I rented from this estate agents for a year. I guess the first thing I should point out is that they have a lot of unnecessary and exorbitant charges (but fair enough, most estate agents do). I paid a holding fee, initial deposit, \'admin fee\' (which I found hard to take as I fill in every single form myself and they simply printed out pre-written documents and changed the address on them), and then the fee for reference checks on both myself and my guarantor.
At this point they were pretty transparent and helpful, I had some issues with one of my guarantors and my agent Stelios Hamalis did all he could to sort things out. They were always available when I needed to contact them and the progress of my application could be checked online.
The condition of the property itself was great, and it seemed reasonably priced. When things broke or became defective they were generally sorted within 2-3 days and sometimes faster, and paying rent was simple as I simply had to pop next door. There was also the option of paying over the phone.
I\'m afraid to say this is where the pleasant part of the experience ended. Once I gave notice that I intended to leave I began to get VERY short notice of viewings at awkward times that they had already agreed with prospective tenants (was called at 3pm for a viewing at 10am the next day, not ideal as I work until 12am some nights). They called to arrange to take some photographs of the flat and then never turned up, although my partner had taken the morning off to tidy up. We never received a phone call or an apology regarding this, and in the end they just used old photos anyway.
I have since received a bill for the replacement of one of their old units that broke of it\'s own accord during my tenancy. Although I have sent them several emails regarding this I have yet to receive a reply, and they even had the cheek to email me a check out report with a bill a week later... WITH THE BILL I DISPUTED STILL ON IT! Not professional in the slightest, and unfortunately I have found them to be very tit for tat when it comes to giving back the deposit.
I see it is the general view that landlords feel as though they are entitled to as much of the deposit as possible, and it is no different with Ariston. I have been charged for mould on the bathroom ceiling caused by the poor positioning of windows in their property, and for a bathroom lock that didn\'t exist in the first place!
It should also be noted that they force you to hire a professional cleaner at the end of your tenancy, no matter how spotless it may seem. That was £95 down the drain for me! It\'s a great shame because I found them to be very nice people overall, but my experience during the aftermath of my move has really ruined them for me. I cannot say I would recommend them on this basis, although if you have read this review then at least you will go in with eyes wide open.
If you wish to renew the tenancy there is also £40 renewal fee. The rent increase they proposed wasn\'t too greedy (an extra £20 a month) but beware when getting their handymen to fix things - you may be left with a nasty bill when you leave!
What agent could do to change your mind?
Maintain professionalism when sorting out matters with deposits, email tenants back in a timely manner.