Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Finding our New Home

To continue the story, knowing that I had money for the deposit coming through and that we had to find somewhere to live we contacted the local estate agents and started looking at properties for in what we thought was our price range. The properties were all three-bedroom semis or end of terrace properties.

I say 'we' but in truth my partner Charmaine did all this as I was at work during the day. She some some that looked liek they were decorated by someone who was colour-blind, some that needed to be re-built and some that were just odd. In the end we actually found the place we want when we viewed together. It was in the week between Christmas and New Year and we knew as soon as we walked in that it was perfect.

To cut a long story short we negotiated a price and agreed that the lady living move out by mid February. She had her own reasons for wanting to move quick.

All I had to do now was arrange a mortgage - ha ha, not as easy as it sounds.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Stop Press Latest News

Sorry to break from the order of events of the other postings but the latest news is that I have finally received a cheque from Mountfords' solicitors for the agreed sum of £507.50.

I have won. I just hope the cheque clears.

I will continue to relay my story through this blog as I still wish to assist anyone else who finds themselves in a similar position.

Monday, 28 July 2008

The first 3 Years and the death of my mother

Given that the main purpose of this blog is to focus on the events at the end of the tenancy I'll only briefly touch on events that took place while we were living in the house.

To begin with this went well. The landlord fixed the pane of glass in the porch door, and even put in off-street parking for us at the front. She did not however fix the broken lock on the patio door or fix the peeling paint on the living room ceiling.

I bought some gardening tools and a lawnmower, and eventually a new garden shed to keep it all in, and tried to fight against the brambles, weeds and ant's nests in the garden.

We re-decorated, and with agreement put up some shelves. The rent got raised from time to time as well.

By late 2006 we had slowly out-grown the house and my partner made it clear she wanted a larger kitchen; the kitchen being very small. However we decided not to move in February 2007 due to the fact that my mother was quite frail and I'd spent a lot of the previous year driving up and down the M6 / M74 to Glasgow. In November 2006 my mother had an accident at home and was taken into hospital. She never returned home. We had her moved to a nursing home that she wanted to move to, near my cousins' home in Glasgow's east end and set about to sell her flat as a means of paying for her care.

My mother died at the nursing home on 11th June 2007. At this point in time we had agreed a sale and I didn't want it to fall through so I arranged for the solicitors to inform the purchasers that I fully intended to honour my mother's agreement.

At this point there was a delay as it turned out that my mother had never taken my father's name off the lease on the flat, indeed the phone bills were still in his name. My father had died in 1988. This meant that there was a delay in sale as we have to go through Probate to prove that as my mother's sole heir and in accordance with her will I was entitled to sell the flat. The flat was subsequently sold and became the main element of my mother's estate. I eventually received the funds from the estate around Christmas 2007.

By then our landlord had notified us that she intended to sell the house and was not going to renew our lease in February. This actually suited us fine as it meant we could look to buy somewhere using the money released from my mother's estate as a deposit and my income to receive a mortgage. I didn't have the funds yet but I knew they were coming.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Moving In

It's February 2004 and myself, my partner and step-son are moving into our new home in Chessington.

I pay the agents, Mountfords, the sum of £1,180 as deposit. This equates to a month and a half's rent.

The inventory clerk comes round before we move in and reads the utility meters and prepares a report on the state of property. Generally it's not in too bad a state although a pane of glass in the front porch door is cracked, probably due to the door being caught in the wind rather than any deliberate damage, the back room has some peeling paint on the ceiling. The garden is overgrown and full of weeds, but it is February so it's never going to be great.

The patio door lock is broken. It broke while we were viewing the property when I tried to open the door - I was pushing it with one finger at the time. The breakage is reported on the inventory.

We were moving because the landlord of our previous home in Tolworth had decided to sell. I had lived there since 1996 after moving in with my (now) ex and three children. They now live in nearby Surbiton, in a house also let through Mountfords, strangely enough.

Our previous landlords agents, Lords, arrange for the return of the deposit as we leave.

None of have lived in Chessington before and are looking forward to it. My stepson's school is in Tolworth and we're hoping to not have to change schools as he's had enough disturbance in his short life. My partner and I have been together for about 8 months at this point so moving into a new home together is a big step for us both.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


I've started this blog as a means of publicising the business methods used by Mountford, an 'Estate Agency' in Surbiton, Surrey, which mostly seem to revolve around ensuring that tenants lose their deposits at the end of their tenancies. I would also like to hear from anyone else who has suffered the same kind of treatment with a view to creating enough of a stink that either they stop or their business suffers and eventually they close down. It would be no loss to anyone.

I'm going to post this as if it were happening now in order to establish some kind of accurate timeline of events but just so you know right from the start the current position regarding my own deposit is that I have gone through the small claims court mediation procedure, received an order partially in my favour although not the full amount I was claiming, and still Mountfords solicitors, Hubbarb, Pegman & Whitney are refusing to hand over the money.

Mountfords have held £1,180 of my money on deposit since 2004 and the court mediaitor has ordered that I receive the sum of £507.50 with the remainder going to my former landlord minus a small amount for the costs of the check out report. This report as you will see plays a key role in Mountfords methods and its bias is used to rip off tenants.