Samalexander Ltd were the first letting agency I used in London and it turned out to be a case of \'Beginners *Bad* Luck\'.
In the course of my dealings with them they\'ve proven themselves to be no more than snake-oil salesmen, masquerading as an \'agency\'. It\'s been an unsavoury lesson for me to discover the scandalous vacuum in regulation within which these \'agents\' are able to operate.
I came to learn that Samalexander Ltd do not have a governing body.
This is quite an essential condition for their daily workings as it means that there is no avenue of recourse available to disgruntled clients, of which there are surely an army. It is also de facto evidence that Samalexander are *not* a
reputable letting agency - the Property Letting Guide states: \'All reputable letting/estate agencies have a governing body.\'
My experience, briefly, developed as follows. I was interested in a studio-flat and paid a large holding-deposit for it (having done no research into the agency\'s record or reputation). When I eventually received the receipt for this holding-deposit (a week after I\'d been promised it), it came with a request that I sign and return it. I then noticed the tiny small print at the bottom of said receipt, which contained a number of severe terms and conditions of which I had not been made aware prior to my paying of the holding-deposit.
I contacted the \'agent\' (Sam) who\'d shown me the place, to express my reservations at not being told that I stood to lose my holding-deposit if my references were deemed inadequate. The exchange continued like this:
Sam: Anyone over 15 knows that you lose your holding deposit if your references are bad.
Me: That\'s quite a condescending thing to say to me, \'anyone over 15...\'
Sam: Now you\'re using these long words...I don\'t like you, my friend, cos I don\'t like dealing with you. Come into the offices on Monday morning and I\'ll give you your deposit back! *click* (phone-line dead)
Quite struck by this unprofessional outburst, I nevertheless thought, \'Great, I\'ll go in on Monday, get my money back...\'
Of course when I did as told, in their office that Monday, I was to get my first exposure to their inveterate lying ways.
Sam denied that he\'d promised to return my holding deposit and his morally bankrupt manager, Alex, effectively reneged on the verbal promise made me. What\'s more it didn\'t occur to either of them to apologise to me for undergoing the time and effort to visit their remote little office in what transpired to be a futile goose-chase.
In this encounter I was also told the startling news that holding-deposits - even unconsummated ones - are regarded as legitimate revenue by the \'greedy\' (Alex\'s term) landlord company to whom Samalexander Ltd are beholden, and to whom they instantly pay half the holding-deposit upon receiving it.
This meeting occurred 6 weeks ago. Despite an assurance by Alex that he\'d pay me half the deposit back 2 weeks ago, I\'ve still not received a penny. My phone calls are avoided, e-mails ignored. When I do get through to him, he blithely asks me, \'What can I do for you?\'
To reiterate what has been said by several other reviewers on here, stay WELL clear of this gang of glorified thieves and scoundrels.
They are slimy, stunted, shameless, predatory, unscrupulous, opportunistic bullshit artists who\'ll show one face while gunning for your money, then treat you with the contempt that the system shamefully allows them to slither in once your money\'s been extracted.
If there was some justice they\'d long since have been deprived of their license.