Mar 05,2018
By: 'Aric'
Mar 05,2018
3 people found
this helpful
We had the misfortune of renting a property from Eastbank Studios for 4.5 years, moving out in January 2018 due to them wanting to increase the rent by £300 per month. The list of issues we had dealing with them is extensive but I will attempt to give an overview below:

- When we first moved in, we specifically asked whether it came fully furnished. We were reassured that it came with everything you would expect. Once we had signed the contract and moved in, we found there was no washing machine in the kitchen. We contacted Eastbank and were told “Oh, no, we no longer provide washing machines as we find they break down and we have to replace them.” We ended up having to rent a machine for £15 a month.

- All the furniture provided was of the lowest and cheapest quality you could imagine. The wooden table fell to bits within a couple of months.

- Email correspondence from Eastbank was often poorly and unprofessionally written. Bad spelling, bad grammar, incoherent and written in multi coloured Comic Sans. It would often take multiple emails to get any kind of proper resolutions.

- We had an electrical fault where the fuse box burnt out and we lost all power. We called out an emergency Electrician to come and have a look who informed us that the electronics were over 60 years old and illegal. He said we were very lucky it hadn't caused a house fire.

- We had a severe damp problem in one of the rooms where the whole wall was covered in wet, black mold. A real danger to health. We emailed numerous times with no response. Called numerous times, left answerphone messages, nothing. I decided to go into the office to speak to them directly but when I arrived they refused to speak to me or let me in without an appointment. How am I supposed to get an appointment if they don't reply to any of my emails or calls? Someone finally let me in after 30 minutes of standing outside and a heated conversation took place. It took them over 4 months to get around to fixing it, with my housemate forced to sleep on the living room sofa for the duration.

- Standard safety requirements such as smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors weren't fitted until 3 years into the tenancy.

- While speaking to Jacqui on the phone, she once informed me that she had let herself into our property earlier in the day to have a look around. When I informed her that by law she had to give us 24 hours notice, she replied “What ya gonna do?”

- A friend was due to take over one of our rooms so we went through the necessary arrangements to put him on the contract. When he arrived at their offices to sign the contract, having specifically booked a day off work and having been unable to get a response from them via email or phone, they refused to let him in without an appointment. After 30- 40 minutes of waiting outside and ringing the buzzer, someone finally let him in, at which point a full-blown shouting match apparently ensued. My friend contacted me that day to explain what had happened and that he was unwilling to go into any into kind of agreement with this company and would have to pull out at the last minute. We were left with having an empty room and having to cover the rent ourselves until we could find someone else to fill it.

- The back garden was a dump with loads of rubbish etc for the duration of our tenancy. This was a shared garden with the neighbour below but apparently this should have been Eastbank's responsibility to maintain. For example the metal steps going down into the garden were crumbling with rust and a danger to walk on.

- Every time, we would add someone new to the contract, they would try and slap us with yet another rent increase.

- Towards the end of the tenancy we received a text message informing us that painters would be coming around the following day to re-paint the flat. Concerned as to what had prompted this, we contacted Eastbank and spoke to the painters and Jason the repair man about the purpose of the painting. They promised us that there was nothing to worry about and that it was just the responsibility of the letting agent to freshen up the property every 4-5 years. Some of the walls were a bit scruffy so we cautiously agreed for them to go ahead. In what turned out to be a massive upheaval, we had the painters in the property for over two weeks. They took down all our artwork and fixtures without asking us which was a huge pain to have to put back up. 3 days after the painting had been completed, we received an email from Eastbank that the rent would be increasing by £300 per month. We felt deceived into allowing all this work to take place while we were happily still covering the rent, only for them to essentially hold us to ransom and force us out of our home.

- In the end we decided enough was enough and we weren't prepared to be pushed around with such huge increases in the rental amount. The figure they were looking for was clearly over what the property was worth. A fact that was reflected by the property being empty for over two months after we left and them having to decrease the figure they were asking for. So in essence they lost more money by having the property empty for that time than if they had accepted our offer of a £150 increase in the rent per month. Plus, they lost long-term tenants who always paid our rent on time and looked after the property as if it was our own.

- Once we had moved out Jacqui contacted us with a list of deductions from our deposits. Despite our cleaning job being impeccable, Jacqui insisted we would need to pay for a professional cleaner to come out and re-clean the toilet, oven, carpets and fridges. I provided photos we had taken clearly showing spotless fridges, toilets etc. She responded by saying she had misplaced her photos of the dirty items and attached photos of the dirty carpet. The photos she attached were of a completely different property. We decided it wasn't worth our time or energy to raise a dispute and paid the extra deductions so we could be done with Eastbank as soon as we possibly could.

- The remaining deposit was returned 4 weeks late, only after repeated emails and chasing.

This agency epitomises everything that is wrong with the rental market in London. Letting agents driven by greed and with a complete disregard for the people who make their homes and lives in the property they rent out.

Eastbank Studios. “Viable, Reliable and Safe.”
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Eastbank Studios Ltd

141 Hoe Street Walthamstow, London
Greater London
E17 3AL

0208 521 8589

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