We had such a negative experience from Atkinson Mcleod, throughout our entire tenancy they proved themselves to be dishonest, unreliable & unapologetic. I have noted down all the problems we experienced below.
1. 2/10/2010 ¢â‚¬â€œ We viewed property with Anita Sano. Holding fee was paid on the same day on the understanding that the flat would be available before the end of October. Both of us flagged up the considerable cracks in the walls of the property, but were assured by Anita that these would be fixed.
2. 21/10/2010 ¢â‚¬â€œ I emailed Anita to chase up the exact move date
3. Anita responded to say that the flat would not be available until the end of November. A month later than promised
4. I responded expressing grievances about the change in dates & delay in response from Anita & requesting the holding fee to be returned.
5. 25/10/2010 Anita responded saying the holding fee was non refundable and that we would ¢â‚¬Ëœfind it difficult to find another place at such short notice'.
6. I responded to email to requesting the £400 be refunded and disputing what Anita had said regarding the move date please ref email 5.
7. 30/11/2010 ¢â‚¬â€œ We collected the keys from the Balham office where he met with Anita who apologised for the error on Atkinson Mcleod's part for our move date being delayed for a month. It was never explained to us why the holding fee could not be refunded ¢â‚¬â€œ but we felt we had no choice but to hold out for the flat, as we were only informed at such short notice about our move date changing & we could not afford to lose £400 at that time. We have found that Atkinson Mcleod will not put an apology in writing, but will make verbal apologies.
8. 9/12/2010 ¢â‚¬â€œ I emailed Merilyn Ovelon about replacing the curtains in the bedroom (as requested as a condition upon signature of the holding forms). I never received a reply & they were never replaced.
9. 5/4/2011- light fitting (that was taped to the ceiling) fell & broke leaving exposed wires. It emerged that the glass lamp shade had been taped to the ceiling.
10. 8/9/2011 ¢â‚¬â€œ Atkinson Mcleod were due to carry out an inspection of the flat. My partner remained at the flat & missed work in order to be there. No one turned up or contacted us.
11. I emailed Sarah Mayes, she replied to say someone would come round one day the following week, but offered no apology for the inconvenience.
12. 24/02/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œAtkinson Mcleod missed a second inspection ¢â‚¬â€œ my partner had taken a day off work again in order to be there & no one turned up & no one from Atkinson Mcleod contacted us. I contacted Francesca Horton who did apologise & rearrange.
13. 20/03/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ A member of the Atkinson Mcleod lettings team called to arrange viewings of the property in order that it could be re let as there had been a significant amount of ¢â‚¬Ëœinterest in the property'. No one at this point had contacted either of us to discuss renewal or re-letting. I looked online the same & the property was advertised on ¢â‚¬ËœFind a Property' for an increased rent (an increase of approx 20%).
14. 26/03/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ Nicholas Walters sent quite persistent emails to arrange viewings on the property for the same day. We found that viewings were the only appointments throughout our tenancy that Atkinson Mcleod made on time.
15. 26/03/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ Simon Jervis emailed to say the landlord was not satisfied with the condition the flat was being kept in, which was why we weren't considered for renewal. He couldn't be any more specific and told us he didn't agree with the landlord.
17. 26/03/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ I responded to Simon requesting the direct contact details for the landlord ¢â‚¬â€œ he replied that this was confidential information. I requested the landlord's address and quoted Section 1 of the Landlords & Tenants act. The information was not on the tenancy agreement.
18. 27/03/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ the estate agents would only release the address of the landlord when we declined to allow viewings before being able to contact him.
16. 13/04/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ our reference from Atkinson Mcleod came back as ¢â‚¬Ëœdetrimental' ¢â‚¬â€œ almost causing us to lose our current property. When I contacted Simon Jervis he admitted to this being a mistake ¢â‚¬â€œ but no apology was made.
19. Upon receiving the address for the landlord, I wrote to him, but never received a response.
20. 2/04/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ Steven Gower from Atkinson Mcleod contacted us to arrange for contractors to come & assess the cracks in the wall. We only had a few weeks left on our tenancy at this point.
21. 10/04/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ I booked a clean with Castlewhite cleaners (Atkinson Mcleod's recommended cleaners). The price of £145.50 was agreed excluding VAT. This was to include carpet cleaning & cleaning of the oven. The company also arranged to provide pre & post tenancy clean photographs. The cleaning company requested that they be allowed to access the property at 9am on the move day.
22. 20/04/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ contractors arranged by Atkinson Mcleod property manager Steve Gower were due to visit & assess the cracks in the wall (which we highlighted at the beginning of the tenancy & at our initial viewing). The contractor never turned up &did not contact either us.
23. 30/05/2012 - The cleaner from Castlewhite arrived 1.5 hours later than arranged ¢â‚¬â€œ causing me to miss a work appointment. We returned a number of times through the day, but it was clear the clean was taking longer than anticipated. I then arranged with the cleaner to hand the property keys over to his superior Mr. D Wood, in order that he carry out a post clean inspection.
It was clear that Castlewhite have a close working relationship with Atkinson Mcleod in order that they are allowed to hold onto property keys. We received an email from Liz Collis at Castlewhite informing us that the clean was taking longer than anticipated and that additional costs would now be incurred.
When we then returned to the property & asked the cleaner why it was taking so long ¢â‚¬â€œ he explained that this was due to the fact that the extractor fan needed cleaning, as did behind the washing machine & fridge. He also explained that this cleaning had never been done in many years & could not have been caused during the current tenancy. He gave us his mobile number in the event that we might need him to verify this. When we moved in, the extractor fan was listed as not working on the inventory, so we were never able to use it throughout our tenancy ¢â‚¬â€œ but the cleaner explained that this was probably due to it having never been cleaned.
24. 02/06/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œLiz Collis from Castlewhite emailed to advise that the additional cost of the cleaning would be in the region of £200 ¢â‚¬â€œ
25. 06/06/20120 ¢â‚¬â€œ I emailed Castlewhite to request the pre & post clean photos as promised & to reiterate that we would not authorise any payment to be taken out of our accounts until mutually agreed.
26. The extra £200 was later taken out of my account, without my authorisation These are Atkinson Mcleod's recommended cleaners.
27. 07/06/2012 ¢â‚¬â€œ I emailed Dan Quinn to make him aware of the problems we had had with the cleaners ¢â‚¬â€œ we never received a reply.
We have had such a negative experience using Atkinson Mcleod, and their service has been appalling in comparison to our new estate agents.