Feb 26,2015
By: 'Very stressed prospective tenant'
Feb 26,2015
1 people found
this helpful
Do NOT trust this agency or the fact that the holding deposit secures anything form them. Also do not expect any prompt or accurate communications from them, or at all in our experience.

Myself and my partner, two working professionals, put down a holding deposit on the flat (for just us two), after being the first to view (the Thurs) and were told that the flat would not be further marketed and all viewings on it cancelled from the receipt of the holding deposit, we even had this in writing on the confirmation of offer letter. However the company the next day (the Fri) sent out an email listing this property, to which I called to ask what was going on. Spoke to manager, who told me it was just to build a waiting list to view incase of a failure of offer and that our particular estate agent we were dealing with was not in that day so they would be contacting the landlord on the Monday when he was back.

On the Saturday we called into the office to confirm all of these details and to ask why our offer had not been sent yet, the answer was that the manager of the office is the one who was dealing with the client contact and that they would be in on the Monday. The Monday came and no contact was made by the estate agents. So I chased again and was told that here was a problem and the landlord is withdrawing the property and we would get our deposit back. After continuing the conversation for a while longer the estate agent told me that our offer was too low for them to even offer it to the landlord, to which I questioned if that was the case why did they not tell me straight away and I would have raised it. Once I'd said this the estate agent told me they would get back to me in an hour or two after talking this through with the landlord.

Three hours past and still no contact, so I called again and when I said I was ringing back to talk about the flat, I was asked did I decide to match the offer (a figure which I had no knowledge of). When I questioned this, I was asked if I were the 3 people looking to put in a higher offer. Obviously this surprised me and I asked further questions. Basically after that, I was told that there were in fact 3 offers on the flat and that ours was not the highest. I explained that we were the first to view and no one had viewed after when we put the holding deposit down so how was this possible? The response was that this was a special circumstance, in which the landlord requested further offers (all unknown to us) and if we wanted to get the flat we would need to raise our offer amount substantially and reduce our move in time to straight away. As we were moving out soon and had stopped all other viewings ourselves as we assumed this was all going as described we were out of options so agreed to raise and move in sooner. I went to the office and they drew up the new offer letter and took signatures (again) and said they would call the landlord the next morning when the manager was back in. Surprise surprise, then next day at lunch i had still had no contact, so I called. I was told that the landlord had decided to go with another agency (and told me the agency name), so our deposit would be returned and that was it.

Obviously very unhappy with this whole process I in-fact called all branches of the other agency in the area and they had no knowledge of the property. I called the estate agents in question back and spoke to the manager, describing this. She said that it was not the estate agents previously mentioned by the estate agent I was dealing with and that the landlord had decided to go private.

So after all this, what are we supposed to believe. Did they just get a better offer from someone else, did the landlord change to another estate agent or go private... I guess I will never find out. But the complete process and service was terrible and dishonest. Given that the window of tenancy change in London is very short, it did seriously affect us and cause a lot of added stress for us. I seriously would not ever use this estate agents again as they are not to be trusted and treat perspective terribly, even if being nice to your face initially.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Been honest, stuck to their word and written agreements, not play tenants off behind each others back for a chance at a slightly more commission gain. Actually care about your clients (landlord and tenant)
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Atkinson McLeod

31 Bedford Hill Balham, London
Greater London
SW12 9EY

020 8772 6106

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