We rented a flat from SouthSide in January this year, we moved as my partner and I needed a larger and accessible flat in order to look after our mother who was suffering from a terminal disease. and she was already using a wheelchair by that point. We were upfront about our circumstances with the agency prior to signing a contract. The property was advertised with a ¢â‚¬ËœWOW'sign marked on its rent price.
A month before our initial 6 month contract was to end we received an email from the agency saying that the landlord decided to increase the rent by £250 (about a 30% increase to our rent) and we had also to sign a 12 month contract on this increase, otherwise our contract would be terminated. At this stage our mother's condition had deteriorated rapidly and she was at the final stages for her life.
We could not afford this increase, we tried to negotiate and we even offered to pay an £150 increase on a 6month contract. When this was refused we asked to be given 4 more weeks added to our notice so we could at least have enough time to make any necessary arrangements for our mother to move again. When making this request we also pointed out the very fragile health condition our mother was at that time. To this request, John Davidson, the agency director, accidentally replied to us, instead of his staff, and we end up receiving an email saying ¢â‚¬Ëœ Just tell them that if they need more time they can sign the 12 month contract'!!!
We pointed out how unacceptable that was and he explained that they landlord wanted to use their property for the festival and that was why they couldn't give us a few more weeks. Basically the reason for the absurd increase and the insisting that we need to vacate the property by 30th July was because the flat was to be used for the Edinburgh festival. Our mother passed away in the begging of July so basically in the same month we had to arrange a move and funeral. There was no respect or dignity in the way we were treated and still writing this I can believe that is was possible to be treated so badly.
We left the property in a good condition despite all the above. In fact the agency person that was doing the inspection gave us very good feedback on the perfect condition the property was delivered (she even put her hand behind the over fan to inspect cleanliness). However, we still had to fight to get our deposit back as the landlord who arrived at the property the same night was demanding for a cleaner to be send! This experience was extremely humiliating and stressful for us and we would recommend SouthSide to no one.