Brighton students fight back against letting agency G4Lets
G4Lets took their £2000 deposit and gave them a mouse-infested house
A group of students, who were provided with appalling living conditions by the letting agency G4Lets, have begun a fight to get compensation for their tenancy in a dilapidated and mouse-infested house.
G4Lets are yet to pay back the students' £2000 deposit out of their original £5000 deposit, which they are fighting to reclaim with the help of Brighton Solfed – a local union who have aided them in staging protests outside the G4Lets agency in Seven Dials.
According to Solfed, their action has been "met warmly by members of the public, many of whom offered their support and told us of their own issues losing money from their deposit because of the unscrupulous tactics of landlords and lettings agencies."
One of the previous tenants states they "hope to receive some compensation. However, if we don't I think we just want the agency to know how terrible it was for us."
"I moved out in February because I couldn't cope with the house. I'd get back after a week of being away and there would be mouse droppings on my sheets."
The tenants trusted Solfed with the case after the organisation achieved a number of victories over the past few months, including a case where a group of tenants were compensated £3900 after living in similarly dire conditions.
Solfed wrote to G4Lets in early November explaining the issues the tenants had faced and the options they could pursue. G4Lets responded saying they would not be discussing the matter with them. Solfed replied with a week deadline for a resolution which was not met, which prompted the public action.
Solfed claim that it's clear that "It’s clear that G4Lets don’t take responsibility for managing the wider and external factors that decrease a house’s living conditions that are out of our control, and are happy to lay the blame on their tenants."
During their tenancy, the housemates received similarly dull responses from G4Lets. One tenant recalls a time when "they emailed everyone in the house and asked us not to email them at all. They chose one housemate and said that only she could write to them. The told us we were being rude by complaining about the conditions."
Other fees they hope to reclaim include a cleaning bill for the carpet, which was subsequently replaced. The tenants believe the cleaning money was used for the replacement.
"We have a huge evidence pack which we curated throughout the time we lived there including an inventory we made ourselves in the first few days, as we didn't feel that the inventory that was supplied was true to how the house really looked."
As of yet, G4Lets have refused to make an offer, "insisting that they will not deal with SolFed and that the tenants should pursue their grievance through alternative channels."
We have approached G4Lets for a comment.
Featured image courtesy of Brighton SolFed