So....I'm going into third year next year and want to get a nice house in somewhere other than the dreaded Holylands (no offense, Common Grounds)
Can anyone recommend me some estate agents/landlords who I should look towards? I'd ideally like a 4/5 bedroom house close to the town, ie Stranmillis or Lisburn Road area. I'm not from Belfast originally so excuse my lack of local knowledge and/or naivety!
I've personally had bad experiences with the following being absolute twats:
John Lambon (mostly lisburn road)
C H King -this one was especially annoying.
They were realllllly slow to fix problems, but insisted in taking from our deposit for Cleaning despite the fact we cleaned it to a higher standard than we recieved the property in.
On the Other hand.Micky McMahon (M&M) was really good, bit mistrusting at first but once he realised we werent assholes he was a decent guy, got people round to fix any problems that day, at the end of the year was really good and quick with deposits. But I think he's only in the Holylands.
I'm renting a house on the Lisburn from McFarlane And Smyth at the moment and they've been particularly poor. I made out a list of all the repairs that needed doing and it took them four months to respond and, when they did get around to it, they left us without a bathroom for a week. Nice. Still happy to take my money though. One to avoid...
Why don't you take a jaunt up the Lisburn/Stranmillis roads and check the posts in the local newsagent's windows? They usually have a few houses to let at any given time. Tesco and the Co-op on the Lisburn Road have a similar noticeboard you could check too.
Sadly there are no local newsagents in Stranmillis any more...
I'm really pissed off at all centras for driving away the vg and the students who were stupid enough to choose convenience over a cool local business.
I would try to avoid the big corporate landlords at all costs. They want too much from you, it really is not a fun relationship with them.
Try to find an independant landlord through adds and stuff, its much harder and they can also be bad but if you don't wreck the place they usually give you no hassle.
1. tenants are legally entitled to have their landlord's name, address and telephone number included in a rent book, which you are also legally entitled to. failure by a landlord or agent to furnish this is a criminal offence, contact your local council to report it. demand the information, because...
2. landlords are responsible for repairs. reporting it to the agent can often be pointless. the agent is paid by the landlord, they aren't going to harrass the landlord because they really feel strongly about your repair rights, why should they?
3. serious disrepair or problems prejudicial to health should be investigated by environmental health officers, again, contact your local council. they will inspect and report on the property and order the landlord to carry out required repairs. if you don't have a contract with the landlord this could result in you getting 28 days notice to quit, if the landlord doesn't take kindly to being ordered to do repairs.
4. as of april 1st all new tenancies in northern ireland will be statutorily set at six months unless a contract is created that states otherwise.
5. don't withhold rent in lieu of repairs, it just puts you in breach of contract, can lead to eviction, and the landlord can then pursue you for the full contractual value. instead, keep everything in writing. address letters to the landlord c/o the agent if you don't have landlord's address (see point number 1).
demand the repairs be done in a reasonable time from the date of writing, in accordance with the tenancy agreement and the landlord's statutory obligations. state that if they are not done to completion within say, four weeks, you will take it as an indication that the landlord is in breach of contract and is therefore happy to terminate the agreement.
repeat this step a few times before actually leaving, so that if it comes to court you are well covered. take photos of a property before you leave. all too often people up and leave a bad place, only to find their landlord then sues them for the rest of the contracted rent after they've gone.
we have had the best experiences with private landlords. it is also generally easier to move if it does go tits up, as we have usually not had a contract, so you can just give a month's notice to quit. We had the absolute worst experience with *edited* on the Lisburn Road: leaky roof, no curtains, dodgy plumbing etc etc. They were less than willing to do anything about it, so we basically followed all the steps bernard just mentioned above, complaining on the phone several times a week as well. Eventually we had made cuch a nuisance of ourselves they just et us give notice after being in the house for about 3 months. Moral of the story is, don't gve up! If there are repairs that need doing, (politely) hound and hassle the appropriate person until the job is completed.
* edited for the sake of politeness. I only named names in the first place because we have copies of correspondence between us and the agent, and various other parties. Didn't think there would be a problem libel wise as it is, er, true.
[quote:6ef2ac9996="thefatson"]Sadly there are no local newsagents in Stranmillis any more...
I'm really pissed off at all centras for driving away the vg and the students who were stupid enough to choose convenience over a cool local business.[/quote:6ef2ac9996]
There's the newsagents up at Lockview, beside the fruit shop and the Winemark. That's about it though.
We used Piney Estate Agents in Stranmillis for our house. When water taps in our bathroom broke they had plumbers out the next day. However they haven't even made one inspection of the house since we started renting and I don't know whether this is a good thing.
I have had a very bad experience with a *edit* belfast estate agent, gold related :D *edit* . They were used as a letting agent for a private landlord and were less than helpful when we had issues with the property we were renting. They seemed to go out of their way to prevent us from being reimbursed the rent they owed us. Despite the flat being untenable for 2 months, they refused to reimburse the rent. After winning in the small claims court, we still haven't seen one penny of our money. The system seems very unfairly skewed in favour of the landlords/letting agents.
Needless to say, caution is the key when renting. Take pictures when you move in and out, so they can't blame you for damage and take your deposit.
i'd avoid *cough* on the Lisburn Rd too, last year we had nothing but trouble with them. someone came out to test our fire extinguishers and stole them all, then the guy who came out to fix the roof (about six months after the leak started) took the broken tiles off and neglected to put new ones back in their place. truly breathtaking incompetence.
I was thinking it might be a contentious area to get into. However, for me, we did take the issue to small claims and win. It may be more prudent to ask somewhere like the accomodation office at queens for landlords/letting agents to be weary of. I believe they blacklist certain landlords from lists available on their site. They did when I was there anyway.
Yes but OBVIOUSLY, no-one on this thread has been claiming that any particular named letting agency is actually literally staffed by 6 foot tall female genitalia, sitting at desks typing into flat-screen PCs,
as this would be quite anatomically unfeasible.
[quote:f1be6493dd="Shanghai 5"]also, probably best taking the actual names out of the posts if it leaves Roger/fastfude in any legal bother.[/quote:f1be6493dd]
Look you spineless fules,
time and time again on Fastfude, such as with the Bacardi Best of Belfarce hallyonfest, those Special Reps from Sony Records, the NIMIC "We will sue our members if they do not vote us into power" fiascoism and Pay to Play competitions, or indeed Laura Anne's intimiate questionaires about people underwear etc etc, it has been demonstrated that consumer power is king and valid criticism of dubious business practises has not resulted in Fastfude being shut down, but rather in these unscrupulous would-be moguls slinking off with their tails beneathe their legs, realising that they can no longer get away with this kind of crap in the 21st century online werld.
Look you loon, it's just like when in Derek & Clive get the horn, Peter Cook is expounding on how Lord Longford gives him the horn, and how it wasn't libellous, cos he frankly did. So There.
THE WORST JOB I EVER HAD:
[i:0686388b72]"Not so much brought it on herself, but enouraged them..."[/i:0686388b72]
look, this isn't complicated. if you can prove something on balance of probability then you can say it. if i were to suggest that you, for example, are a devious miscreant who steals from his granny to fund his kiddie porn collection, you'd be thankful for the tort of defamation, no? or, at least, hopeful that i didn't find any proof.
The point is that while it's not likely, if it happened it could be very unpleasant for the owner. Expensive.
Hardly worth it, if you want to talk about a bad experience with a named landlord, go to the Stephen Nolan Show.
You can't libel a guitar (I can't believe I just wrote that).
You can libel a businessman.
But y'all's very suggestion that certain posters are being libellous (ie LYING) could and very likely IS in itself libellous.
These posters could, in a very real and legally binding way, take umbrage at your public defamation of their integrity on this board, and decide to sue both you, Roger Herberts and indeed THE ENTIRE INTERWEB for redress.
Don't you realise the entire Interweb could thus have to be shut down, with incalculable consequences for humankind? The resulting p0rn shortage, for instance, could lead to testicular explosions across America.
Surely you can call anyone an idiot, dick, c[b:b0f9ba9d7a]u[/b:b0f9ba9d7a]nt, wanker in print? That is just opinion.
However, call them a liar, without proof, and that's libel.
I'm pretty sure that's US law anyhow - it's how Penn and Teller get away with calling people out on Bullsh[b:b0f9ba9d7a]i[/b:b0f9ba9d7a]t! - they can't claim the people they interview are lying, but they can say that what they are claiming is Bulls[b:b0f9ba9d7a]h[/b:b0f9ba9d7a]it. Which, apparently, isn't actionable.
you can make 'fair comment', so if i were to say, i think that you're an idiotdickcunt because you have done xyz, that's expressing an opinion, and provided it's reasonable and honest, it's a fair comment. but simply saying 'ron is an idiotdickcunt' and leaving it at that is not defensible, it's just an attack on your character, good name, etc, and that's exactly what the tort is all about...
it's all contextual, there's no hard and fast law, which is why it is a civil tort that has primarily developed through caselaw over the years, as opposed to a fixed statutory offence. needs to be flexible.
'in the public interest' is another defence to defamation, while i'm on the podium.
Apologies for bringing this topic back up, but does anyone know of any organisation I can contact in reference to a certain lisburn road based female private landlady being beyond unreasonable?
Particularly in regard to them showing the house to prospective tenants without warning, refusing to show you your contract (having conveniently nabbed your copy to photocopy it), replacing carpets at your expense even though they're completely fine and how long they can keep the deposit.
This is of course after they left you without central heating for 5 months in winter (blaming the resulting damp problem on 'not opening the windows enough' when its snowing outside and you have no heating).
Thought I would just use this thread even though its quite old. I was wondering what the going rate is for student houses because I've been looking around and houses for students seem to be a lot more expensive than normal ones.
[quote:3f3ffbd921="nameunkn0wn"]Thought I would just use this thread even though its quite old. I was wondering what the going rate is for student houses because I've been looking around and houses for students seem to be a lot more expensive than normal ones.[/quote:3f3ffbd921]
Maybe because student houses are going to be right in the more expensive areas of BT9/BT7...
That is precisley right. You pay for living on the lisburn road i'm afraid. Sometimes you can find the odd bargain but not very often. My agent Ron Chandler is really good, (best I've had out of many, many money-grabbing c*ntrags) I love my quirky wee flat and the repairs have been swift and proper. He even encourages me to keep in touch more :)
He doesn't have a website but if you ring him and ask him about his other properties..
You can google him or PM me.