I was disappointed with the state of the property upon moving in and even more disappointed with Linley and Simpson's lack of involvement so far to date.
Upon entering the property, I was struck by the strong smell of cigarettes which took several days of cleaning before it began to dissipate. There was also nicotine staining to the light cable and curtain rail in the main bedroom, which was not detailed on the inventory. Emperors Wharf is a strictly no smoking building. The tenancy agreement also states that the smell of cigarette smoke and nicotine stains are not considered fair wear and tear. I had to clean the curtain rail myself, when this should have been done prior to my moving in.
The bathroom was also unsatisfactory. The shower rail was off the wall and nobody had cleaned the bath and shower. It took a long time to clean away the build-up of soap scum and fungus from the bathroom tiles. This should not have been my job.
There were several other maintenance issues which had not been recorded on the inventory or dealt with before my arrival. The washing machine door did not fit and caused a leak. I was disgusted with the member of staff who I spoke to regarding this, who put the phone down on me when I requested to be put in touch with a plumber (who never turned up to my flat anyway).
There was no hot water for several days because the immersion heater had been removed. It took three plumbers to find this out. It took less than a few hours for a new heater to be fitted, no effort at all. This should have been done prior to my arrival but instead wasted my time and caused me unnecessary hassle. Other problems included kitchen light fittings and cupboards.
I do not have access to my car parking space. The space for number 34 is only accessible from the ¢â‚¬ËœB' car park. The key fob provided (the only key fob in Linley and Simpson's possession) is for access to the ¢â‚¬ËœA' car park. Effectively, I am dependent upon several other residents not using their car parking spaces to enable access to mine. This is simply not good enough. After much discussion with Linley and Simpson, I was told that the landlord and all other previous tenants had not made use of the parking space, so nobody had flagged up the issue of access. I was shocked with the reaction of one member of staff at Linley and Simpson whose response to this problem was: ¢â‚¬ËœDo you need your car?' I find the general lack of willingness to help tenants completely unsatisfactory. This is bad customer service. I was told that key had been ordered and would take a week to arrive. It has now been over a fortnight since the key was ordered, so I still do not have full access to my car parking space.
I also did not appreciate having to stay in my flat all day waiting for repairs. I was told by Linley and Simpson more than once that people would be turning up on a certain day, only for them not to turn up thus wasting my time when I had arranged to stay at home that day. This isn't good enough. Linley and Simpson have been generally quite disorganised, perhaps with the exception of a member of staff named Julie. Having to speak to several different members of staff about the same issue has been problematic: nobody had bothered to take note of the fact that I didn't have hot water, so it took longer than necessary to amend this. I have also spoken to staff who have claimed that no record of repairs to the flat have been made on their system, so they have been unable to follow up problems or get in touch with repair men, simply because someone neglected to make a proper record of these facts.
These problems should have been picked up by whoever carried out the inventory before my arrival. The stressful process of moving house was certainly not eased by Linley and Simpson, who made a tense period more stressful than it need have been. The attitude of various staff members did not help matters. I have had to put up with the mistakes that Linley and Simpson have made, and am effectively paying for it. I am paying £625 a month (plus nearly £2000 just to move in) for services such as hot water and car parking which have not been provided. I will be writing a formal letter of complaint requesting some form of compensation in the form of a rent reduction for the forthcoming month.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Linley and Simpson have provided an inadequate level of service at almost every juncture. They did not fulfil their obligations in the first instance, prior to my moving in, so I have had to put up with their mistakes. If the staff (apart from Julie) had been more understanding and willing to go out of their way and fulfil their responsibilities as letting agents, I would have been happier. Instead, they are doing their tenants a disservice. Emperors Wharf is a lovely building and the flat is perfect for a single working person living in the centre of York. But it is a shame that Linley and Simpson, the property management company, and Mrs Forbes the landlord do not take a greater interest in the state of their properties and the satisfaction of their customers. I will certainly not be dealing with this company again.