Aug 16,2011
Aug 16,2011
9 people found
this helpful
In every way, right from the beginning, Ballards was terrible when it came to being a tenant in a rental property. When we initially went to view properties, we were treated in a way that made it clear the agent thought we were wasting his time, despite making it clear from the beginning that we had to choose something/anything that same day with available cash for up to 3 months rent.

When we had chosen a property to rent, the staff in the office lacked the knowledge and experience on what to do. They did not know where lease contracts were located in their office, did not know where to sign, had to constantly go back and forth checking whether this form or that form was needed, etc. Overall, it was incredibly unprofessional.

Once we moved into the property, the interactions with Ballards did not improve. We immediately reported a small list of significant considerations within the property that either needed addressing or simply documenting. We were informed to wait until we received the inventory report and document it there. We wound up not receiving the inventory report for 2 months despite multiple calls and emails to Ballards. When we did receive the inventory report it was back-dated as if it were delivered within the first week of our tenancy. We would not accept the dates on the documents and after standing our ground they updated the documents to contain the appropriate dates in which we received the inventory report. By then, the problems we initially reported were 2 months past, to which Ballards argued why we didn't report it sooner. It was a back and forth argument which we were able to prove our side with telephone records and emails. Ridiculous.

A few months later the cold water tap in the bathroom broke beyond repair due to age, requiring full replacement. In addition, mold/damp had begun to grow from behind 2 walls. We reported both issues to Ballards immediately in writing. Fast forward 5 months, dozens of phone calls, dozens of emails, 5 or 6 in-person visits to their office, and the tap was still not fixed and the mold/damp was still an issue (we continued to clean it on the surface but it continued to grow from behind the walls). Only after a very stern face-to-face conversation and threatening to withhold future rent payments and reclaim past rent for negligence was any action taken. Even so, it took a further month for everything to be resolved, despite the agent promising it would all be taken care of in 1 business week.

We are a patient and understanding couple who take care of any property we rent as it were our own, doing maintenance work where possible to our own expense. Had Ballards been more professional and taken care of issues when reported, we very well could have resided in the property for years. We obviously did not and when it came time to moving out, the charges attempted to be claimed were ridiculous: they wanted to charge us for the mold/damp damage to the walls, carpet, and curtains. In the end our extensive documentation of phone calls, emails, written reports, and in-person visits to their office held ground that we had done everything we could to report and take care of the issue and that their negligence was the issue at hand.

Now every time I see a Ballards sign next to a property I cringe, hoping and praying whomever is doing business with them is getting far better service than we received. I should note that the overall time frame of our tenancy was 2 years, so this was not an issue with just one or two specific people at Ballards--it was the entirety of their staff, including new ones that started their employment with Ballards during the course of our tenancy. Obviously they have an inherent culture of treating rental tenants unprofessionally and without any consideration or respect. As we are now in the market for buying a house, out of moral and ethical principle I wouldn't buy a house through Ballards even if it were my dream home.
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20 Hart Street Henley on Thames

01491 411055

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