Yesterday we told you that Foxtons charged a landlord £616 to repair a light fitting.
This got us thinking – why do Londoners love to hate Foxtons? Reddit is abuzz with rants about people’s bad experiences of Foxtons.
And our readers told us on Twitter that Foxtons is “a blight on our streets” and that people should “steer clear” of it.
@LondonLovesBiz they’re scum. A blight on our streets.
— Pete Brown (@PeteBrownBeer) June 9, 2015
— Joanne Muhammad (@joannethejenius) June 9, 2015
Take a look at these seven events that show Londoners hate Foxtons:
1. Foxtons’ branch gets “Brixton’s worst estate agents certificate”
In 2013, Foxtons’ Brixton branch had to hire bouncers after a group of protesters handed out a “Brixton’s worst estate agents certificate” to the agent.
Why? Residents feared they were being “being priced out of the area”.
In a separate protest, vandals daubed Foxtons’ windows with slogans such as “Yuppies Out” and “Yuck”.
In April 2015, protestors smashed windows of Foxtons’ Brixton branch as part of a rally against gentrification and rising house prices in London (pictured above).
2. Plans for an Elephant & Castle Foxtons branch slammed by locals
Last week, Foxtons revealed a proposal for turning the Elephant & Castle The Rockingham Armspub at the corner of Newington Causeway and New Kent Road, into an estate agents.
However, locals are up in arms about the move.
Cllr Mark Williams, Southwark’s cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, told community website LondonSE1: “We have a clear vision for the Elephant & Castle, and with TfL we are creating a vibrant new square for London,” said Cllr Williams.
“We want pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes so people spend time here rather than just pass through.
“An estate agents at this location is not part of our plan and we will work with the local community to stop this from happening.”
3. Stoke Newington residents didn’t want them to move in…
In 2014, Stoke Newington residents were furious about a new Foxtons branch opening up on Stoke Newington Church Street.
Local campaigner Nick Perry told Hackney Gazette at the time: “Estate agents are rarely seen as a popular incursion to a high street, especially one as specialist and independent as Stoke Newington Church Street, but Foxtons, with its brash, aggressive approach, and a shop design to match, couldn’t have been less welcome.”
4. Kentish Town residents aren’t big Foxtons fans either…
In April this year, Kentish Town residents ran a campaign to stop Foxtons from converting a closed Victorian pub into an estate agents.
The Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum spokesman Paul Seviour told local paper New Journal: “We think it is unfortunate that an estate agent is taking the premises in Kentish Town, which already has 13 other estate and letting agents.
5. Foxtons branch in West Hampstead? “No thank you” say residents
In September 2014, West Hampstead residents stopped Foxtons from turning a former post office in to a branch.
One resident said at the time: “There cannot conceivably be any demand for yet another estate agent in West End Lane.”
Another said: “There is simply no need and no room for Foxtons – keep them out”.
6. Foxtons’ “unfair fees” banned
From 2008 to 2011, the Office of Fair Trading fought a two-year battle with the upmarket estate agent for penalising landlords with hidden and unfair charges.
Foxtons was charging landlords a fee if they sold their property to a third party and the original tenant continued to occupy the flat. It also charged them if a tenancy was renewed, even if the landlord had found the new tenants themselves or had used another agency.
Now, Foxtons must tell landlords about any commissions it is likely to charge before the contract is sealed.
7. Because there exist Twitter accounts called @hatefoxtons and @AvoidFoxtons
Some people hate Foxtons so much that they’ve made it their mission to dissuade people from using it.
@AvoidFoxtons’ Twitter bio reads: “The advice is simple. Avoid Foxtons estate agents.”