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> Club Easy Student, Anyone rented a house from them?
mooooooooooopo
post Feb 19 2006, 11:29 AM
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This is probably about the 6th thread I've ever made but it seemed like a good idea.

So these guys provide student accomodation in various areas of the UK: http://www.clubeasystudent.co.uk/

I was wondering if anyone had any previous experience with them or is my experience a one off.

So...Originally I was renting a house (in Loughborough for the record) from some other landlord whose name I forget, they generally ignored emails, refused to fix stuff and were completely useless. Then they sold our house to Club Easy.

You'd think it would be an improvement but no, it just got worse. Here's what happened so far:

- They send a plumber around to (supposedly) check if our boiler is in good condition. Coincidentally this is the day all of our radiators end up full of air.
- Upon us complaining they generally contradict themselves and claim that it was in that condition when they brought the house and therefore it is not their problem and they are not contractually obliged to fix it. Yeah, so much for their solicitors letter stating that the terms of the contract did not change when they purchased the house.
- We find out they want us to move to another house so they can refurbish this one. That would be fine if it wasn't the middle of the exams, the new house is ridiculously far away and there's been no problem with this house prior to them taking over.
- Their maintenance guy comes over a few times, stuff gets fixed for about half an hour then mysteriously breaks half an hour before he leaves.
- Their staff members repeatedly lie through their teeth and contradict themselves. We have pretty conclusive proof of this.

And last but not least, they sent another plumber over "to independantly verify that the system is completely broken". Great, except that he's still working for them and he completely broke our boiler yesterday. No heating (save for electric heaters), no hot water.

They've offered another house that we can move to just down the road but it won't be finished for several weeks.

What it appears they're trying to do is force us out so they can renovate this house in time for next years students. That would be fine if the house was in a really bad state when they brought it or nobody was living here but that's not the case, they've actively damaged the heating and plumbing to force us out so they can redecorate in order to rent the house out sooner for their own selfishness and capitalism.

I'm going around tomorrow to generally complain at them again, wave the contract in front of their faces and show where they've violated it and demand my rent back for the whole period for that this has been going on for.

I probably won't get anything though, they're ridiculously slimy like that, so what's one to do.

Ideas, advice and previous experiences with them would be appreciated. For everyone else...don't touch them.


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Mata
post Feb 19 2006, 01:38 PM
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I would be very surprised if you got any money back from them without threatening legal action.

While at uni I moved into a new flat, just converted from offices. There was a funny smell in there but we couldn't work out where it was coming from until the electricity went off and the key meter wouldn't work any more. This was a serious problem because all the heating and water ran off the key meter. I phoned up the agency and they swore blind that it was the respobsibility of the electricity company to fix it. The elec company sent a man around who found the problem very quickly: the key meter had been shoddily installed and was short-circuiting itself. It had melted through a centimeter-wide mains cable and, in the words of the engineer, we were very lucky that the flat hadn't burnt down. Given that the key meter was in the hall and by the only exit from the flat, this was a mortal danger. The letting agency were the ones who had installed the meter and potentially killed their tenants and the meter was entirely their responsibility.

I sent a letter complaining about this massive breach of health and safety along with that month's rent. I didn't get a response but they also didn't cash the cheque. I was prepared to accept that this might be their mode of apology and decided to let it stay at that. When leaving the flat, over a year later, I asked for my one-month deposit back: 'our records show that you didn't pay a month's rent so we are holding onto your deposit and we now require an additional payment for cleaning'. Suffice to say, they had no record of the engineer, my letter, or the potential health risk, and I had been given no paperwork to confirm the events. I didn't give them any money for the cleaning either, because I would like to have seen them try to take me to court, but this just demonstrates how tight letting agents are.

Never withhold rent: you don't have a legal leg to stand on; however, if they have seriously broken the terms of the contract and you can prove this then legal action against them should be quite easy.


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froggle-rock
post Feb 19 2006, 05:16 PM
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Might be worth speaking to you local Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Keep a record (date, time, who spoke to, what was said) of any contact you have with them in a note book or summit. All phone calls to and from them, all emails, mail correspondance.

Ask for their complaints procedure. Follow it. Give them a certain amount of time to get back to you. Either CC a copy of your complaint to the ombudsman that cover your situation (Google came up with lots of results for "ombudsman landloard tenant"), if within x weeks of sending off the complaint you havn't gotten a satisfactory response, send a letter to the ombudsman about your situation, detailing everything and CC it to your current landloards.

As for how to stop them playing dirty for the time being, I'm not too sure. But I guess, asking the engineers and workmen and that that come round questions about why they are doing stuff should be a good way to record what they are doing.

Check your tenanacy for how long you can go without hotwater for before you (maybe) can get a form of reienbursement for the inconviance.

Get hold of a copy of the tenancy, the one that you guys signed upto, a copy that is the new one, and find out how exactly the other company sold the properties, coz I'm sure they couldn't of chaned the tenancy agreement (your old landloards) without written notification (did you ever get that?) And the new Landloards shoulda notifyed you to any changes in your tenancy.

Just check the tenency you have, if you havent been made to sign up a new one when the new Landloards took over, then I don't see how anything can change. I dunno. it's all in the small print I guess.

And, I think you might have to make them aware if you recored the conversations you have with them on the phone on a dictaphone... summit like that. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure of what I've said.

From other friends of mie's experiance, some land loards with just try and play dirty/ scare monger thingking it will get people out of their hair. Don't put up with it, or they will just keep doing it, and to other people. But they seem to be messing you about so stand your ground, know your shizzle and put it back them wink.gif


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mooooooooooopo
post Feb 19 2006, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE (funked)out_frog @ Feb 19 2006, 06:16 PM)
Get hold of a copy of the tenancy, the one that you guys signed upto, a copy that is the new one, and find out how exactly the other company sold the properties, coz I'm sure they couldn't of chaned the tenancy agreement (your old landloards) without written notification (did you ever get that?) And the new Landloards shoulda notifyed you to any changes in your tenancy. 
*


Yeah, we have a solicitors letter saying there's no change to the contract. I plan to throw it in their face if they try the "It's not our fault, the problem was caused by the previous landlord" excuse again.


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I am Candice's asw emo e-husband, real life actual husband and all around awesome person, Funked)Out_Frogg's e-paramour. Snugglebum's harem slave. Candice and gothictheysay are my e-pimps.
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froggle-rock
post Feb 19 2006, 05:24 PM
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Do, dude. Just, I think don't let it just go back and forth between you guys and the landloards, The longer it goes on without being sorted out properly, the longer you might go without hotwater, and all that.


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A society that takes itself too seriously risks bottling up its tensions and treating every example of irreverence as a threat to its existence. Humour is one of the great solvents of democracy. It permits the ambiguities and contradictions of public life to be articulated in non-violent forms. It promotes diversity. It enables a multitude of discontents to be expressed in a myriad of spontaneous ways. It is an elixir of constitutional health. J. Sachs in Laugh It Off Promotions CC v SAB International (Finance) BV t/a SabMark International (Freedom of Expression Institute as Amicus Curiae) 2006 (1) SA 144 (CC)
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