Mar 08,2018
By: 'Denis Chan'
Mar 08,2018
1 people found
this helpful
I'm an overseas investor.

Through GJ, I had rented out an apartment in Central London to 2 tenants. I have highlighted below my personal experiences with GJ agency for the past 18 months. For ease of reference, I have also broken the key characteristics of my case into sub catagories:

Contract / Miscellaneous -

To begin with, the contract was not correctly and clearly drawn up insofar as the referencing is concerned. One of the tenants claimed to be on high salary although this individual did not contribute to the rent payment. I was blinded by this fact but urged to sign the contract.

It rolled over as usual in the first 9 months. There after, problematic situations and incidents arose. For instance, non paying rent on time, suspicion to have been sub-letting etc. This was on top of the consistent incorrect monthly statement from GJ which were full of accounting errors. If I had not double confirmed the figures, I would have obtained and received less rent!

On a separate note, there was an agreement between myself as the landlord, the developer and GJ for all charges like residential ground rent and service charge to be cleared from deduction of rent received. Some months ago, a member of the GJ Agency who was responsible for this agreement had departed, and she has not made the payment prior and as a result the developer had imposed a late payment fee for which GJ made me clear the charge, when it was clearly their error of oversight.

Approaching the break clause period at around month 12th, Riaan Kruger, The Head of Sales and Lettings reassured me that he would be able to handle and resolve all upcoming and ongoing problems. Who then asked myself to extend the contract.

I extended the contract as a good will gesture and then the nightmare began.

Loss -

From month 13 onwards, the tenants refused to pay any rent. As a result, they have not been paying rent for 7 months straight. To-date, I have suffered and am loosing out on over £23,660.00.

Eviction -

During the course of eviction, one of GJ's agents filed a section 8 for eviction of tenants but had the date incorrectly calculated. This had only been identified by my lawyer and as a result another section 8 was resubmitted causing a delay of 6 weeks.

Throughout the 7 long months of non payment, GJ remained neutral about the severity of the situation and only acted passive and did absolutely nothing, Riaan Kruger claimed the tenants wouldn't speak to him. Despite numerous requests, the intention to step in and handle and resolve the situation was never present. There were no visit to the apartment as required to investigate the situation further.

Reaching the 7th month of non payment, on a Friday night, the tenants suddenly sent me an anonymous email saying that they had vacated the apartment and left the door unlocked and open with no keys returned.

I immediately contacted GJ but there was no response until a few hours later but Melisha Pall, The Property Manager would not do anything until the coming Monday. So I then called the developer's management company and let them know the exact situation and requested for emergency assistance. I then contacted Another Agent of mine for assistance who immediately came to the rescue and made a visit to my apartment the same night who also made sure everything was reviewed throughly. It was late Friday evening and a relatively breezy night and I was grateful to that particular Agent. The next day on Saturday morning the other Agent also changed the lock for the main door (Melisha Pall refused to do so, claiming the email might be fictitious despite the apartment was confirmed vacated and door opened), took photos and carried out inspected to the damage and defects to the apartment.

The next week, GJ visited and claimed the apartment was in good condition, despite the factual truth of the apartment was in a terrible state with broken items and residue lying about, missing dining table/chairs, in extremely poor state and shape about the apartment with deep stains all over the beds and carpets. But still, all Melisha Pall cared about and kept on questioning was when I would instruct GJ to re-market the property.

Court Day -

Nearer to the court date, I connected GJ to my lawyer. Being overseas, I could only rely on GJ as my management agent for court attendance. Melisha Pall initially agreed to attend but only a few days before the court day she informed how she would not be able to attend and even questioned if I myself could attend. I replied, No I would most definitely not be able to attend as I was not in the UK and then after some persuasion, she somehow then re-agreed to attend.

On the day of the trial, GJ only produced a piece of paper for 7 months' rent arrears totalling £23,660.00 to the court case. But this was wrong because they forgot to add the overdue charges as stipulated in the contract. When questioned, GJ replied it was the responsible of the lawyer to inform the court on the charges as they have a copy of the contract. Could you believe this?

Claim of Management Fees -

Would you believe GJ also requested for their management fees in for the 7 months of non a payment tendency, when I have not acquired a penny! They also wish to do so by deducting the fees sum 'illegally' from the deposit, which is kept for specific purposes, rather than for payment of management fees.

I voice out all of my personal experience above as a break-through, I do not wish any landlords or tenants in future to suffer such horrid experiences with GJ letting agency. The above case is factual and authentic, nothing but my traumatic experiential truth. Being an overseas investor, and not being able to personally be on-top of your investments, this is truly a horrendously horrible experience, I have lost all faith in GJ agency. For which I hope to share my disgusted experience with fellow readers so that hopefully none would struggle the familiarity for such a distressing experience like my case for the past 7 long months.
Comment on agent fees
Bad - not value for money
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