Oct 06,2017
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Oct 06,2017
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If you ever decide to rent in Nottingham, I beg that you NEVER use CDF estates. Yes, their cheap rent is appealing but it is cheap for a reason and really not worth it in the long run. The trouble started from the get go. No heating or hot water working on my first day of moving in and it happened to be in an old Victorian flat in the first week of January, so absolutely freezing cold as you can imagine. There were damp problems too and all the taps in the bathroom did not work properly. I was told that I was 'over exaggerating' and just needed to 'wrap up warm'. As someone who actually likes cold weather, I can tell you that I was not exaggerating and was actually really suffering from just how cold it was. I spent the first few days trying to get out of the flat, when really I needed to be unpacking and settling in. After kicking up a lot of fuss, I was transferred to the cheapest hotel on Mansfield Road, and spent almost a week there. No money was supplied for food expenses. A week after my moving day, I was finally back in my flat and able to unpack – really a week of rent should have been knocked off for the inconvenience.

As for the taps, I was told they were 'fixed' during my time at the hotel but they looked exactly the same, and now didn't work at all. I then continued to complain about the taps for the next 9 months. Yes, 9 months. I had to use the kitchen taps, instead of the bathroom ones like a regular person, for 9 solid months. I mentioned it in emails, whenever I spoke to them on the phone, and face-to-face inspections. I would think a tap is a pretty straightforward thing to fix but clearly not. It was eventually fixed at the end of September, and by someone who said that the taps clearly hadn't been touched in years. In the end the whole sink was replaced.

As for the damp, after a few months of living there a small wet spot appeared in the corner of the kitchen above the cabinets. It happened during a week of incredibly heavy rain. I immediately became concerned and told CDF estates. Some men came around and emptied out the rain gutter. I didn't have any problems for the next 4 weeks until it happened again, and it was during another very heavy week of rain. Like before, I reported it to CDF with a picture, because this time it was bigger. Two days later it had grown from a palm size damp spot, to half a metre long and 30 cm wide. I sent another email and picture. Another 2 days went by and it grew again to double the size – a metre long and half a metre wide. I sent another email, with another picture, It was starting to make my stuff in my kitchen cupboards smell of mould. CDF assured me that they would do something as soon as they could, but there didn't seem to be any sense of urgency. It wasn't until the following week when a maintenance man came to fix my back door (because it was stuck and I couldn't get into the garden) that he pointed out the damp spot. (Every maintenance person that has been in my flat has told me that they too have had several communication problems with CDF estates.) I told him that I had reported it SEVERAL times and he said that he knew about it but didn't know it was THAT bad. I was furious, especially because I had sent several pictures over several days that clearly indicated how quickly it was spreading and that it was a cause of concern. He said that he needed to fix it tomorrow, and to his credit, he did and I haven't had any problems since with damp – however that wall is now permanently damaged. It has crumbled, darkened and also damaged the wooden cabinets however all that could've been avoided if CDF had acted immediately. I also reported my fridge door breaking, but that took so long that I just asked my Dad to help me when he was visiting from London. From then on, if I had any problems I decided that CDF wouldn't care enough to do anything about it so it wouldn't be worth my time reporting it – and they are clearly happy for a building to deteriorate before their eyes.

But on top of all the maintenance issues, by far the worst part about CDF is their lack of care, acknowledgement of any issues they have caused, and just a general lack of intelligence and common sense. I have absolutely no idea how they are still standing.

Lets talk about their lack of respect for my personal security. First off, I got burgled over the summer due to a faulty lock on the very front shared door. The door is shared between 4 flats and leads into the house, my flat being the first flat you come to. The lock had been sticking and clearly wasn't closing behind people when they left the building. So presumably, it didn't close. Once the burglar was in the building, it only took 2 kicks to break into my flat due to me having a hollow interior flat door instead of a regulation fire door. I was at work at the time, and no one was in the other flats when it happened either. I immediately called the police, followed by CDF estates as I had no working front door and there was no way I could remain in that flat in that condition. I got through to an out-of-hours number, bearing in mind it was 6pm on a Saturday. The man on the phone was rude and didn't want to come fix my door because it was 'not a convenient time' for them. I was not impressed. Presumably an out-of-hours number is for instants EXACTLY like this situation. After much persuasion and moaning, they agreed to come and have a look at my door. Once they arrived, the first thing they asked was if the forensics had been yet. I told them that the forensics was 10 minutes away. His exact words were 'if they are any longer than 30 minutes then I'm not staying.' I was fuming to say the least. No reassurance, and they were prepared to just abandon me in that situation. Again, presumably this is their job and what they are paid for?! I live on my own and all my family live in London so I had no one to help me. The flat was not safe or secure, it couldn't be left like that and I couldn't leave the flat either as all my stuff (what remained of it) was still there. Thankfully the forensics did turn up (the police were very good – I must say) and then CDF did temporary fix my door, but there was no way that I was going to rest until my door was replaced with a secure fire door. If I did not continuously contact them about fixing my door, then I believe it would've taken them a lot longer than it did. The days after my burglary, when I was pushing for my door to replaced, I was quite rudely told to 'get over it' by one of the CDF staff. Yep. Thankfully it was replaced 5 days after I was burgled, however I had to take a week off work because I didn't feel safe leaving my flat unattended until I had a new door plus I was suffering with quite bad anxiety and I have mental health issues anyway. They also replaced all the flat's doors in the building – all except the flat opposite mine. There is a new tenant in that flat now and they still have an old door, so I have made sure to let them know. After my burglary, the lack of concern or sympathy really just showed how awful and inhumane they are. As someone who has worked in customer service for many years, I could not understand why they didn't even bother to fake reassurance and kindness. Being told to 'get over' a burglary… there are just no words.

I later found out that the previous tenant in my flat had also been burgled. I found this out from another tenant in the building who had lived there for several years, but CDF claimed to not know anything about it. Whether you believe that or not – you decide.

Several weeks after my new door was put in, my dad helped me install a remote wifi alarm system for my peace of mind. It was either that or move, but I was already feeling too overwhelmed and anxious that I couldn't cope with the thought of moving just yet. I had just gone back to work for a few days after having time off to deal with the trauma, when CDF estates let themselves into my flat without letting me know and in turn set off my new security system. This, to say the least, did not help with my anxiety or help me 'get over it'. In my mind, it felt like I had been burgled again. They claim to have let me know a few weeks in advance by email – I never received that email and the reason I didn't was because they typed my email address in wrong. Such a stupid mistake, but it ended up feeling like a complete violation of privacy. They have had no problems emailing me in the past, so I don't know why they failed this time. (they claimed it was due to a new system, but I don't think that's a good enough excuse and all it would've taken was a phonecall because I never actually gave them permission to enter my flat. It was for a routine gas check, NOT an emergency one at that). They must have permission otherwise it is breaking an entering. It makes me wonder what other times have they entered my flat without my knowledge before I had an alarm system.

I was hoping that would be the end of it, especially as I will now be moving out and leaving Nottingham. But no. I have been in London for 10 days and have got back to Nottingham today to find my flat door unlocked. YES, UNLOCKED. And the last people in my flat was CDF for a viewing. They tried to argue that they didn't have a viewing, but they did because they emailed me about it? And I always triple check that I've locked my door –especially since the burglary. Bearing in mind that I am still a tenant and my belongings are inside, they have just put all my things at risk AGAIN. How incompetent and uncaring can one estate agents be?! The stress and hassle that CDF estates has caused me has honestly made my mental health worse. I can't wait for it all to be over.

If it had been one of these incidences, I could probably let it slide but it all adds up to just a massive injustice. CDF estates, please invest in some proper training in customer service, employ people who are polite and caring (or at least can fake it), maybe people who have intelligence and can type an email address in properly and know how to lock a door behind them. (I know plenty of children suitable for the job) Oh, and a sincere apology and a recognition of your failures would go an awfully long way.
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CDF Estates

252 Haydn Road Sherwood
Nottingham
NG5

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