Nov 08,2017
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Ian Ho
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Nov 08,2017
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this helpful
If it was possible to leave anything less than a 1 star I would...I would advise anyone who is looking to rent in or around the Greenwich area to avoid these agents like the plague. It was all well and good until after we signed on the dotted line, and then it all went tremendously downhill. My husband and I have countless threads of email exchanges between us and the agents and it is making my blood boil to see how we were treated by them. Amongst the many issues we had, here a few examples:
• When we moved in, the flat had not been professionally cleaned (this was agreed prior to us moving in).
• There was no emergency number to contact the Agents so at weekends, were pretty much stuck.
• Ian made a point of preferring to speak with husband rather than me – he was very rude, abrupt and patronising when he spoke with me (there was no professionalism there).
• They did not give 24 hours reasonable notice when they were wanting to show people around the flat after we gave our notice or carry out inspections. What they did was send something like the following message: “In order to ensure compliance with the terms of your tenancy agreement, we will be visiting the property during the period 20th June 2016 – 1st July 2016 between the hours of 09.30 am and 6.00 pm but not at week-ends or Bank Holidays. If there is a particular day when you would prefer us not to visit, please let us know as soon as possible. Otherwise you need take no action. There is no need to be present when we visit as we have keys to gain access. Please let us know if there are any maintenance requirements that you would like to bring to our attention before we visit, as this will assist in a thorough investigation of any concerns. Having seen the item, it will be scheduled in for repair and you will be informed of the date when we will attend to the work”. We had to assert our statutory rights and refuse them entry until they gave us adequate notice.

What I found totally disgusting (among other things), was the moving out charges which are technically hidden charges as these are not disclosed to you when you sign for the flat at the beginning of the tenancy, so you are trapped. I have copied and pasted the following from their Moving Out Guidelines as examples for anyone who is thinking of renting from this Agency:

• We are happy to provide references for you for any future landlord for which a charge of £25.00 plus VAT (£30) is payable per person. Please send us your cheque, made payable to 'Feliks Augustine' and ask the person requiring the reference to send or fax their request to us. Alternatively, the cost can be deducted from your deposit.
• Please ensure that your standing order for the payment of your rent is cancelled after the final payment prior to your departure. If we have to refund any overpayment of rent an admin fee of £25 plus VAT (£30) will be payable for each occasion.
• If you are leaving the property prior to the end of the six month fixed term, an administration fee £70 plus VAT (£84) will be charged per person as again, in effect, the agreement is being broken. You will be charged rent only up until the date replacement tenants move in or the end of the six month period whichever is the earlier. It should be noted that most other agents charge the rent up until the end of the fixed period, even when replacement tenants have been found.
• Replacing Lightbulbs = Minimum charge £50 plus VAT (£60). [We found this out when they tried to charge us £50 plus for replacing a lightbulb. We went to Tesco before we handed the keys over and replaced it ourselves.]
• Please note that if the property is not returned in a satisfactory condition we reserve the right to undertake any necessary work. Listed below is a guide to the cost of such works. Please remember that each property is different and these costs may vary depending upon the level of work required. Please note that professional cleaners should be employed to clean the property and professional carpet cleaning companies to undertake the cleaning of the carpets. Hiring DIY store carpet cleaners is rarely acceptable and may prove to be a waste of money. Also, cleaning companies who offer carpet cleaning as well, again is rarely acceptable as they tend to use DIY store carpet cleaners rather than industrial standard machines [This is basically them coercing you into using their cleaners as they are hinting that any cleaners you choose to hire, will not be acceptable).
• General Cleaning for a 1 bed property = £175 + VAT (£210); Gardening = £35 + VAT (£42) per hour / A minimum of 4 hrs [so you would have to spend around a minimum of £168 for a small garden…]; Window Cleaning = Minimum charge £50 plus VAT (£60).

To conclude, it is evident that the service these Agents provide to tenants is unacceptable. I understand that they are in the business to make money. However, the way that they are making their money is unethical and probably falls short of the regulations outlined by the Property Ombudsman and the Trading Standards Institute.
Comment on agent fees
bad - actually appalling
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Feliks Augustine

5 Greenwich South Street Greenwich, London
Greater London
SE10 8NW

020 8858 7111

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