I first let a property from Townends in 2006, and was very pleased with the service I received form them, so when I was looking to let again in Guildford in 2012 I had no hesitation in using them again. What a mistake that turned out to be.
Although they were extremely proactive in arranging viewings and suggesting properties, the moment I had settled on a property the trouble started. They failed to answer most of the emails I sent them, provided a catalogue of information that was wrong, and didn\'t return or follow up the cast majority of my calls. The entire process of arranging the tenancy was a catalogue of errors:
On a repeat viewing of the property to decide on furniture, the agent and myself were confronted with an extremely angry tenant who refused to let us in, stating that not only had he not been informed of the visit, but that Townends had not returned his keys to him when they had promised after a previous viewing.
Townends neglected to inform me of the extent of their fees until after I had already given them my holding deposit. A mistake on my part, but the previous time I had used them their fees had been reasonable. This time they demanded £600 (this for a single occupancy).
I asked at the time if there would be any fees for tenancy renewal and was assured that there wouldn\'t be. When it came to renewing the tenancy I was then asked for money to draft a new tenancy agreement, and was told the original answer was an error.
Townends had stated that they would be setting up council tax and bills on my behalf. I filled out a form for this with my details but heard nothing. Several ignored enquiries later I was fed up of chasing and just did it myself.
Townends stated that they would be doing an inventory, however this was also in error.
When arranging the initial tenancy agreement, Townends emailed me documents intended for the landlady in error, containing confidential financial information.
When I wrote to the branch manager detailing my experiences and grievances, I was completely ignored.
To summarise, I found Townends to be incompetant, rude, and downright dishonest, and would advise anybody renting or letting a flat to steer well clear of them.