We were interested in a property managed by Oliver\'s. We initially made an offer to move in 3 weeks after the agreement. The agent (Paul Montague) pushed us to make an offer to move in straight away but we declined and they finally accepted our offer. We viewed the flat 3 times in total (viewing, then making measurements for new furniture) and he was late every time (up to 40 min), and one day he didn\'t even appear. In spite of the initial rush, and that we have very good references from our previous landlords and Universities/Research Institutions for which we are working, the referencing process and writing the contract took 2 weeks. There was no excuse for such a delay; we gave them all the documents required and chased them everyday, leaving us with no time to organise the moving in.
The contract was 9 pages in length of very vague and convoluted language with many clauses involving agency fees. We asked for the modification or clarification of these clauses involving fees to avoid a misuse because of the bad references the company already had. They were totally against any modification of two very controversial clauses. Two clauses included paying a fee of 20 pounds per every legal letter the agency might send to you. They didn\'t specify in which circumstances they would send letters to tenants, and had no limits regarding the number of letters in each case. Be careful as well if you want to start a family. They were reluctant to modify other clause prohibiting children living in the flat.
We gave them a deadline to amend certain parts of the contract since we could wait no longer to arrange the moving, but they didn\'t care and they postponed a meeting for 4 days later. The General Manager (Peter Heath) phoned me and while I was talking and raising the facts and our bottom lines he interrupted me, mocked me, and hung down the phone. Very professional!
Finally, they won\'t give us back the 1-week deposit we gave them at the start, even though they said at the beginning they would give it back to us if we didn\'t reach an agreement.
We have wasted a lot of money, time, and energy in this process. The landlady, who we think is very reasonable and nice, has also lost in this process. Therefore, be careful with these sharks! They will make sure they are the ones who always win.
What agent could do to change your mind?
We would never use this agent/agency again. They only offered us to change the clauses we considered unacceptable one day before the moving in day, when they realised they had already lost the deal (they were totally inflexible during the negotiation process).