Mar 04,2013
Mar 04,2013
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Moved into house in Broadstairs without much issue. House was dirty but would of cleaned anyway so not too bad.

We had issues throughout tenancy that were usually resolved, but we had a sagging ceiling in the bathroom which we reported to them. Nothing done which could of either been the landlord being slow or the agent not reporting to him. Eventually it fell on me (which hurt) which we reported, but after a month or two, still nothing done despite wind coming through in middle of winter.

On the weekend we were moving out, it suddenly became a priority to fix the roof for the new tenant and they pushed for access (which we denied as they would of been in our way).

Cherry on the cake is despite having email permission to tidy up the house/paint the kitchen cupboards before we moved in from the agent, this appears not to off been communicated with the landlord. We did also get verbal confirmation from the agent on the colour we were using. This is now being denied (despite providing proof of emails to agent) and the agent is saying the landlord wants us to pay for replacing the kitchen doors. Considering we had permission from agent and it is only a water based paint, it seems both excessive and has left a bad taste in the mouth as we had permission from the agent. If they havent told the landlord, despite saying they have, that is their mistake and not ours.

I could ignore the slow service on thngs being fixed, I didnt even mind being injured slightly when the ceiling fell on me, but trying to take money for us having done no wrong is very bad practice.

I would not use their services again based on this, and if you are a tenant of theirs, make sure you have everything in writting from them as it could come back and bite you! We are currently going through the dispute resolution service so fingers crossed.
Was this helpful? Yes
By: Ian
Apr 11, 2013
Attempted complaint process with Milton Ashbury. Here is correspondence. Start from bottom and work way up for chronological order.

Mr. Parry,

Seeing as this is your second complaint to me I feel it important to address it. You're correct, Craig and Claire's names do not need to be on that site in full, so I will attempt to reduce to first names. The reason they are there in full is because the site asks for them and not out of malice.

You complain of misrepresentation of your company, to address this I will attempt to include all email correspondence with yourself so you have a voice too. Now as for I should of come to you first with the complaint before making the posting, I would like to point out another procedural error of Milton Ashbury.

If you were a member of a redress scheme (as per law for practicing estate agents...which I believe you are - so breaking one of the few laws there to regulate agents) you would know to make a complaints procedure in writing available to all customers. Now at which point was I informed of a complaints procedure before the magical door to Narnia that is your help closed? I wasn't, it was an afterthought having bashed my head against the brick wall of 'not our problem' for a month. Generally, it would be advisable to hand out a welcome pack to tenants with this in as well as useful contact numbers such as maintenance, account details for rent etc.

It's nice that you've won awards for service and you have over 600 properties, that must mean that my complaint is less valid and you can take the approach of not helping me as I am clearly malicious. Well done you, a pat on the back is deserved.

In respect to the leak, your records if accurate should show that around two months after the ceiling fell on me (despite prior warning of it sagging...two or three times) Craig came around with a bunch of flowers and acted surprised it still wasn't fixed. Flowers don't stop freezing wind blowing through a hole no matter how tight you pack them in! It may of been a nice gesture but it seemed mildly silly, don't bring flowers, fix the f****** ceiling. Again though, procedurally a call to us should of been made before that assumption was made that the ceiling was fixed. A week before we moved it suddenly became an urgency to fix the ceiling on the day we were moving out. A complete lack of regard was shown for us so no, access was not granted to fix it on our departure day. How silly of us for not allowing our last 12 hours in the building to have a builder in there/fixed ceiling, clearly we were self sabotaging.

I think we've reached the end here. Emails confirming improvement of property, calls to confirm colour and clearly we're in the wrong and deserve to pay for a whole new kitchen for the landlord. As for all intents and purposes you were our landlord, I of course expect you to do nothing and I'm clearly a 'malicious' person for expecting that or exercising my right to complain when I've received a bad service at possible financial cost to me. As you have over 600 satisfied clients, I must obviously be wrong.

Just remains for me to offer a heart felt thanks for everything you've done for us. You and your team have been brilliant. Keep up the good work buddy.

Kind regards,


On 9 Apr 2013, at 12:36, Stephen wrote:


To cut a long story short, had you approached me before making unsavoury
comments about my company then I would have taken my time to speak to the
landlord on your behalf. You took a course of action that you thought was
clever and rubbished my company and my staff by name.  I appreciate there
are those individuals or firms that respond to this type of activity for
fear of further criticism, but not me. You misjudged me as I do not operate
in this way and have little to fear of criticism where it is neither fair
nor accurate.  Further, I have yet to come across anyone to put in a bad
word about Craig or Claire yet you felt the need to publicly humiliate them
by name when I am absolutely confident that Craig probably put in more time
and effort than he needed to try and resolve this situation to your benefit.
You talk of had it!  Clearly, Craig cannot make a landlord do
something he is not prepared to do, but he put in the time I assure you of
that.  I agree with you that a Director does not need to deal with every
complaint but being a Director I have acquired a skill-set that often helps
two parties bridge their differences and has achieved on numerous occasions
a good outcome for all where from the beginning it looked that there was no
such possibility. Now you have lost out as a result of your malicious
actions, and yes they are malicious.  We are both intelligent and worldly
enough to admit that we know what power the internet has and every day see
the examples of lives destroyed by those who exploit it for their own
purposes.  We will all suffer in some way as a result of your actions!

We have managed over 600 properties in a deprived area for nearly 10 years.
Ask around, you will find that in the main we are regarded highly for the
efforts we put in on behalf of our tenants.  I also run a company called
Landlord Assist which nationally champions the rights for both tenant and
landlord.  Read our testimonials you will quickly realise what I am all
about and it is this ethos that I try to instill in the culture of Milton
Ashbury.  We actively encourage our landlords to promote the longevity of
the tenancy by attending to the needs of the tenant where possible.  It
works very well for us considering we are now close to being the biggest
management agent in the area and have consistently won awards each year for
our services.  It was probably what drew you to us in the first place.
Further, I can point out a good number of agents in the area who don’t give
a damn about the tenant, I am sure you know them too, yet those who review
your posting will now consider us the same.  Therefore, your posting was not
fair and not right.  

In respect of the leak, our records suggest that the landlord instructed a
contractor to address the problem, but whilst it may have taken a little
longer than desired, you then opted to delay the matter given you intended
to move out and did not want to be inconvenienced by the work.  I even
understand that your partner was sent flowers by the landlord by way of
appreciation for the inconvenience.  I note that this was not detailed in
your posting.  Are these the actions of an agent or landlord who just don’t

Therefore, short of returning the deposit, which I cannot do as it is held
by a government approved scheme and is being challenged by the landlord,
what is it you would like me to do?

Kind regards,

Stephen Parry|Milton Ashbury

Tel 01843 223 223|Fax 01843 299 089| Web

“Showing outstanding initiative, imagination and commercialism, Milton
Ashbury has pulled a masterstroke of ‘out of the box’ thinking” - Estate
Agency of the Year Awards
Winners 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011
-----Original Message-----
From: Ian
Sent: 09 April 2013 09:38
To: Stephen
Cc: Graham
Subject: Re: Complaint - Dundonald Road

Mr Parry,

Thank you for your reply. I am impressed by your outstanding complaint
handling. You've followed the golden rules of quantifying my complaint,
empathising with my situation and finally you've come up with a resolution
that addresses the issue. Well no, actually you've done none of this. If
you're not able or willing to deal with complaints then quite simply,
delegate. Knowing your weaknesses is a simple trick to being a good manager
and running an effective company. It's a misconception that complaints have
to be dealt with by a director.

Amongst your thinly veiled insults, you were possibly correct, I should not
of posted the review until I had made a complaint to you and I was
considering removing it. To let you know why I posted the review, I'm going
to skip to point two of basic complaint handling, empathy.

Please listen. You move into a dirty property, ok. You report a sagging
ceiling once, nothing happens, ok. In an inspection you point it out again,
nothing happens, ok. The ceiling falls on you but you're not looking up to
sustain serious eye injury, mildly annoyed and injured but you're  mummy's
little soldier so ok. Ceiling is not fixed during mid winter as the wind
blows through, bordering on not ok but still, with high tolerance levels,
ok. Hand in notice, suddenly its an urgency to fix ceiling for next tenant,
mildly annoyed here but whats the point in getting angry. Finally, you move
out and having improved the property as per pre move in agreement by
painting the garish kitchen cupboards that are almost as old as you are in
'Swedish Blue' (a water based paint chosen by my girlfriend who works in
fashion who has by the way made our new home into show home for photo shoots
which is appearing in a number of fashion magazines, so your jibe about
'quality of workmanship' is off the mark, even if it wasn't the new tenants
like it so what's the problem?) and are told despite having an email from
your agency (for all intents and purposes our landlord) confirming its ok to
improve the property and having called Claire with the colours to get
confirmation that is acceptable to the the landlord, you are told not only
does the landlord want money for it, he wants the almost exact amount of
your deposit for a £50 job of washing the cupboards down. How would that
make you feel if you were expressing empathy for our situation? Back to
point one of complaint handling - permission - improvement - penalised.

Quite rightfully so, it made me feel pissed (excuse my French). When we
courteously explained this to Craig, we were told there is nothing he can do
as you work for the landlord (although technically true for agency, still a
grey area as where does the money come from for admin fees etc), although I
must commend him, he knows a lot more of complaint handling than you and
even though he was in the wrong he did at least attempt to be pleasant. Now
that feeling is retroactively applied to all the little niggles throughout
the tenancy and they become not ok as we have been treated unreasonably.
It's not the case I have an 'agenda' I am genuinely upset at the failings of
Milton Ashbury and the potential financial penalty we are potentially going
to occur as a result of this. Would you be upset at this treatment Mr Parry?

Now finally, you pretty much made a complaint to me as a response. What some
people fail to realise about a complaint, no matter how annoyed they get, is
that it's an opportunity to learn. All complaints no matter how small should
be welcomed and reviewed in light of company procedures. From this your
company could take away something about recording/linking emails to property
files, training staff on recording information and conversations with
landlords in property management records and having everything sent in
writing to landlords so you can remind them of agreements if they try a
swift one and obviously not piss tenants off earning your company bad
reviews. If you've not looked into cfp property management software I would
suggest doing so as it does all of this with ease. I would also suggest you
take a course on complaint handling or even just read here

It is very basic and you could of achieved a very different outcome if you
hadn't postured with pride and a complete lack of empathy.

Finally we come to resolution, in keeping with the empathy motif what would
you do here Mr Parry? Personally I would of said 'I'm going to speak to the
landlord myself to try and resolve this, I appreciate it has got to the
dispute resolution stage with the DPS but we are keen to help resolve this
and I am sorry this has happened' (note, no omission of wrong doing, just a
keenness to help and sympathy for the situation) as opposed to 'I welcome
the opportunity to engage any third party', but hey don't listen to me, what
would I know as I'm just the guy who badly paints cupboards with expensive
paint and has agendas against innocent agents!

I don't know whether to await a diatribe back from you as I doubt you'll
take any of this on board or just to move on. All the same, I'll give it
until the end of the week. Thank you.

Kind regards,


On 8 Apr 2013, at 18:53, Stephen


Judging on your posting it is clear to me that you are not interested in
engaging a complaints procedure with the view that the matter can be
equitably addressed in accordance with such procedures.  Your posting is
quite biased, unfair, inaccurate and speaks volumes about your agenda.  It
is quite bemusing that you champion your rights whilst offering this firm
such benefit!  I wonder how you would be feeling right now had I posted a
number of unsavoury comments about you on the web.

In respect of your concerns about the deposit, I draw your attention to
fact that it is legislation that the deposit is held by a government
approved tenancy deposit scheme.  You signed to say that you would abide
the scheme's terms and conditions.  The landlord has requested a sum of
money to address the condition in which the property was left.  I
that as you reject his request the matter has now been put to the
alternative dispute resolution and that all the parties have supplied the
requested information including the correspondence to which you refer, so
that an objective decision can be made.  Personally, I feel you are
to think that tacitly informing the landlord of intended changes to the
property devolves you of any responsibility in respect of the quality of
workmanship or the need to return the property to the condition in which
was taken.  Further, I find it odd that you state that given the materials
used then it should be a very simple procedure to return the items to the
condition in which they were taken, yet chose not to do so.  I am sure the
scheme will revert to you in due course with their decision having
all the information made available to them.

I welcome the opportunity to engage any third party you wish to engage in
this matter.  Perhaps had you done so initially then we might have found a
means to resolving this situation to everyone's satisfaction.   

Kind regards,

Stephen Parry|Milton Ashbury

Tel 01843 223 223|Fax 01843 299 089| Web

"Showing outstanding initiative, imagination and commercialism, Milton
Ashbury has pulled a masterstroke of 'out of the box' thinking" - Estate
Agency of the Year Awards
Winners 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian]
Sent: 06 April 2013 10:08
To: stephen
Subject: Re: Complaint - Dundonald Road

Me Parry,

I find it rude you have not responded to the below. If I do not hear from
you within 7 days I will take my complaint to trading standards.

Kind regards,


On 26 Mar 2013, at 16:29, Ian wrote:

Dear Mr Parry,

I was passed your email address by Craig to complain about
your company.

The basis of my complaint can be seen here and the email referred to is

Please let me know how you can help resolve my complaint and if not, I
believe all practicing estate agents must be registered with a redress
scheme, Craig was unable to provide me details of any redress scheme,
so please could you also provide me details of that.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


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Milton Ashbury Ltd

17 High Street Ramsgate
CT11 9HD

01843 225533

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