Jan 24 2013 by Gary Fanning, Hamilton Advertiser
A grieving daughter has blasted a Hamiltonletting agency for asking her to leave her rented house – two hours before her mum’s funeral.
Jennifer Elrick claimed staff at Happy Lets in Cadzow Street told her that she had to be out of herTorhead Farm property at 10am onthe day her mum Rosalind, 49,was cremated.
The 23-year-old said the tenancy agreement for the £150,000 property in Virginia Grove ended on the same day as the funeral.
Rosalind, a well-known fitnessinstructor in Hamilton, diedsuddenly on Christmas Eve.
About 100 mourners attended her funeral at Daldowie Crematorium at noon on Monday, January 7.
The letting agency originally wanted to carry out an end-of-tenancy inspection at 10am. But they agreed, under the circumstances, to put it off until the afternoon. Even so, just hours after the funeral, Jennifer who was still dressed in black, had to pack her bags as Happy Lets were waiting to carry out the inspection.
She said: “They showed no compassion. This was the one day that should have been about my mum. Instead, I was worrying about trying to get my stuff out of the house. It was horrible.
“The way they handled it was disgusting. As my family were leaving for the funeral, the staff told me that I had to be out by a certain time.”
Jennifer, who has a three-year-old daughter Brooke, said the letting agency knew about her mum’s funeral.
“I couldn’t attend my mum’s purvy at the Castle Rooms in Uddingston because I had to clear out the house.”
Rosalind, who had her own fitness studio inBothwell Road before it closed in 2010 because of the economic downturn, had only been admitted to Wishaw General a few days before she passed away. She had pneumonia.
Jennifer has moved back into with her dad Roy at the family home in Hamilton’s Portland Park. She is due to take up a new rented lease property.
She said: “My mum was far too young to die. It came as a massive shock.
“We didn’t find out when the funeral would take place until the Wednesday before.
“I am a 23-year-old woman trying to struggle with the sudden death of a parent.
“I had a breakdown on the Sunday the night before the funeral. That’s when it began to sink in what happened to my mum. Ending a let was the last thing on my mind.
Jennifer’s dad was married to Roslaind for 30 years.
He said of the lettingagency: “It’s disrespectful what they did. It was a big day for my family to get through.
“It is distasteful to be told to get out of your flat on the day of your mum’s funeral. Lesley Ann Barclay, managerof the Happy Lets, insisted the agency did everything they could to accommodate Jennifer.
She said: “They were offered an extension by the landlord for one month but that was refused.
“We asked if they would be able to do the check out on the Monday and if they would be 100 per centavailable by 4pm.
“Jennifer’s boyfriend said that wasn’t a problem. Legally, we have doneeverything right.
“We even allowed her to keep hold of the keysbecause of the situation.
“I don’t know what else we could have done for them.
“Our staff checked with Jennifer’s boyfriend that it would be OK to checkout on the Friday before the funeral and he had agreedto do it then.
“We were later told that they couldn’t manage and that everything would be fine for Monday.
“After this we have been dealing with Miss Elrick about the return of her deposit and the fact that some deductions would be getting made from the deposit because there was a carpet with a burn mark, other carpets which were left dirty, cooker and pots and pans left dirty and a kitchen drawer broken. I suspect that Miss Elrick was perhaps unhappy about this and this is perhaps why she has come to the newspaper.”
“Our staff asked several times if they were sure they wanted to do the inspection on Monday as it was the day of Jennifer’s mum funeral and we were told that was OK.”
Jennifer was offered a new month-long lease to give her extra time but declined.
But she claimed she had paid extra rent that included staying in the house on Monday anyway.
She added: “The monthly rent was £695 per month and we had paid £740 to cover Monday.
“They didn’t give us any extra time. They wanted us to check out at 10am on the day of my mum’s funeral and I think that is outrageous.
“I called the landlord at 11am because I didn’t want to deal with the letting agency any more. The inspection finished at 4.30pm while I was still in my funeral clothes.
“The manger said we could have put the keys through the letting agency’s door and they would have got them the following morning.” Jennifer said she never missed a rent payment and waitintg on her £800 deposit being returned. “I don’t understand why they were asking me to sign another one month’s agreement when all I needed was one day,” she added.
“They contradicted themselves by offering me the keys for an extra night after the property had already been cleared.”