Like oh, so many other agents, Linley and Simpson are money hungry and concentrate all their skill and effort on getting you to sign the contract.
In spite of charging a substantial fee to run credit checks, our credit reference files were not searched by this agency. Not only does this mean that tennants are paying fees for nothing, they're failing to safeguard Landlords from untrustworthy tennants.
There is a hidden fee of £18 to send a reference to any prospective landlord or agency when you want to move out. This fee was not mentioned by the agent at any point, is not listed in the terms of the tennancy agreement and is not listed on any online or in-branch information.
Since our next agent could easily decline our application on the basis of not having a reference we were essensially being held to ransom.
There could be any number of other hidden extras and if they invent new fees or randomly charge extra for some people, who'd know?
I have no great objection to paying fees and i'm not quibbling over amounts. I simply expect to know all the fees and charges which apply to a contract before I sign it, and I expect the work i'm paying for to actually take place.
In terms of the general levels of organisation and profesionalism, the staff were perfectly pleasant and friendly when we were still only 'prospective' tennants, but after we'd signed and paid they didn't seem particularly bothered or even polite when we were in contact to discuss any problems or to ask any questions and showed a general lack of competence.
It was not made clear to us until after we'd signed the tennancy that the central heating system was shared between the two flats in the building with the landlord having to be involved to split utility bills. The flat was not particularly clean upon moving in. Kitchen cupboards were sticky and two were full of old crockery and some half used old DIY materials.
There were two viewings by prospective tennants during our stay, for the first viewing the agent didn't turn up, then the agent who was present for the seccond viewing seemed to have absolutely no information about the flat and had to direct all questions to myself. An agent coming for a routine inspection had no idea we were a month away from moving out, which shows poor comunication in the office.
We aranged to have the tenancy extended for 5 days and were given a price for the extra rent we'd have to pay. We adjusted the standing order at the bank accordingly to include this money in our last rent payment.
We later learned that the figure we'd been quoted was too low and that when the office recieved the final paymet they added the extra money to the deposit bond which made it look like the extra days were left unpaid. We were informed via an eMail telling us we were 5 days late in paying and we had to pay within 2 days to avoid being fined for late payment.
This is clearly a disorganized office but seem happy to assume tennants are in the wrong for any discrepancies.
Overall, we feel entirely let down by this office. Not only would we never use this company again, we will make a point of telling people we know who live in the area about the level of service we have recieved.