Given their awards for customer service, we were expecting great things from Streets Ahead. The reality was a bit disappointing.
I first contacted Chrissie about a month before we were due to start looking for a flat, and to give her credit, she did follow up with me exactly when she said she would. We were a bit taken aback when the first flat she arranged for us to view was unfurnished (we'd specified furnished), over our budget and not in the location we'd said we were interested in. Undaunted, we persevered. Chrissie wasn't that proactive about organising viewings ¢â‚¬â€œ I had to chase her up a number of times. Still we found a flat in the end.
After a number of phone calls and unanswered emails, Chrissie sent over the relevant referencing forms and we picked up the keys to the flat a couple of weeks later.
We weren't that surprised to see that the flat needed a thorough clean throughout (when Daniel Thornton sorted out the tenancy agreement, he told us he hadn't been into the flat since it had been vacated by the previous tenant and had no idea whether it was clean or not). However, we weren't expecting to see that the bed frame had been completely dismantled, and some of the parts were missing ¢â‚¬â€œ rendering it unusable. There was broken furniture throughout, and the kitchen units urgently needed replacing.
I emailed Streets Ahead about this the following day. It's been over 24 hours now, and I've not had any update from them. The first person I spoke to in their property management division about it said he's speak to the landlord immediately, and then when I called again was told he had gone on annual leave.
We also still haven't received a copy of the tenancy agreement, and Streets Ahead have so far not been able to inform us where the gas and electricity meters for the property are. They were, however, very speedy in ensuring we'd paid them a £67 check-in fee before we could collect the keys.
This is by no means unusual behaviour from a letting agency, but according to their website their ¢â‚¬Ëœgoal is to meet the needs of every client with the utmost professionalism, care and integrity.' I can't say that has been our experience of working with them, I'm afraid.
What agent could do to change your mind?
They could have inspected the property before we moved in and made the necessary repairs. They could also pick up the phone or reply to their emails.