Lee (Northampton branch) was the agent who we dealt with initially and he was very polite and helpful in finding us a property at a competitive rate. However, unfortunately Lee was only responsible for Sales and it was the after care service in dealing with other members of staff which we found unsatisfactory.
We moved into our flat, and our meter readings were not taken. We were told they did not have the correct keys/codes to do this - a little odd as this is a service you would expect. Upon moving in i found It was simply a case of ringing block management to get the code for the keys that were on site. Not difficult, but one which appeared to challenge them. Instead, we quite possibly paid more for our gas/electric due to 'estimates' having to be taken. Ok, lessoned learned.
We then had an issue with the boiler in December which we can understand is a busy period. Although you are told that you are a priority/emergency if such heating issues arise in the cold period, a week passed and after numerous calls/left messages we took it upon ourselves to resolve the issue. We informed them that we had found a corgi registered gas fitter which they appreciated, as all of their handymen were still not available. After numerous calls and messages by the gas fitter, plus prompts from ourselves after the work had been carried out - they still had not paid him for his work over a month later which in our opinion was a disgrace. After all, we had practically done their job by finding someone to resolve the issue, and they didnt even have the decency to follow it up. And the landlord had okayed the work to be done so it wasnt a case of contacting them. Totally unprofessional.
In another December, we had a problem with our washing machine. We informed the estate agent and were told we may have to wait until January as washing machines were not priority/emergencies for this time of year. Again, in our opinion this was an unacceptable answer as we deemed it to be very important. We were told by a member of staff that some people didnt have heating as their boilers had packed up and, they were priority (note the above). We continued to callback each day for an update and our persistence paid off as we did get an engineer to come out eventually. It could not be fixed and was replaced by a cheap washing machine (not integrated) when before we had a washer/dryer of reasonable size (integrated). One assumes replacements will be like for like. But, not a problem we got on with it without complaint as we realised it was exhausting to have to deal with a major issue, let alone a more minor detail.
We never missed a payment, took pride in keeping the property clean and in good order. When we moved in the oven and retractor fan were filfthy. We asked to have the oven cleaned on moving in. It appeared that someone literally came in and sprayed some oven cleaner on it, leaving the foam. Again, we got on with it and did not complain at the time, until we were nearly made to pay for it being dirty when we moved out - when in reality it was cleaner than when we moved in. After analyse of photos we did not have to pay. Its worth noting unexpected costs did come out of our deposit such as a £40 'adminstration charge'. Again,we were not informed of this until the final inspection was completed. It may be in small print somewhere but i could not find it, therefore i felt it was a little cheeky. We could not be bothered to dispute such things. We were just happy to get the large part of our deposit back.
On the plus side, one member of staff who we found to be unprofessional in dealing with the boiler situation above did 'leave' the company. I found this out from a colleague who had raised eyebrows when we informed him of her attitude and got the impression we were not the first to complain about her. Upon our last visit to the branch, it has to be said that the sales staff were very friendly and helpful, but we personally just didnt get that level of professionalism from the after-sale staff we dealt with whilst being tenants. Things might have changed for the better now, but unfortunately, if you have a bad experience on more than one occasion it does leave you airing on the side of caution, and therefore i'm afraid to say that we will not recommend this company to any prospective tenants.
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