Dec 12,2016
Chris Parry
By: 'Appalled'
Dec 12,2016
42 people found
this helpful
If I could give a zero star review I would. This company, in my view, is crooked in the highest order. Failed to bank my deposit for 6 months (I don't think they'd have done it at all if the landlady hadn't threatened to sack them for poor management). This BROKE THE LAW but his response is 'In reality the deposit was never in danger, and it's protected now so there's no case to answer'.!

I have never had to deal with a more arrogant man, who is intent on treating his paying customers like the scum of the earth and getting away with providing a scandalously bad level of service.

There is a catalogue of examples, but just to give a couple: my quarterly check happened (2 months late), I mentioned that the button on the toilet was loose. He got someone round to fix it while I was at work. On coming home at 5:30 on a Friday night I find the toilet broken and no notification from Whirlybird about this. He refused to send an emergency plumber, hiding behind 'the landlady won't approve the costs for an emergency plumber'. He also refused to take responsibility for one of HIS OWN APPROVED maintenance people breaking my toilet. I asked him what I should do given that I only have one toilet in the property. His response was to go to the pub for tonight and he'll 'try' and get someone in on Saturday morning. This isn't a broken socket; this is a basic sanitary requirement. His people broke it and he again couldn't see why I was enraged that he refused to put it right.

He also gave one of his contractors a key to the property to fix a window. Then called me the morning of the check to try to rearrange it because they didn't have a set of keys. I'm sorry? You're the managing agent. And yes, you do have keys as I saw your set when I picked mine up and you gave your set to the maintenance guy so he could let himself in. Suddenly the penny drops......the maintenance guy had had keys to my property for 2 weeks and the managing agent had no idea because he can't manage his way out of a paper bag. It took me to tell him where his keys probably were before he realised. This invalidated both mine and the landlady's insurance. Again, he failed to see the problem.

As part of the quarterly check, his service is to take photos. He didn't. The landlady asked where they were. He then emailed me to ask me to send him photos. I'm sorry, what are you doing for your £200 a month management fee?

The alarm system in the garage had been going off intermittently for 3 days before I moved in (the neighbours told me). I contacted Whirlybird to ask them how to switch it off and they said they didn't know. And 'we've never been in the garage so how would we know?'. You....MANAGE...the property. Not just the kitchen, not just the lounge. The property in its entirety, that I rent IN ITS ENTIRETY.

He's now effectively blackmailing me to pay £165+VAT to make an amend to my contract. One amend. Nearly £200. That's some hourly rate. The landlady approved me to have a dog on the understanding that I pay for any damage and she told him she didn't expect me to pay him any more after everything that's happened. But he's ignored this and just pressed ahead with the charges he wants to charge.

He charged me a £120 'rush fee' to get in the property within 2 weeks. I don't know about you, but I don't think 2 weeks is a particular rush given the property had been sitting empty. By the way, the landlady didn't know about this fee and wouldn't have sanctioned it.

I'm currently working with my landlady who has also received a shocking level of service, to either take him to the redress scheme or to court for the illegal holding of my deposit of over £2,000. He is liable for up to 3 times my deposit back in compensation, yet still maintains his arrogant, money grabbing demeanour.

I won't speak of my landlady's issues with him; she can write another essay from her perspective.

Sorry to rant, but people need to know this stuff. There's more I could rant about, but you get the idea. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE unless you want to be ripped off, treated like scum and talked to like you're an idiot.
Comment on agent fees
Scandalous. £120 'rush fee' to get you in a property within 2 weeks. £165+VAT to make one amend to the contract. Maintenance quotes that are nearly double the market rate. My landlady and I now work directly to do any maintenance as his service has been so bad and a rip off. We have compared quotes and had work done for nearly half the price. And yet she's still paying him £200 a month when she's effectively managing it herself now.
Was this helpful? Yes
By: Chris Parry
Aug 23, 2017
Thank you for your comments. I will address any issues mentioned in the order as they covered in the tenant's comment. We are obviously not a "crooked" company in the slightest as we have won over 20 Awards for customer since 2014. We are also a member of the Property Ombudsman and they don't have any "crooked" agents within their scheme. The deposit was placed into the DPS scheme even though it did not need to be because it was a company let. The tenant lacked any knowledge on the industry process or how things operate.
We had to constantly inform her of how things work because she lacked common sense. Furthermore, we had complaints from previous personnel that had dealings with her both from a social and work perspective. All the team at WB try to help people as much we can and I personally try to go the extra mile and as such that is why I have won 11 awards for customer service since 2014. If this comment by the tenant was correct I would not have those awards.

Our level of service is outstanding which many happy people will testify to, however it seems with certain people no matter what you do they will never be happy or satisfied.

With regards to any maintenance issues, we always send around qualified personnel, however if they sometimes don't do a perfect job in lest than 24 hours the agent gets a complaint (it appears that every maintenance matter is now urgent from the tenants perspective!), however as much as we endeavour to get trades personnel to a property, they very often are busy or need to prioritise their workload as to what is urgent and non urgent. As we take this matter very seriously indeed and always strive to provide an excellent service we no longer use the company mentioned. Unfortunately, we get the backlash from other firms work which we fully accept.

With respect to the keys of the property, many trades personnel borrow keys for a property to complete maintenance jobs. This is normal practise.

This is example were the tenant had little common sense. In addition, with respect to the quarterly check, photographs are not part of the normal level of service and not part of the terms of business between WB Property and the Landlord. I'm not sure why this has been mentioned because our service level and what we provide for that service is between WB Property and the owner, nothing to do with the tenant. I think this is a prime example of the tenant stirring up problems. Mentioning photographs which is nothing to do with the tenant suggests the tenants is just trying to find very petty issues and just to trying to find matters to complain about.

With regards to the new contract to permit a pet at the property is a classic example of how deluded the tenant was. All agents firstly charge for an administration fee for a new contract, secondly all agents charge an increased security deposit for allowing a pet at the property.
This is standard protocol. Why should the owner pick up the cost if the pet has damaged the property or the property has not be cleaned properly? Our job is to protect the owner from such issues which we do very well indeed. Since this tenant has not worked in the industry how does she know what work goes into a particular task? I don't know about the work volume for a solicitor's firm because I'm not a solicitor. I don't pretend to know about other people's jobs.

Again, with regards to the "rush fee" this tenant does not know what extensive work goes into a very quick move in/check in and what needs to be organised.

As with most things in life there is always more than you think to tasks. As such, any company is entitled to charge for their time and service. Does this tenant work for free when she goes to work? If the description from this tenant was true, WB Property would not have won the awards they have. We strive to operate an excellent service and most often achieve this, but some people will never be satisfied.

To provide you an idea of the tenant's personality we later found out she had issues due to a break up, was also playing the agent off against the owner when originally we had a good relationship with the landlady. She also had made friends and colleagues aware of this review on so they could all "find it useful" and spread the bad comments (which we had to take legal action on), she had complaints in the workplace from previous jobs, had complaints from previous partners (she had split up from her partner), completely fell out with the owner once she had moved out of the property even though she made out they were best friends whilst in the property. She would very often say one thing on the telephone and tell the owner the opposite story. A very very vindictive person who was also completely two faced and this was supported by the feedback from previous relationships. She once told the office "she used to have a footballers WAG lifestyle before splitting up from her partner". Maybe this was the crux of the problem and as such she should seek further medical help for her personality disorder.

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Whirlybird Property

2 Orchard House, High Street Cookham, Maidenhead

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