My partner recently moved in to a property on Oxford Road, in Reading. I shall be having the displeasure of also becoming a customer of these cowboys (no, cowboys is too kind a term...amateurs perhaps) for the 6 month lease that we were naive enough to sign.
The under-street level flat has a mould problem, most of which was covered up by various furnishings by Martin & Co. We were told that the flat would be clean, as one would expect, yet we spent the better part of a day wiping down food and juice stains on cupboards, kitchen tops and hobs.
Moreover, the washing machine quite literally exploded with water all over the kitchen floor as the powder draw wouldn't shut properly and was jolted open by a spin cycle. This occurred 5 days ago, and as of yet, we've been promised that an electrical company (?!) will be visiting to have a look at it. Whilst we're at it, two lightbulbs were missing from the bedroom and the kitchen respectively. I brought this issue up with the dim sounding 'proprietor' and he asked, with a tone of surprise, whether or not lightbulbs had been installed before we moved into the property. That is your job Parma, not mine, and I use the term 'job' lightly as this level of incompetence is most probably the sole reason for them not being in other lines of work.
Simon is a lettings negotiator, and had not much to say when viewing the house. Whilst combing through the contract, this 'senior' lettings negotiator uttered "most of it is bla bla bla". Well colour me stupid Simon, you're not even trying to hide the fact that you want to scam people out of money.
I find it reprehensible that an inventory costs £72, so we're compiling a file of evidence (including photos, written statements and witness statements) against this housing company including the state of the flat when we moved in. Missing lightbulbs, mould being hidden by furniture, a hole in the wall with loud scratching noises at night and a broken washing machine. Then again, I wouldn't expect any notion of professionalism from a middle aged man who wears an earring and has bleached hair.
This is only thus far, but with the obvious lack of organisation, regulation and transparency, I would steer clear of Martin & Co in Reading. The one thing I do look forward to is informing these amateurs that I am a landlord myself and am perfectly aware of the rights & obligations of tenants, landlords and lettings agents.