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How Rude! I was slightly annoyed by Archer Basset (our agents) when… - Sally's Journal
March 28th, 2008
12:15 pm

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How Rude!

I was slightly annoyed by Archer Basset (our agents) when they phoned M at 10ish this morning to say "Some tradesmen will be coming round with the landlord after 10 tommorrow". Not "Is it convinient?" or "Will you be in?" and no apology for "I know this is only one days notice and you're supposed to be in London/Worcester".

So I phoned them up, and tried to explain why I thought 24 hours notice and no consultation wasn't acceptable, in a firm and clear but really not particularly angry kind of way. And hit a barrage of "You serf, you should be grateful, because they're coming out on a Saturday which we don't normally do, because it's an urgent thing*, why don't you appreciate our great magnanimity" and when I deigned to say "Well, actually Monday would have been more convenient because we had plans for Saturday and can work from home most week days with enough notice" I got dumped on hold with as little ceramony as someone hanging up on me. How Rude! When he finally deigned to take the nasty angry woman off hold, he said "I've made a note in your file" and was very cagey as to _what_ note he'd made in our file, although when pushed he said he'd noted that we'd been annoyed at only 24 hours notice and that we'd like to be consulted about when we had to deal with tradesmen in our house. I bet he's actually written "rude and cantankerous tenant doesn't appreciate us fixing her house".

Ah well. Apparently the tradesman in question is a general handyman, who will turn up with the landlord, handymen the bits that are amenable to handymenning, and then the landlord will go on to find electricians and plumbers to deal with the stuff that actually need dealing with at some other, as yet unspecified, time.

*Boggle. While I don't want to downplay our woes, I don't think that needing a bolt on a shed and wanting some picture hooks is in the slightest bit urgent. The electrics may well be urgent, but as you will see, they don't come into this in the slightest. And the house hasn't burnt down yet.

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From:emperor
Date:March 28th, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC)
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FAIL

I could always send them a DPA request to see all the notes on our file :-)
From:hsenag
Date:March 28th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
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I tried that with Russells in Cambridge after I left my property and they basically ignored me (they just sent me stuff I already had and ignored my follow-up request explaining they had to give me everything.) I never got round to taking it further, which I regret.
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From:cathedral_life
Date:March 28th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
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At least you might be able to get the LL's contact details (if he/she deigns to give them) and then maybe you won't have to go through the agent...!
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:March 28th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
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*sigh* *hug*
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From:sphyg
Date:March 28th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
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I may have asked this before, but can't the agency lend them a key?
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From:atreic
Date:March 28th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
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Well, in the specific case it's "Put these picture hooks where we want them" and similar things so I'm not sure there's any point the handyman being there when we are not. In the abstract I'm not overwhelmed by the thought of random unsupervised tradesmen in my house, but maybe I'm just being irrational.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:March 28th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
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*rolleyes*

(I wonder what the legal position is? I can't remember if ?my contract specified anything, but with no guarantor or housemates, I assume at most my death would act as an N month notice, and my estate would be liable for the rent of that period. But I don't know if a guarantor would be liable only for the debt that would exist with no guarantor, or for the whole debt regardless. Obviously the letting agent likely has an incentive to ignore what's fair and sue the guarantor at first provocation.)

(Contrariwise, for all we know, the letting agent never knew she died due to a snafu somewhere and did all this automatically.)
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From:teleute
Date:March 28th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
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I'm still boggling that they won't let you put up picture hooks on your own. Even *I* can put up picture hooks!
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:March 28th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
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I'm still boggling that they're letting you put up picture hooks at all. I thought they'd do everything possible (short of, eg. spending any effort) to make you live with what's provided.
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From:atreic
Date:March 28th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
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There is clearly some miscommunication going on. Our list included things like "picture hooks" and "get keys cut" but also "some knobs on the kitchen cupboards that have lost their knobs" and "a bolt on the shed door" and the reply from the landlord via the agents was "he wants to do everything himself". I really really don't think that he wants to go down town and pay 20 UKP for a spare set of keys when we are willing to do it for him. I mean, it's not like carpentry where we might mess up his kitchen. But it's one of those things that would make much more sense if we could talk to him, and he just didn't phone us.
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From:lnr
Date:March 28th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
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I asked our landlord if it were OK to put more picture hooks up and he said that was fine. I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd said no though, lots of landlords are worried about the possible mess it'll make if they're trying to re-let the place later with a ridiculous number of them, and they tend to damage the plaster when you take them back down again.
From:yrieithydd
Date:March 28th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
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[hugs] You don't seem to have much luck with agencies and landlords do you! I appear to be lucky, though perhaps being one of four flats in a building owned by someone who is part of the letting agency helps. The maintainence guy came round to check up on stuff (post-scaffolding) and mend a loo upstairs and as I happenned to be in I had a chat with him and reminded him about the loop on the back wall for my bike and then was able to grab his assistant when I couldn't remove lightbulbs. One of the fittings broke and he mended that the following day and did the hook on Thursday.

The weirdest I've had is being asked whether I want to stay on by text.
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