Mar 23,2015
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By: 'Andrew'
Mar 23,2015
1 people found
this helpful
My impression is that Braemore is a typical mediocre letting agent in Scotland. They stick to their word -- provided it's all written down, but generally they have a policy of being unhelpful.

(1) As far as I can tell, they take a bare minimum of notes during phone conversations. For example, I verbally offered to investigate paying for some accidental damage if I could get my insurance company to pay for it. This offer was never relayed to my landlord. (It was unclear whose fault it was -- the damage might have happened when a Braemore agent visited.)

(2) They are quite inflexible about amending leases. I was originally hoping to share the house with a flatmate, but they made it too hard. (Hundreds of pounds of fees -- probably illegal, minimum six month terms where they wouldn't allow anyone to move in/out, leaving all paperwork to the last minute, etc.) I told them my intentions when I was applying for the property.

(3) They seem to go out of their way to invent and laws rules (that don't even exist), and ruthlessly enforce them. For example, when my girlfriend moved in, I told them as a courtesy. They then claimed I was breaching the terms of the lease. I had to waste half an hour explaining the contract they wrote to them. Another example: when I moved out, I cleaned the house quite thoroughly -- better than how I found it. I missed a few minor things requiring about 5 minutes of work (e.g. dust on top of a light switch). I had to argue with the agent to let me fix them rather than charge me for 2 hours of professional cleaning work. (In the end, she accommodated me because I had been flexible in rescheduling the appointment.) I spoke to a middle manager about this, and he had a rules/responsibilities attitude: it was my job to ensure the apartment was perfect. Rules are more important than customer satisfaction and common sense.

(4) They don't attempt to hold landlords to a higher standard. For example, to get your deposit back, you have to wait until the landlord approves the release of the money, or six weeks until the appeals period ends. The agent apparently makes no effort to encourage the landlord to release the money early.

In the grand scheme of things, these are all pretty minor complaints. Many letting agents in Scotland are even worse. But a change in attitude could make things so much better.
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By: Andrew
Apr 08, 2015
Hi Callum, thanks for your reply. I think your reply underscores my point: Braemore creates unnecessary rules and customer satisfaction is not a high priority.

(1) You said "there are certain legal boundaries that we have to work within". These boundaries seem to be imposed by Braemore rather than Scottish law. According to Shelter (http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_topics/renting_rights/renting_from_a_private_landlord/short_assured_tenancies), it is possible for landlords to permit tenants to sublet, or to assign the lease to someone else. These are just two examples of how a lease can be amended under Scottish law after it has been signed, but that Braemore prohibits. (I am not a lawyer, but I expect there are many other ways amendments can be organised under Scottish law.)

(2) It's true that tenants can request the deposit back from landlords directly (which I did). But landlords have no incentive to help, because it's the end of a relationship. Agents have long-term relations with landlords, and ought to insist on high standards from landlords.
By: Callum
Mar 24, 2015
Hi Andrew, thanks for your feedback and comments. We will take them on board and we always aim to make to journey as easy as possible for tenants. Unfortunately, there are certain legal boundaries that we have to work within and these can seem very strict for tenants looking to amend a lease after being signed. With regards to the deposit, this is held by a 3rd party and tenants are allowed to (as per the paperwork) request it back rather than waiting for the landlord to agree to the release. Kind Regards, The Braemore Team.

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Braemore Sales & Lettings

92 Morningside Road Edinburgh
City of Edinburgh
EH10 4BY

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