Used them once - my experience was as follows:
1. Arranged a viewing of a place by phone call from when I was living in the North West
2. Told him I am travelling to London on the Wednesday for viewings
3. When I arrived, the price per week was "suddenly" £10 higher due to a "clerical error" on the website
4. This was a clearly and attempt at ripping me off.
5. The estate agent was the landlord as it was his own flat
6. I went and viewed the flat with his assistant but did not return to the shop on the way back. His assistant looked surprised.
7. I am a professional man, well educated, and the landlord/agent no doubt could tell this from meeting me
8. I say this because all day I received calles that I ignored as I then viewed other places.
9. I do not like people who try to take advantage of me and rip me off and so that is why I never took the flat for the extra £10 per week.
10. He had thought that because I had travelled down from The North and needed a place for my new job the week later, that he could take advantage of my situation
11. When he realised he couldn't and regretted his actions, he kept phoning me. I finally answered the phone and only because I had not liked any of the other places I had seen
12. He offered the original price (they will absorb the error he said) and so I subsequently decided to take the place.
13. When I got the keys and moved in, the whole place "was a tip" as the previous guy had left and gone back to India and so had not cared about the state of it when moving out.
14. I had to clean it all up. So there was a charge for moving in, but not a clean place to go with it.
15. A year later, he wanted renewal of the contract
16. I asked him "did I have to sign a year more?" He told me that YES I did as ALL contracts work that way.
17. But during that year, I had learned that contracts become periodic (month to month) after 1 year so I didn't need to sign at all. He had also fogotten that he told me this himself when I first moved in. So again, he was trying to take advantage of what he thought was my lack of knowledge.
18. He had directly lied to me by his actions. I didn't like this.
19. I was annoyed, so I decided not to renew and I moved out 1 month later.
20. They did send some e-mails as an attept to portray that the place was not "clean and tidy" from when they had shown someone around.
21. I subsequently reminded them that on move in it was a tip and I had taken photographs. I also told them I am well aware they are "trying to set the stage" by e-mail for later claiming some of my deposit.
22. They subsequently stopped sending e-mails.
23. I had a overlap of about 2 weeks with my next place so technically lost about £400 in the move. To get my deposit back early, I had agreed to surrender keys early.
**The only good point was that my deposit was protected in the deposit protect scheme, so he was honest about that at the start**
So 2 stars rather than 1 star.
But he did lie a lot and I can't stand liars!
I would not use them again. He works there so represents them and he was awful.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Tell the truth