Mar 30,2015
By: 'Truthful and honest'
Mar 30,2015
5 people found
this helpful
Back in 2012, I needed to relocate and had found this beautiful flat in a brand new residential building where the final touch was still in progress. The landlord (such an amazing person by the way) had put his trust in Bridgfords to manage the residence. During my visit with the Bridgfords' employee (can't remember who), I was told that the flats were going fast in this new development and that I would probably not get the apartment unless I was to sign a contract straight away, even though I explained I only wanted to move in at the end of the following month. Anyway I still went ahead and this has resulted in me having to pay rent for both the old and the new flat for a month which didn't seem to pose any problem to the agency.

When visiting the office to sort out the paperwork, I was forced into contracting an insurance for my belongings (either through Lets-cover or by proving my own insurance). In years of renting through agencies, this was a first and I have serious doubts about the legal background behind such practice. There is no legal obligation to insure personal belongings and I still don't understand what difference does it actually make to Bridgfords whether your own belongings are insured or not; but they use that as an obstacle to go ahead with the contract. Here I suspect a potential dodgy partnership between Bridgfords and Lets-cover with a financial benefit on both sides...

Regarding the Admin fees, I can't remember the exact figure but they didn't strike me as being cheap. While signing the paperwork I do remember them asking a number of questions that were a bit intrusive and to which I ended up telling them I failed to see the relevancy to the matter I was engaged with them for.

On the day I moved in (or the day after), I noticed a few things weren't actually brand new in the apartment + a crack in one of the double-glazed windows (only in the corner). I needed to inform Bridgfords so that these elements wouldn't impact the calculation of the deposit to be returned at the end of the tenancy agreement. I also needed to express my concerns about the crack in the window (security & insulation) so they could send a professional to assess the window. So I did take pictures, emailed them over and kindly asked them to add these as appendixes to the contact. This is a practice that is widely accepted in the landlord/agency community especially when communicated during the first week of the tenancy. Curiously I never received any reply from Bridgfords acknowledging my request, and to this day I still don't know what happened to these pictures but I do have an email to prove it.

But anyway, a few months after moving in, I happened to meet the landlord who is really nice and truly cares for his tenants' well-being (it's rare these days). During the course of the conversation he was asking how things went with Bridgfords and I did tell him that I didn't like the fact the I was forced into starting the tenancy straight away thus having to pay double rent for a month. He was very upset about such practice which actually had also been used by Bridgfords on other tenants in the residence.

The good news is that soon after that conversation our landlord informed us that he had decided to take Bridgfords out of the equation and to bring everything back in-house. This was such a relief. Also my Lets-cover policy was never renewed and this didn't pose any problem to the landlord - of course why would he care about my personal belongings being insured or not?

My conclusion: there are a few agencies out there that give priority to both tenants' well-being & money in equal measures but sadly this Bridgfords branch is not one of them.
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