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News: Tenant tells BBC that agency changed locks and removed goods

Mon, 03 Jun 19

Controversial London lettings agency Flintons has again been named by a BBC TV programme for allegedly unreasonable behaviour in relation to tenants.

Last year the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme featured renters who claimed Flintons had failed to return money paid to guarantee a viewing; the customers allegedly believed the payment was refundable.

The agency completely denied any wrongdoing on that occasion but now it has been named a second time, in a show on the eve of the Tenant Fees Act coming into effect.

The agency has now been accused of illegally evicting tenants and taking their belongings - again the agency “strongly denies” the accusations.

The Victoria Derbyshire programme on Friday reported that three tenants said they arrived home to find locks had been changed and rooms emptied.

Some said their possessions had not yet been returned. Others said their belongings were given back in bin bags, left on the street outside the agency.

The programme and a report on BBC News Online cites Julius Agyei who says he rented a room through Flintons in a shared flat in east London last year.

Following an apparent dispute over late rent, he arrived home in December of last year to find the key to his room would not work; when a locksmith eventually let him in, his room was empty.

"Everything was gone…They'd taken literally all my clothes, my towels, my passport, they even took my bed sheets around my bed” he tells the BBC.

The programme says Flintons disputes that Agyei was locked out of his room or that his possessions were removed and says he told them in a phone call, two days before, that he had already moved out and a later inspection found the room apparently abandoned.

Agyei strongly denies that. He says he is planning to take legal action to make the agency return his belongings or pay compensation. Flintons says it will "vigorously defend" any legal claim.

On Friday morning Letting Agent Today asked Flintons for any additional comment it wished to add to those included in the BBC Online story; there has been no response from the agency.


 

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