WORST AND MOST STRESSFUL LETTING EXPERIENCE EVER!!
Getting the flat was stressless, the staff were friendly and I was excited to move in. The woman I dealt with in regards to moving in was great. This was the end to my good experience with Fine Holm.
When I arrived at the property late at night (as I was moving from Edinburgh to Glasgow and had to pack up a full flat) there was no electricity so I had to sleep in the cold and dark. Fine Holm charged me £95 \'set up\' fee to ensure all the bills were set up and I was told there was credit on the electricity.
Within a couple of days I noticed a musty smell and strange water marks appearing on the wall, I called Fine Holm who said they could only send someone out weekday mornings, I agreed on a morning but as I ran a building I was called to work due to a fire alarm. I called to cancel and explain but I was met with a frosty response regarding this. I told them I would call back to rearrange.
I called back 2 days later to rearrange, they said they would call me back. After 2 weeks of calling and being told \'someone would call me back\' I finally called again, this time noticing that I was having trouble breathing in the flat and I would wake up with an extreme cough, runny nose and sore head. Once I finally got ahold of my maintenance \'manager\' and she was apologetic and said it would get sorted. Another week went by and I called again. This time I was met with an attitude and told someone called me and I never answered. I had an answer machine and a mobile, no message or call was visible. They clearly hadn\'t called but had lied.
Once I finally got ahold of her again, She arranged for someone to come view the problems. Someone came out and agreed there was something wrong but stated a specialist should come see it (no such specialist ever came). In the meantime I got a surveyor to check the walls and he concluded there was damp in the walls. As it was non visible the letting agents began telling me there was nothing wrong and made out I was lying.
About a week later I was coming home after an evening out and when I opened the door water was pouring from the ceiling (a lot of water). I tried to get in touch with the neighbor upstairs but he wasn\'t in. The water damaged my sofa, the carpets, flooring and alot of my soft furnishings that hadn\'t been unpacked yet. I also lost a whole box of photographs.
I reported this on the Monday morning (office closed weekends) and they said they would send someone out. That evening the landlords knocked on my door to assess the damage. When they came in I proceeded to tell them about my bother with the agents and they were shocked, as they hadn\'t been informed of the previous problem at all even though they were the one maintaining the flat. Thankfully the landlords were great and fixed the leak and removed carpets.
I believe they complained to the agents who put an industrial dehumidifier in the flat. This cost a fortune to keep on and I was not refunded for that or for the items I lost or were damaged. I was also told to keep my heating on and again was not refunded for doing so. Even worse, my health had got so bad in the flat I had stopped living there and had to pay the rent even though I couldn\'t live there. I then asked to get out my tenancy (6 weeks after moving in, as it had all been pretty stressful and I was losing so much money having to pay for the flat and all the bills including council tax (about £800 all in) as well as commute to work from Edinburgh (around about £400/500 on travel a month) and pay towards my friends bills who\'s flat I was now living in. All of this was taking up my entire income and Fine Holm were getting less and less helpful every time I spoke to them .The lied to me on numerous occasions and even made out I was lying to them!
By this time I had lost thousands and emailed the landlord who agreed that if we could find a new tenant then I could move out. That was the end of March; it took until the 25th of June for someone to move in.
They gave me 1 week's notice that the person was moving in so I rushed around arranging movers and storage space etc. As I don\'t have a car and the movers couldn\'t do it until the following week I called and asked if I could move my flat check a day forward so I had time to clean the flat. I was told this should be fine but someone would call me if not.
No one called.
On the Monday I got a phone call saying the flat was a mess and items were still in the flat. I explained I had called to move the flat check, again I was told I must be lying, no one knew anything. I got there the next day and went to clean the flat only to realise that my cleaning products I had just bought had been stolen (from the person doing the flat check) they were all new products I had bought to clean the flat as well as my grans vintage tea towel that was next to the sink (value around £20). I called the letting agent to report this and asked if he could return them but they insisted he said he didn\'t so it wasn\'t their problem and if I didn\'t clean the flat they would not refund me my deposit. Again they made out I must be lying (seems to be the way they deal with their tenants, not great customer service!). I went to the shops and bought more products, this time reeling!
I left the flat immaculate and took photos. I heard nothing from Fine Holm. I finally called to see when I would get my deposit. I was told everything was fine, the new tenant had moved in on time and I should receive my full deposit soon. I waited 5 weeks (now not being able to move anywhere and having to sleep on my mothers sofa) I called and spoke to them again and was met with a very rude member of staff saying it was my fault as they had to rearrange someone to come out and view my flat which set them back (even though the tenant moved in on the exact date she was proposed to). I explained I needed it in order to move into a new flat and she replied with an ¢â‚¬Ëœit's not my problem' attitude. I finally received my deposit the week after via bank transfer. I'm unsure as to why it took so long.
So I though my nightmare was over, I had lost thousands and had actually lost my job as I couldn't afford to commute, pay to stay at my friends and pay the flat overheads. However, 2 days after receiving my deposit the full rent was taking out my account on the 25th (a month after the day the new tenant moved in, didn't seem like a coincidence) I called my bank who said I had a standing order set up for the 25th but my OLD standing order with Fine Holm which I had cancelled was on the 1st of every month. Now it had changed. When speaking to Fine Holm they said they would refund me but it would take 2 working days, including the weekend this meant I had to wait 5 days for this money to be refunded. I was now racking up bank charges and had missed my rent payment for my new flat. When speaking to Fine Holm they insisted it was the banks fault. When speaking to the bank the insisted it was Fine Holm and as I had deleted my standing order the bank couldn't extract money from Fine Holms account.
The worst thing about these agents is the non-communication, they never write anything on file, they are rude and constantly try and prove you wrong or insist what your saying is not true. I have never had such a bad experience. I have been left stressed, ill and penniless and not so much as an apology from them.
I have currently written a letter to the property ombudsman and intend to take them to court.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Been more helpful
Had better communication
One person you deal with at all times and not lots of different staff who you have to explain yourself to everytime.
Took some financial responsibilty or at least acted more apologetic when problem arose.