Mar 06,2015
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By: 'anon'
Mar 06,2015
0 people found
this helpful
We had a poor experience of Newman's as a letting agent. We have just left them after a 12 month tenancy. Firstly, we dealt with a young man called Richard who was really very helpful but shortly after signing our tenancy he moved on to another agent, which was a shame. In what I write below, I will also say that Lesley Cornish was always very pleasant and helpful but we had minimal communication with her which is also a shame. Mostly, our contact was through Liz and Tara.

On signing our contract, we were in the office and heard Tara moaning and complaining about tenants and from that point, we always questioned the professionalism we would receive.

At a point during our tenancy, I made a complaint about Tara as she never responded to emails or returned calls (unless it was to her advantage) and was always rude over the phone when you did get to speak to the her. To this day, I never received an apology from Tara, only a backdated list of answers to questions.

During our time at the property, we had to deal with issues including a leak from the shower into the kitchen that destroyed some of our belongings, rats living in the wall cavities biting through our food etc, a fly infestation (still ongoing to this date I imagine) and then finally damp/mould. Whenever we spoke to the letting agents we were met with a tone that suggested we were making the issue up. When the rats bit through our shower pipe and the plumber replaced the pipe, nothing at this point had been done to resolve the issue of the rats. I informed Liz who told me 'Oh don't worry rats don't bite in the same place twice'. What this information was based on, I am not sure. We were always patronised and nothing was ever treated with any urgency. In fact, with regards to the leak, we had to approach the landlord directly to rectify the problem and this proved more effective. He arranged the immediate issues to be fixed but 5 months on, on moving out, the problem was still not properly addressed as we were left with damp/warped cupboards that were never dried out/fixed and the house from that point has always had a damp smell. The landlord did reimburse us for items that were damaged but again, Newmans never took an interest in resolving any issues or supporting us. It took months for the redecorating to be completed.

We were hounded by a contractor that Newmans hire to complete the gas safety checks; knocking aggressively on the door late at night, etc. I refused to deal with him as the gas safety checks are a landlord obligation and not a tenant obligation and asked Clare at Newmans to please arrange the check (which she had suggested). This was another person who was slow to respond to enquiries.

On moving out, I discovered that the mould mentioned was much worse than imagined and sent pictures to Newmans. They again greeted me with a patronizing tone and a sheet of paper that describes what 'condensation is'. This piece of paper was one which we apparently received when we moved in and should have helped us, but a) we never received it and b) it was of no use anyway. There was no help offered with the cleaning of this or any suggestion to the contribution towards my bookshelves (which were destroyed). Again, there was a sense of disinterest.

The only positive was that they paid back our full deposit very quickly, but possibly because they didn't want to have to speak to me again (as I have been dissatisfied throughout!).

We always had to deal with so many different people at Newmans that there was never any continuity or sense of anyone caring. I would not use Newmans again and am relieved to never have to deal with them again.
What agent could do to change your mind?
The fees are horrendous but I expect it\'s probably the same at any agent. They charged us to \'check in\' which was a 20 minute meeting with a lady who completed the inventory which wasn\'t very thorough. The check out fee is automatically deducted from your deposit. I asked for a breakdown of what the ‚£96 fee covers and was just told it was ;in the contract, rather than receiving an actual explanation!
Attached Files
Comment on agent fees
The fees are horrendous but I expect it\'s probably the same at any agent. They charged us to \'check in\' which was a 20 minute meeting with a lady who completed the inventory which wasn\'t very thorough. The check out fee is automatically deducted from your deposit. I asked for a breakdown of what the ‚£96 fee covers and was just told it was ;in the contract, rather than receiving an actual explanation!
Was this helpful? Yes
By: DIRECTOR
Mar 21, 2015
Firstly, my sincere apologies for the manner in which you feel you have been treated by my team. Secondly, I can assure you your comments are being treated seriously and at the highest level.

I have looked into your file notes for Buckley Road and see that responses were sent to you via email in a timely manner by both Tara and Liz. I can also see a timeline showing dates contractors were called to investigate problems and then follow up emails to confirm work complete. I apologise if you preferred a telephone call but generally email is quicker and is always logged against your file.

I will respond to the points you have raised - these relating to gas safety, mould and agents fees. As an agent it is our responsibility (and a legal requirement) to ensure that all gas appliances are serviced annually. We have a duty of care to you as a tenant ensuring the appliances are safe .It is a non-negotiable and we call upon the co-operation of the tenant to permit these checks to be carried out.

There is often confusion amongst tenants regarding mould and what causes it. Generally poor ventilation causes condensation which if left, will result in mould. At the onset of each tenancy we provide tenants with a leaflet detailing the causes of condensation and mould.

We charge all our tenants a check in fee in order that they can have the inventory independently verified when they move in and any issues can be reported to the agent immediately. We do the same at check out - this way there are no misunderstandings. This is for the tenants benefit to ensure there are no unscrupulous demands from landlords at the end of the tenancy - thus protecting your deposit and ensuring its speedy return. I see that your deposit was returned very quickly.

I am sorry the experience you have with my agency was not a pleasant one. I appreciate all feedback in order that we can continue to improve. If you would prefer a more in-depth response I can be contacted directly on caroline@newman.uk.com

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