Dec 25,2012
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TAMMY/LUCY HOWLAND
MIKE HOWLAND
By:
Dec 25,2012
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this helpful
I would not recommend using this esate agency, as they are unprofessional, highly unrelaible and complete liars. They do not know how to treat tenants, they are money grabbers. It is a small family run business, who have no idea how to treat people they robbed us of our deposit, i would recommend using other reputable companies within the downham market/norfolk area. They have a tendency of preying on elderly landlords, so please be aware.
I will be reporting this company to the property ombudsman, as i would not want anyone to go through the traumatic deal i had to encounter.
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By: Lucy Howland
Mar 27, 2013
This response is posted by Lucy Howland - Principal of Key-Lets Letting Agents, to Siama Khan's post on Christmas Day 2012.

Dear Mrs Khan, Thank you for your comments which we have been made aware of today. We are naturally extremely disappointed to read your review and are more than happy to respond to the claims made against us. The statements made are incredibly suprising to us, as we have not received any form of complaint from you since you vacated the property back in September 2012.

As a reputable family-run business we are required to provide an internal complaints procedure which we are more than happy to provide details of to you, should you wish to make a formal complaint regarding the service you received.

For the avoidance of doubt, your deposit was not taken in full, the Deposit Protection Service were asked to arbitrate on behalf of the Landlord as there were some cleaning issues with the property when you left, as well as some decoration that was required. As you did not feel you were liable for this, it is usual practise for agents to use this service as it is independent and is based on the submission of evidence from each party, in order for them to make the final decision regarding the return of a Tenant's deposit.

We wrote to you on 6th September 2012 confirming the following points:

Shower screen – on the inventory it was noted that there was staining to the rubber around the shower screen. We did not dispute this, however the screen itself was covered in lime scale and the thick black mould present down the side of the bath was not present when you took on the property.

The bath seal was also heavily covered in mould which was not present at the time of the inventory. During our routine inspection with you on 20th July 2012, we discussed with you that the mould around the bath and down the edge needed attention and we gave you advice on which bleach-based products we would recommend to get rid of it. You agreed that this would be carried out. The mould was still very much present when you left the property, which showed little effort had been made to clean it off since our inspection and additional cleaning was therefore required to remove it.

Toilet - There was no mention of any staining to the toilet pan on the inventory, nor any additional comments noted by you that there were any stains, which shows this was clean when you moved in.

Kitchen – The inventory states that the sink had some “water marking and signs of use”. The sink was thick with lime scale and was in a far worse condition than when you took the property on.

Decoration – The property was completely redecorated before you moved in – again as stated on the inventory. The amount of scuffing in most of the rooms upon the final inspection was not consistent with the short time you had been in the property (9 months) and was therefore not considered fair wear and tear, as adequate care had not been taken by you to preserve their condition.

With regards to the signed inventory we had on file from you, the only additional comments made upon its return to us were against the oven, which stated “hob marking/numbers rubbed out”. Therefore you agreed with the contents and the condition in which the property was given to you.

During the planned final inspection with a representative from our office on Saturday 1st September, you were not ready to hand the keys back to us at the time we attended, as you had not finished at the property. The final checkout could therefore not be completed, the arrangements for the deposit could not be agreed and the property could not be signed off.

We agreed for you to leave the keys in the property’s allocated post box for us to collect on Monday morning - 3rd September - when our office re-opened and you agreed that the final inspection could be completed. We informed you that the final decision regarding the release of your deposit rested with the Landlord. You advised us that you were happy with this, however later that day we received a very abusive phone call from your husband claiming he did not agree.

As you were not prepared to address these issues yourself, we had no option but to take the matter to dispute with the DPS to claim costs on behalf of the Landlord. We were advised by a local contractor who visited the property with us that the amount of scuffing to the walls was too much to simply touch up and, as such, some of the walls would need to be fully painted again.

We are saddened that you chose not to help us resolve this issue amicably, considering the amount of time we spent helping you overcome problems with your initial references before you took the property on, as well as opening our offices late at night over the Christmas period while we were closed to accommodate you moving into the property.

Your Landlord decided to sell the property you were renting as her husband was very ill and she needed to move away from the area in order to be closer to her family. Your Landlord was an elderly lady who we have helped for many years in both selling and renting her properties for her. We understand that you were upset at her decision and subsequently chose to give your notice, however we fail to see where the accusation of us "preying on elderly Landlords" comes from and we would very much like proof of this, as we wholly refute your comment and find it to be without any foundation.

Should you wish to contact us directly, we will be more than happy to provide you with details of our complaints procedure and welcome proof of the above allegations made against us in order for us to pass these on to our solicitor for comment.

We very much hope that this response answers any queries for other viewers to this site.

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Keystone Estate Agents

14 London Road Downham Market
Norfolk
PE38 9AW

01366 385588

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