A) Normally the previous tenant will have cleaned the property before they leave. If this doesn’t happen, Rooms4every1 will organise for a cleaner. If the property was clean when the previous tenant moved in they will be billed for the cleaning. Sometime new tenants are not able to wait for the property to be cleaned before moving in. In these instances previous tenants will be billed for the cleaning although the cleaning won’t take place until the end of the following tenancy. Once a new tenant has moved in it, it is not normally possible to clean due to the tenants belongings being in the way. If the tenant has found a property to be in a poor condition they should immediately document this and inform the agent, to avoid the possibility of future disputes.

    Deposits and deductions

    Q) Will I know what deductions can be made from my deposit?
    A) Any possible deductions are listed in the Deposit Deduction Agreement and are explained to tenants before the agreement is signed. More then 12 months will elapse between the agreement being signed and moving out of the property. We therefore advise tenants to read their letting and deposit agreement at the end of the tenancy so there are no misunderstandings.

    Q) Do rooms4every1 take improvements tenants have made to properties in to account when assessing the deposit return? For example leaving it clean when it was not clean at the start of an tenancy?
    A) The agency does take any improvements made to properties into account when assessing the return of a deposit. Tenants are advised to check with rooms4every1 before making improvements. As changes to a property such as painting a room pink would not be viewed as an improvement. Unauthorised alterations may result in rooms4every1 charging the tenant for restoring the room to it’s original condition.

    Q) What are leap year fees?
    A) In line with most landlords rooms4every1 operates a leap year fee. In a normal year there are 365 days, which is 52 weeks and 1 day: 7 x 52 + 1 = 365. Rent is quoted and charged per week, even if actually paid in 12 calendar monthly instalments. Therefore in a normal year an extra day’s rent still needs to be paid, in a leap year there are two extra days of rent to be paid. This has historically be deducted at the end of a tenancy. As making these charges at the end of the tenancy has proved very unpopular, future tenancies will have the charge for the extra day staggered throughout the year with rent instalments.

    Q) I have read cleaning deductions can be over £100 is this true?
    A) Cleaning deductions will vary according to the size of a house. Large houses may incur a cleaning fees in excess of £100.

    Q) Would tenants be charged for removal of any rubbish?
    A) There are service charges in the tenancy agreement that covers the occasional removal of litter from the property, such as rubbish left after refuse collections and any small items of litter in the front garden. This doesn’t cover excess rubbish left at the end of the tenancy. The property should be left clear of any items which were not there at the start of the tenancy.

    Q) Do rooms4every1 make deposit deductions for removal of rubbish in areas beyond the property’s boundary?
    A) Deductions to deposits will only be made for clearing rubbish inside of the properties boundary.

    Maintenance of the property

    Q) Does the garden need to be maintained?
    A) It is part of the letting agreement that garden’s must be left in the same condition as they were found. This includes keeping lawns and hedges trimmed and flower beds weed free.

    Q) Are fuse boards and gas isolation points made accessible to tenants?
    A) Some propertied to not have fused board accessible to all tenants, due to the fuse board being located within a bed room. rooms4every1 is addressing this issue by moving the fuse boards and installing break glass where the gas supply isolation point is installed.

    Q) Does a land lord have to authorise a visit from an electrician?
    A) The land lord would only need to authorise emergency visits from electricians.

    Q) Are tenants made aware if they will be charged for repairs?
    A) Tenants are made aware of any repairs they will be charged for, this includes anything that is deemed as malicious or accidental damage.

    Q) When are charges for repairs normally made? Are there exceptions to this?
    A) Repairs are charged for when they are made. If damage is not reported to rooms4every1 during the tenancy, charges are made against the deposit.

    Peaceful dwelling

    Q) Do tenants receive warning if a representative is going to enter the property
    A) Tenants receive 24 hours notice if a representative of rooms4every1 is going to enter the property except in an emergency.

    Q) Are contractors provided with keys without the tenants consent?
    A) Contractors are provided with keys to make repairs. If the front door opens into a bedroom the back door will be used for access. Tenants are always informed if contractors are going to visit. Other than legally required annual gas safety checks, it is normally the tenant who has requested this visit

    Q) Are amendments made to properties without the tenants consent during the letting period?
    A) Any amendments to properties are always made with the tenants consent.

    Property features

    Q) Do front doors open into bedrooms on any of the properties? If so is there any plan to change this?
    A) Some propertied have front doors that open into bedrooms. In these instances only the tenant will hold the key to this room and another access point will be used for entry into the property. In the few houses where this is the case we are considering placing a corridor through the room but this does result in a smaller room.

    Leaving the property

    Q) Is any guidance given to tenants on how they should clean or exit a property? When is this guidance given?
    A) A letter is sent out approximately 6 weeks before the end of the tenancy explaining what the tenant needs to do when leaving the property.

    Q) Will an agent give an all clear on the day of inspection?
    A) The purpose of the final inspection is to obtain a report of the properties current condition. Any deductions are proposed once previous condition reports have been consulted. An agent will not provide any information about deductions of deposits while inspecting properties.

    Return of Deposit

    Q) Will rooms4everyone1 tell me how much of my deposit is being returned over the phone?
    A) It is rooms4every1 policy that all information about deposit returns are made in writing. Agents may give general information about deposits over the phone but can not give any verbal assurances as to the actual amount being returned.

    Q) Will my deposit be returned within 10 days?
    A) Your deposit will be returned within 10 days, provided any deductions have been agreed and all utility bills had been presented.

    Q) Would a member of staff being on leave effect the time scale of the deposits return
    A) There are always enough members of our team in the office to ensure deposits are returned within the standard 20 days. Any delay to deposit return would not be due to a resourcing issue.

    Return of rent

    Q) If I move out early will rooms4every1 refund any rent?
    A) Tenants are contracted for a fixed term so rooms4every1 won’t provide refunds if tenants leave early.

    Q) Do tenants normally receive their full deposit back?
    A) The majority of tenants do receive their full deposit back.

  8. Frankie Ward · December 24, 2012

    Hi ‘Jonsgot’

    I am not going to remove your comment, although I consider this spam. I also consider that what you are saying is untrue and irrelevant to my original post – as you have ‘changed’ certain things since I wrote the post.

    As I mentioned in the post – I was not advised of admin fees and was told you did not charge them. I didn’t even get the chance to sign the contract.

    Words cannot express how angry I am that you have the cheek to have posted here – however, I understand that you are concerned because this blog has become a space for people to reveal what you have done to a great deal of your tenants. You should be concerned, and you should feel incredibly guilty.

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