Apr 13,2015
By: 'Frustrated Landlord'
Apr 13,2015
5 people found
this helpful
I paid Countrywide 10% of my rental income for a fully managed service for two properties, and they did almost nothing to earn it, and I ended up doing all the chasing.
Countrywide Lettings took over a small local agency (iSite) I had my two properties let with. While the property was managed by iSite, there were no problems.
As soon as Countrywide took over, problems crept in. Countrywide took 5 days before even starting to chase a late rent, and often the rent had been paid, but Countrywide failed to track it properly. This resulted in me doing the chasing that I was paying Countrywide to do.
Also, my tenants began to contact me direct for any fixes, as it took too long for Countrywide to pass on the tenants' messages. In one case I had been and fixed a problem some days before Countrywide bothered to let me know there was a problem.
Chasing late rent (because Countrywide couldn't track it) became such a recurring problem that I asked in writing for my complaint to the Warrington branch to be escalated. I was told by the Manager, Carly Richmond (AFTER I chased as she never responded to my email), that I had to escalate the complaint myself., and sent me a copy of their complaints procedure I was busy and didn't.
After further issues (Countrywide me for services that were included in my 10% fee, and took the charges out of my rental income, and sent me the confidential details of another of their clients, and failed to notify tenants properly of renewal), I went to see Carly with a list of 19 issues. She repeatedly talked over me, tried to push blame off on other people within Countrywide, and generally belittled my complaints. I asked again for the complaint to be escalated and was told again I would have to escalate it to the regional manager myself. In fact I was told repeatedly that I HAD to follow their complaints procedure After being spoken over for about the sixth time I raised my voice to prevent this. Immediately her colleague appeared from behind somewhere and said, She never spoke over you, I was listening to the whole thing! I left in disgust at this point, followed by my brother who had been with me, and who had recorded part of the discussion on his phone, clearly illustrating the constant interruptions and talking over by Carly..
I read the complaints procedure at home and found that COUNTRYWIDE should escalate the complaint if requested. I requested again.
The regional manager called me and we discussed the matter. I had sent a written complaint with 44 points raised, and asking for the immediate cancellation for one property and let the other tenancy run its last few weeks, then not renew, and refund some of the fees I had paid.
Shortly after he sent me his final decision which offered ‚£100 and cancellation of management of one property and let the pother tenancy run out. If I refused the final offer it had to go to arbitration.
As a generous person I gave him the opportunity to reconsider his final decision as ‚£100 was laughable, and he had got the properties mixed up and given written notice to me that Countrywide would cancel the wrong property. He had also ignored most of the 44 points and addressed only a few, stating that overcharged money had been returned (not mentioning the 4 written requests I had to make to get the refund!)
I think my final decision got through to him as my request for better compensation was immediately agreed, as were my cancellation conditions.
A few days ago my tenants left and Countrywide completed a checkout, so my dealings with Countrywide should be ended.
However, I am now going to have to investigate why Spark Energy have taken over the Gas and Electric at the property. My ex-tenant has never heard of them, and neither have I. A quick search on the Internet reveals that Countrywide is a partner of Spark Energy. Hmmm, I wonder how Spark Energy managed to take over the electric & gas in my property when neither my ex-tenant or I have transferred it to them?
More work for me chasing Countrywide I think!
If you intend letting a property... AVOID COUNTRYWIDE RESIDENTIAL LETTINGS!
What agent could do to change your mind?
By the time my complaint was finally escalated to the regional manager NOTHING would have persuaded me to change my mind.
Attached Files
Comment on agent fees
10% is fine for a fully managed service, but I ended up doing most of the managing.
Was this helpful? Yes
By: Michael
Mar 19, 2016
I am currently in dispute with Entwistle Green ( Countrywide) for exactly the same thing. They changed the utility supply to Spark. They do not manage the property nor did they consult with the landlord or the tenant. They are receiving payments from Spark. Beware of Countrywide,
By: Frustrated Landlord
Feb 10, 2016
UPDATE - Property Ombudsman has awarded me £500 from Countrywide for the Energy transfer compliant.
This was in addition to the £350 that Countrywide paid me for the previous complaint regarding poor service & rudeness of staff.

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