Rented a property and paid 6 weeks' rent for the deposit - £969. Upon vacating the property we were told everything was in order except the carpets which were quite dirty. Explained this had been the case when renting the property as evidenced by the ingoing inventory report which cited "need propfessional clean" next to the carpet description. Also provided 6 emails which had been sent to the branch manager at the time specifically regarding the carpets. The branch manager and two agents at the office all left the company at the same time... This meant nobody knew about the issue but the new branch manager accepted the emails and passed on to the landlord for a decision. After numerous chaser emails and calls, 13 working days later I was finally told the case was being handled by Property Management. The agreement clearly states, as does the tenancy deposit scheme, that any amounts being witheld must be advised within 10 working days of the end of the tenancy, and any other money returned immediately. After 8 calls, 7 emails and 25 working days, that's right, over 5 weeks since leavning the property, we have not received a figure for anything and have now been told the property requires a professional clean for which we will be required to pay 50%. No outgoing report provided, no mention of this in any correspondence, no check out at the property, nothing signed to agree the state of the property, to which tenants moved in the next day. Agreement from the branch manager who inspected the property that it was fine. No specific amount provided for the cleaning, no money returned, no reasons given, no evidence provided. No calls returned (8 calls made). No acknolwedgement of timescale in a legally binding document - 10 working days. Was told we would have a quote in up to 48 hours. Chased three times before one was finally provided eight days later, totalling 40 pounds plus 15 pounds per hour for the cleaner. They actually think it is ok to ignore the agreement and five weeks later, after holidng nearly one thousand pounds, give a quote for forty pounds. We have no control over the state of the property at this time as people moved in the very next day, so celearly it was not in such a bad state or why would haart have allowed people to move in and now, five weeks later, expect for us to pay for someone to clean it with someon else living there and all fo their belongings there. Apart from the fact this will definitely increase the labour required, there was never any mention of this and they had the outgoing report all this time without providing a single bit of evidence to us within the 10 days required. All the while our deposit is sitting there, no undisputed amount returned, nothing. Has now been raised with managing director, the dispute service and may go to the property ombudsman depending on outcome. Vacated premises on 28th September. As of 4th November, zero deposit returned, zero disputed amount advised, zero effort from Property Management handler. I have encountered nothing but incompetence, broken promises and complete lack of professionalism. From my experience of 3 agents, 2 branch managers and 2 Property Management staff, as soon as you are not worth any money, you don't exist to haart. Would never use again or recommend even to an enemy.
What agent could do to change your mind?
The steps to a happier experience are very, very simple. Basic good manners. Treating people with common decency. Obeyng your own rules. Sticking to legally binding timelines. Upon trying to get the carpets cleaned or get information about whether or not we could clean them ourselves, all that happened were broken promises and constant direction to the agreement citing we took the property as seen, completely missing the point that we only wanted to know whether or not the landlady wnated them cleaned by a professional or was happy for us to do it. Upon moving out, nobody stayed in touch with us. We were left to do all the chasing. Property management told us the branch would clsoe everytning off. We were never told the case had been passed back to property management, had to discover this ourselves. As far as PM goes, the case handler completely ignored all attempts to direct her to the agreement and the 10 days which had lapsed many times over. Even at 24 days in to the process she was still not providing a figure or any reason why the rest of the money had not yet been returned. Breaking their own rules all over the place and leaving us stuck without 969 pounds of our money which, after 10 days, became ours legally again as nothing had been adivsed in terms of witholding anything. There is a process there so I cannot recommend putting that in place, simply training the staff to be aware of this and be professional in their treatment of people would be enough.