I moved to London in March from overseas and found this flat near Shadwell station at the beginning of April through spareroom.co.uk. The girl who was moving out had told me that I should give her my deposit for the room and that she had cleared it with De Vere Property Management (please note that this is not the same company as the one based in Guildford/Woking). I met two of the three other flatmates and they seemed trustworthy and confirmed her statement. I gave her a partial deposit and she gave me a copy of her passport with a statement, indicating how much I had given her. I gave her the rest when I moved in around April 15th. In the week leading up to my move-in date, I tried calling De Vere numerous times from Edinburgh to try to sort out my lease, but never received a return call. This was an early indication of their non-responsiveness.
I resided in the flat from the middle of April to the middle of August, with no lease, even though I had tried to sort one out. There were a few times when I was going to go out to Barking to pick up a lease, but I was assured by Bodrul Islam, the first agent I was dealing with, that he would drop it off. I never saw a lease.
In June, I requested to pay my rent on a weekly basis, rather than on a fortnightly schedule; Adam Johnson gave me permission to do so, which I did until I moved out. Unfortunately, when I moved out, I received my deposit, minus 40 pounds. De Vere said that it was because I was late with my payments. I provided letters from my bank, stating when my rent came out of my account - none of my payments were late.
When I gave my two weeks' notice, I offered to find my replacement in the flat, thinking that I would get my deposit back faster. I needed to get out of the flat ASAP because there was a flatmate who was a misogynstic homophobe. I moved out two days early and the guy who was replacing me was supposed to pay me the two days' rent; instead, he mistakenly paid the two days' rent to De Vere. This amounted to 42 pounds.
De Vere has ripped me off 82 pounds in total.
After weeks of correspondence with Naznin Khandakar and Kobir Ali Ahmed to try to get my money back, they stopped replying to my phone calls and emails altogether. While I was looking for a new flat, I came across an advert, which I replied to. A man by the name of Jake replied and it turned out that he was part of De Vere. I mentioned that I had been trying to get back my money from De Vere and he actually seemed quite helpful. He replied to my text messages and emails and I was hopeful that he would be able to get me back my money. As a new resident in the UK, it's been frustrating to have to deal with greed and apathy. Eighty-two pounds may not seem like a lot to a company, but it's a day's wage for me.
I provided records of emails and bank letters to Jake Ensum, but eventually, on 19/Nov/12, he said that although my case had merit, the decision to reimburse me was not up to him, but to Bux (last name unknown) and Adam Johnson. Neither have replied to my email, which is very typical of the people who work at De Vere.
My experience with De Vere Property Management has been an absolute nightmare. The fact that I lived in the flat for four months without a lease is indicative of how disorganised and unprofessional they are as a business. I moved out in August and it is currently December; I am still waiting to get back 82 pounds for two days' rent and a late fee that they shouldn't have charged me in the first place.
I would highly recommend NOT using this company.