I am a first time landlord and didn\'t realise that once the property was let by the Lincoln office it would be managed by a team in Essex. That was my mistake for not doing my research.
There was inconsistency of contact in that over the course of a year I have had e-mails from 10 people in the property management team. I would receive an e-mail from one person and reply to it, only have someone else reply to that, it was very odd and disconcerting. There was a problem with my property last winter and the \'approved contractors\' gave consistently bad and plain wrong advice by telling me that I needed to replace the bath (wrong - the shower screen needed replacing), that I needed a power flush and new radiator valves as the radiator wouldn\'t heat up (wrong - the valve simply needed to be turned on). I was also quoted 125 pounds to repaint the kitchen ceiling, and I eventually had it done by a professional workman for 25 pounds. The total amount for the work they suggested was in the region of 1200 pounds, but after using a website to find local workmen I had all the work done, by professionals, for around 250 pounds.
After the tenancy ended, a new tenant was found and a week before they moved in it came to light that they had a dog. I had expressly said that I didn\'t want to let to people with pets so I was in the position of having to find a new tenant and ultimately the house was empty for a month. At this point I put the property in the hands of a local agent and have now found that Haart/Spicerhaart didn\'t pass on the Gas Safety Certificate which they had had done in August, so now I have had to pay for that to be done again.
The whole year I have had to supervise these people and virtually do their job for them, it was a waste of money hiring them for a full management service. They just used their approved contractors without checking to see if they were over-pricing and didn\'t seem to want to get more than one quote. When I resisted using their workmen, they almost refused to deal with workmen I appointed.
There were mistakes on several statements so every transaction had to be double checked as an unacceptable number of errors occurred.
I hate to write this, I would much rather write a glowing report but there is nothing good about this company. I would strongly advise against using them and go with an independent agent instead.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Limited the number of people dealing with my property.
Been more flexible in terms of using landlords choice of contractors.
Explained how they selected their \'approved contractors\'.