We are a young couple, looking for a one bedroom which accepts part DSS as I am due to have a child.
I contacted this agency with interest in a large one bedroom studio apartment. Having met Abu Kamara, he was very helpful and showed us the property. After informing Abu that I am due to have a child in 4 months, he suggested another property which would be better suited for me and my partner. Abu was very helpful and then showed us to this property which we very much liked. Following the viewing Abu asked us to call his office he next morning and speak to his colleague Kenny and this is where it all went downhill.
Kenny Ola was very rude when I called and stated he did not know anything about the property. I am then asked to call HIM back in some time once he had spoken to Abu. I called Kenny back and he was then miraculously aware of the property and knew who we were but did not want to speak to the landlady about our offer until he had met us in person. He went on to tell me about two other cases where he has had to evict tenants on DSS because they had not met their rental requirements. I tried to assure Kenny that we would not have that problem as my partner is working and we even had a guarantor. I began to say that if he spoke to Abu, he would know our situation but he rudely interrupted claiming he is Abu\'s boss and doesn't need to speak to him, as if dismissing any correspondence between ourselves and Abu and making us aware who he was! He went on to ask many personal questions about our financial situation, stating that the benefits scheme will be changing and even asking how many hours my partner works! This was very invasive and rather rude on his part. Although my situation was urgent, Kenny said he would call me back next week either Tuesday or Wednesday, not giving me an appointment or clarifying when exactly I should expect to hear from him, only stating he will not be in the office on Monday. We felt very uncomfortable with the agency at this point and felt as though they were discriminating against us based on our circumstances.
Late Tuesday morning I contacted the office and Abu said Kenny would like to meet us and asked us to come in as soon as possible, in the ¢â‚¬Ëœnext half hour' as he put it. My partner and I said we would be there by 11.30 and we rushed over in order to meet Kenny. When we arrived, our meeting lasted about 5 minutes. I told Kenny the exact same thing we had discussed over the phone the previous week and he continued to talk about Benefit changes in April and we assured him it would not be a problem. Kenny said he would speak to the landlady immediately and call us later that day.
We understand these things may take some time, but we did not hear back from Kenny. By 4pm I called the office and Abu said he had no information for us but would ask Kenny to call before the end of the day. We heard nothing. I called again the following day and Kenny was not available so I was asked to call back later. When I eventually spoke to Kenny, he said he had spoken to the landlady and \'presented our case\' but she was not sure about receiving DSS payments and needed some time to think about it, although we had been shown the property and told DSS was acceptable beforehand. So we waited.
During this time I thought I should be clear with Kenny as to why I kept calling for updates and why our situation was so urgent. I emailed him explaining my circumstances and was very honest as to my urgency. I also mentioned that I had received different information from both himself and his colleague with regards to DSS which is why I was confused but assured him again that we would make good tenants and be able to keep with up payments. Kenny replied very rudely stating he had no obligation to help us nor had So Suite or the landlady entered into any agreement with us either implied of verbally. He ends this email stating he will contact me after he has heard from the landlady. This email correspondence happened on Wednesday 20th, the day after meeting Kenny.
Today, Monday 25th February, I called So Suite offices for an update at 1pm. Abu answered and told us they had not heard from the landlady. At 4pm I receive a call from Kenny\'s mobile. He is immediately rude with me and asks what I meant in my email last week, almost as though he was picking a fight. In response I told him I wanted to highlight our urgency and clarify that I had received different information from both estate agents and thought that the DSS was not a problem. He was very aggressive and said he didn\'t like my attitude and he didn\'t want to deal with me anymore, adding the landlady had \'just called to accept us as tenants\' and he was not going to help us and hung up.
Shortly after I received a text message from his mobile, in which he referenced my situation mocking me with \'I can see why you have problems with your in-law\' and \'you probably think the world owes you something when after all you\'re owed nothing\'. I couldn\'t believe it. Never in my years of renting have I ever come across somebody so rude and so unprofessional. I replied rather calmly and professionally stating he had been out of line and shouldn\'t be using my situation to mock me! I told him I would be contacting the office of fair trading about the way he had treated us. He continued to be abusive and called me a loser. \'Go ahead, you are simply a loser\' as he put it. I couldn\'t believe it! I tried to call him but was told he was out of office and should try his mobile, to which he answered \'I don\'t want to speak with you\' and hung up. I called the office again and asked to file a complaint to which I was told Kenny Ola was the \'owner\' of the business so I would need to go through him.
I appreciate the life of an estate agent can be difficult but I have never come across a company so laid back and so unorganised. I was receiving different information from both agents and asked to call them back constantly, doing all the chasing. I felt like they were messing us around. To then be treated like a lesser person for being on DSS and feel like I had to almost beg for help then to go on and be treated like absolute sh*t because my situation was urgent. To then be insulted by the \'owner\' of the company as though this was some sort of game to him! I would not advise ANYONE to use this agency, but then again if you\'re fortunate enough to be able to pay rent solely out of your own pocket you\'d probably be treated very differently.
What agent could do to change your mind?
The agent could have had some manners and tried to understand why were in such a hurry rather than treating the situation like a hierarchy game.