I have spent the past 6 months with Bedfordshire Accommodation Bureau as my estate agent, and this has proven to be the most time consuming, stressful and disappointing period of my life as a renting customer.
The customer service is terrible, the worst I have ever witnessed. The majority of the staff will happily lie to your face about any query you may possibly have, and I can guarantee, queries you WILL have.
The accommodation I rented through B.A.B looked lovely on first inspection but in fact as riddled with issues from multiple broken kitchen appliances, to all 3 bathrooms leaking terribly, to mould growing on anything left in our lounge or kitchen, to no heating for almost a week, electrical faults leading to a minor electrocution as well as having NO fire alarms throughout the property and having no more than a latch on the front door, which ultimately lead to us being burgled.
None of the above had even been considered before I moved into the property, and the only one B.A.B made any effort to investigate/repair was the fire alarm issue as this was in fact illegal on their behalf.
5 months later, still only the fire alarms remained repaired.
According to neighbours, previous tenants have also complained of the numerous issues the house was facing, but obviously B.A.B have never bothered to repair anything. One particular British Gas inspector claimed he had visited the house about the same boiler on 15 previous occasions (15!!), and had suggested numerous times to replace the boiler. It does not go without saying the boiler has still not been replaced, nor will it do in the foreseeable future.
If you are unlucky enough to have B.A.B as your estate agent, I would advise you call them pretending to be a prospective buyer, and do not give away your name until you are put through to the manager, otherwise, everyone else in the office will tell you that your ¢â‚¬Ëœpersonal assisting agent' is unable to get to the phone, and will call you back soon ¢â‚¬â€œ of course they never will. Another thing to watch out on, is that you become familiar with the staff's voices on the phone, as they have tendencies to put you through to a ¢â‚¬Ëœmanager', but in fact just put you through to another useless member of staff.
Some of the staff are also rather illiterate and so emailing is a long and fairly pointless process. When they do reply, you end up having to ring up anyway simply because the email makes no logical sense at all and is un-readable.
Competing agencies in the area have made us aware that B.A.B rarely follow standard legal practices, despite what they tell you. So best to keep photocopied evidence of everything you sign/read, and get written proof of all the rubbish they tell you on the phone ¢â‚¬â€œ again, this is often a tricky process bearing in mind the illiteracy issue!
If you are going to be renting a property from B.A.B, ensure you fully inspect the accommodation before you sign the contract. I know this is procedure in any instance, but with B.A.B this is particularly important, as any issues you do have WILL NOT get resolved unless it is a legal requirement or you are at a serious health risk ¢â‚¬â€œ and I mean really serious. The ordeal you will have to go through to get any other issues resolved is enough of a health risk in itself, but this they simply do not care about.
Being burgled due to having no deadlocking facility, then being blackmailed with a form declaring myself and fellow housemates would not take them to court over the ongoing issues in order to get our deposit back, was the final nail in the coffin in our situation. I only hope I can provide some insight and share a warning to everyone looking to rent in the area before signing a contract with Bedfordshire Accommodation Bureau.