I first used FJ Lord's letting agency as a tenant over 2 years ago. I found the viewing was very pressurised - they wanted a decision there and then, no time for me to consider for a few hours or discuss properly with my wife. Time was running out to find a place as my wife and I were moving from Leeds to London and our tenancy up north was shortly expiring, so I bit the bullet and agreed to the property during the viewing. They wanted the upfront fees ASAP - rent for the month ahead, deposit, agency fees ¢â‚¬â€œ totalling around £600. To my surprise, they wanted payment there and then, rather than me pay a holding deposit (that I was willing to accept would be non-returnable) and visit the agency the next day to pay the rest. So I had to transfer money over the phone with my banks so I had it all in one account so I could put it through on a debit card. Stressful? Yes! But anyway¢â‚¬Â¦
The first year of the tenancy goes by, we're happy where we are so decide to renew the tenancy for another 12 months. FJ Lord charged £60 for the new contract - that's £60 for changing a few dates ¢â‚¬â€œ which they also charge to the landlord so they get cash both ways. (The cost for renewing a contract at the end of the second year would have been £70 ¢â‚¬â€œ in fact, they tried to charge us £70 until my wife pointed out that our tenancy agreement noted the fee as £60). There was no rent increase though and the only person I have to thank for that is my landlord who managed the property herself (against FJ Lord's advice ¢â‚¬â€œ they told her that managing the property would be "too difficult as tenants would hassle her all the time" ¢â‚¬â€œ as it turned out, in 2 years we only had two problems that we needed to contact the landlady about).
The end of the second year of the tenancy approached and we were asked by letters and emails whether we wanted to renew the tenancy again - despite the agent knowing that our landlady was selling and therefore that we were moving. Unfortunately our fun with FJ Lord did not end there.
We had mistakenly overpaid our rent by 5 days in the last month of our tenancy and despite my wife bringing it to their attention almost 2 weeks ago we are still waiting for it ¢â‚¬â€œ in fact not just for the money itself, but simply a DATE as to when we can expect the money in our account. My wife has rang no less than 4 times and has sent emails chasing the whereabouts of our money. The lack of communication is appalling - my wife has to keep pushing for a response. The emails she received were completely unapologetic for the delay and she felt like she was constantly being fobbed off. Rather than receive updates as to the progress of the refund, as you would expect out of nothing other than good customer service, my wife has had to continue to chase and is still doing so at the time of writing.
We have also be told by the landlord that they have failed to pass on our rent to her on more than one occasion leaving the landlord to wait for it for over 2 weeks.
Yet another administrative blunder by FJ Lord was that they did not update their records with the fact that we paid an extra week's rent at the very start of our tenancy to allow us to thereafter pay rent later in the month. We got chasing letters for rent and when renewal came at the end of the first year and my wife pointed out the rental payment dates on the agreement were wrong she was told:¢â‚¬Â Rent is due on the 22nd, but I see you pay your rent late every month so if your landlord hasn't said anything, I would continue as you are.¢â‚¬Â My wife then had to point out that we didn't pay rent late, due to us having paid that extra week a year ago. When we applied for our new property, our (very lovely) landlord provided the reference. I would HATE to think what would have happened if that same administrative error led to FJ Lord incorrectly telling another lettings agent or referencing agency that we paid our rent late.
My whole experience of FJ Lord is that they are very unprofessional, rude at times and very bad at communication within their small 3 person team.
I am very glad to that I no longer have to deal with them and feel sorry for anyone about to sign ¢â‚¬â€œ I hope your experience is better than mine, but please know what you might be getting in to!