Jan 19,2012
By: 'Gilles'
Jan 19,2012
21 people found
this helpful
After a long time, I'm finally deciding to review Chimneys... Being their tenants was one of the worst experience in our life.
It went wrong from the very beginning, back in 2008 : because they suspected our mover to be untrustworthy, they refused to hand over the keys on the agreed date and we had to spend the night in a hotel. To sort that out we had to withdraw as much money as possible to pay them cash because they wouldn't wait for the bank transfer to go through - and we could not afford another hotel night.
It sort of improved after that, mainly because we very seldom had to deal with them.

Things went wrong again when planning to leave, some 2.5 years after. We had to move before the end of our term, and tried to arrange a checkout earlier because we could not come back to the UK just for that. They refused. We tried to arrange for a sollicitor to attend the checkout on our behalf. The mere mention of the word "sollicitor" was to them a declaration of war. Communication, which was incredibly irrespectful, entirely stopped and they would not deal with us at all - which was quite bad considering they owed us our £1200 deposit and £300 overpaid rent.
We managed to claim our deposit back through the Deposit Registration Scheme (TDS), and we won on the ground that Chimneys had behaved badly (checkout had never been conducted).
We then complained further to the Property Ombudsman, and eventually got back the rest of the money they owed us + some more as compensation for having been treated so poorly. During the complaint process, the argumentations and explanations they've sent was full of lies, insults and accusations.

As someone said below, when people read these reviews most of the harm is already done. Yet everyone ought to know how bad they are. I would then encourage anyone having had a bad experience with these people to do all they can to complain. There are limits to what a human being can do to another, and Chimneys clearly need to learn those limits.
Was this helpful? Yes
By: Larry
Aug 31, 2013
Disolutioned - did you ever take action? I think they might have ceased trading, and wondered whether action can be taken retrospectively.
By: disolutioned
Oct 25, 2012
Thank you for informing us of your experience. We have also been treated really badly by Chimneys. I cannot believe how people can be so petty, lie so much and be so bitchy. I still find it hard to believe myself if I did not have all the letters, photographs and my receipts to prove it. But although we eventually were awarded all our deposit back, we feel that this matter needs to be taken further establishing whether or not the estate agent needs to be penalised for bullying, insults and wasting our time. Very interesting that you got compensation. We really feel we deserve compensation as well. Will let you know how we get on.
By: Gilles
Sep 03, 2012
Everyone reading my review above and Chimney's comment will agree at least on one thing : This is not what we call peaceful relations :-)
Given the number of "unpeaceful relations" Chimneys have triggered, this tells a lot on them.
By: Chimneys
May 10, 2012
Giles Matthew and his partner were tenants for almost 3 years. Overall from Chimneys point of view it was a successful tenancy and they were good tenants. His account of the tenancy start is inaccurate. They were arriving from France at 5.30am to take up their tenancy and wanted a staff member to open the office for them at that time to collect keys. This was not possibl or even reasonable. When they applied they received the standard letter/invoice informing them that they could only take possession if we had cleared funds as normal practice before the entry date or at the very latest the entry date itself. We did receive this before he arrived in the UK despite his description of events as above. Because they lived in France at the time of applying we also broke our own rules and sent the Agreement out to France for signing to help them. He appears to have forgotten this. We were only unable to oblige when it came to meeting him at around 5.30am or earlier on the entry date. It was a successful tenancy and a peaceful one. In year 3 they signed another year long Agreement but they knew and did not tell Chimneys that they would probably go back to France long before this ran out. If they had told us we would have written a break clause into the Agreement allowing them to give notice without fuss, panalties or worries. They then told us they wanted to go early and shut down the tenancy. We tried to help as did the landlord and agreed to waive the penalty due to the landlord for early vacation. We had difficulty re-letting the property and the rent was reduced. It was then reduced again in attempt to release them from the Agreement which would have come about if a new tenant had moved in. Mr Matthieu became abusive and threatening. He wanted the landlord to take back the property leaving it vacant and leaving the landlord with all the bills. The landlord refused this opportunity feeling he had been more than generous as he had been. Neither the landlord nor Chimneys had anything to fear from a solicitor and informed Mr Matthieu of this. Mr Mathieu then vacated but rather than put a solictor on the 'case' he give a Power of Attorney to a friend to make use of the property. The terms of this Power of Attorney allowed his friend more powers than Mr Mattieu had under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement and was therefore invalid. eg it allowed him to alter the structure of the property, to sub let as he saw fit etc His friend therefore had unlawful access to the property and should never have held keys. He used the electricity but in November and December there was no heating left on and the property was in danger of frozen pipes. Mr Matthieu was uncaring of this situation having first gone on honeymoon and then back to France. Eventually a tenant was found and moved in but the friend refused to give up the keys. The locks were changed and the property cleaned etc in accordance with the Agreement. The check-out was carried out as normal though his friend failed to attend. Mr Mattieu as is his right did contact the TDS with whom his deposit was properly registered mainly about the change of lock. Despite his declaration they did not find for him as he had hoped they would and so he travelled on to the Ombudsman with a similar result. Any discerning or fair minded reader will ask themselves the question: if the tenancy was as bad as he claimed why did he stay almost three years and why did he ask for the third Agreement committing to another year? The discerning reader should then ask themselves if perhaps Mr Mathieu's gripe on this site was put there because his gripe and behaviour was not backed up by the TDS or the Ombudsman just as he had hoped? Perhaps that was why he waited so long or perhaps he just forgot as he seems to have forgotten much of the actual events as they happened and not as he outlined in this site. Mr Mattieu and his partner were given a great deal of help by Chimneys and the landlord which he appears to have forgotten.

Agent Response / Add a Comment

You can use this form to reply to the above review or a displayed comment on the above review.

Chimneys Lettings & Property Management

The Business Centre Grove Technology Park Downsview Road Wantage
OX12 9FF

07702 228267

Opening hours

Find the Best Agent to
Sell or Rent Your Home