Our myriad, unfortunate experiences with KFH have spanned the humorous, through to the incompetent, unprofessional and on occasion, unsafe. KFH in our experience is not a bad agency because they are driven by ta bottom line, they are an AWFUL agency because they operate in a bubble of non-communication, ignorance and apathy that has to be experienced to be believed. Other agencies will struggle to build a rapport and gain trust from anyone that has had previous experience from KFH.
The first mistake was ours. We took on a rather delapidated, tired flat that in fairness, showed us that there was a landlord somewhere, anywhere (weve never had contact with him and KFH seem unable to dial numbers on a phone unless we pleaded with them to do so) that didnt really care about the property but was intent on charging a substantial fee for its tenancy nevertheless.Our property was directly above the KFH Crouch End office and yet seemingly and to our confusion, requests were dealt with by the Wimbledon office. These two offices clearly do not enjoy a happy relationship as their inability to speak with each other is only slightly better than an outward ignoring of one another. Interpersonally, the vast majority of the staff lack any customer service skills and they continue to perpetuate the arrogant, rude, shiny-suited sales stereotype which irritates people who come to them with genuine issues about where they live. Which we did.
Our bath was cracked from October last year. We requested its fixing which it was eventually done (several weeks later) in a manner that led me to believe that Id done it. And I am terrible at DIY. So, inevitably, I was sat in the bath one day when the bath began to leak water into the downstairs KFH office. Tim in the Crouch End office, without a doubt the most personable, genuine and nicest member of the team there, came up and let me know about this.
Not surprisingly, our requests for the bath to be fixed were then heeded since the inconvenience extended to KFH themselves. We had already handed in our notice and were awaiting to see if they could get us out of their new 'two month notice periods' that they had concocted, but they saw this as a perfect chance to compromise our tenancy by fitting a new bathroom without any consultation - supposed to take 4 days according to Precision, their poorly named maintenance company - which actually took over the course of 3 weeks. During this period, we returned to find we had no access to water, litter everywhere, minimal work done, (some days they worked 11 til 2) our living room and property covered with dust (more of which soon) and various items of new bathroom equipment left strewn all over our living room floor. When its time to clock off, its time to clock off? No correspondence from the Wimbledon office was forthcoming and it was only through the efforts of one girl, Violet in the office (who wasn't supposed to be working on our behalf but did) that we ever felt any part of the decisions been made about the property in which we lived. Then they found asbestos. To the layman, this is worrying enough but to be called that evening and be told matter of factly, 'Oh we've found some asbestos, can you be in tomorrow around 7am so we can come get it' is up there with my all time experiences of awful customer service and insight. We weren't told the nature of it, how it had been found, if it had been disturbed or if indeed it was OK to use the bathroom. Lest we forget the house was FULL of dust. And my grilfriend had been in the bath when I returned home. In subsequent conversations, they still seem unable to understand the impact of their way of working and how it distresses others.
Emily Smith in the Wimbledon office is skilled in the ways that a press officer might be but carries none of the requisite skills needed to actually speak to other human beings. Requests are only actioned when you have finally lost your patience and our current situation, our reimbursement of deposit is into its 5th week. Emily has been truculent, obstructive and sterile in her responses, barely acknowledging our upset and continually quoting T&Cs to us rather than dealing with the situation at hand. We are being charged for things that do not appear on our inventory, for situations brought about (replacement of light bulbs) by their continual inability to reply to emails and for the cleaning of an oven that if cleaned again, will fall apart. It should be condemned. The flat is in a far better state than when we first occupied it - it clearly fits the KFH standard as they've been able to let it again with our considerable assistance and removal of porcelain items from the living room - but they seem intent on making sure there is a charge. When we spoke with the girl who did the inventory - MAKE SURE YOU ARE THERE FOR THIS, KFH DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE THERE - she said that it seemed extraordinarily unlikely there could ever be any charges levied as we had looked after it very well, despite the clear signs of disrepair that were the landlord and agency's responsibility.
Dont use KFH. Certainly dont let from them. If, like us, you naively believe that paying substantial rent and being attentive in responding to problems with maintenance will ensure you receive customer service of any description, you will be sorely disappointed. And if you have to, like us, record every email and correspondence with them and speak with the local ombudsman. Fight the power.