Before choosing to use Whitegates as our agents for a short term rent, we checked out their reviews. As a student - myself and my partner were looking for a half decent but well priced place - and Whitegates seemed to do exactly that, which is great. Having gone through the paperwork process which was managed pretty well, we moved into our property within a couple of months of selecting it.
On first inspection, we did not notice that the master bedroom bed was held up by a pair of weighing scales. The middle beam had been broken by the previous tenant - and someone obviously thought that using scales would be a great fix to this. We told Whitegates about this - who said that they would fix it. In the 7 month tenancy we were there, we were told someone would fix it, someone would fix it... however no one came. This led to the mattress falling off the frame several times - sometimes even during the night. We chased and chased and chased but it seemed Whitegates didn\'t want to bother.
All of the furniture was cheapy IKEA rubbish - which is not terribly high quality. A few items here and there, including the slates from the (very uncomfortable) sofa managed to snap or break - not because we were heavy handed people, but because they were old and probably needed changing. Never the less, these damages were deducted from our deposit.
Further to this, the blinds around the house were cheapy plastic ones. On one occasion, I went to open the blinds, and actually managed to pull it out of it\'s little holding quite easily. Once again - we were charged for this, even though in my opinion it was down to cheap quality fixings.
With regards to the deposit - good luck getting it back within the two weeks of departure inspection they specify. What they should really say is that they will refund your deposit within two weeks of when you\'ve sent them every single cleared bill, including council tax (which as far as I am aware has very little to do with them if we haven\'t paid, especially as students). They are rude and obnoxious on the phone and make the assumption that everyone has rented a property before, thus assuming you know what they want or are talking about without actually specifying anything.
During the departure inspection - perhaps I should argued more with the inspector - but I understood that some things need to be paid for like messy carpets or stains on walls - damages we actually made. I was mature about this and was told that an estimated £200 would be deducted for all damages. However, having finally received the deposit back (we moved out in June, it\'s now end of August), I can see that they\'ve taken over three times that amount, for apparently sprucing up the place. Absolutely ridiculous.
I would not use Whitegates again, nor would I recommend them to anyone. They come off as a professional company who are clearly well established, but in reality they are nothing but your typical estate agents who\'s only interest is sucking all the money they can out of you, even if you don\'t deserve it.