We were looking for a larger property to rent in Glasgow south that would be suitable for our specific needs and where we could stay for 2 years until we relocated. Connect advertised this end of terrace Victorian house next to Hampden that seemed to fit the bill perfectly. It was a bit rough around the edges but seemed otherwise sound i.e. wind and watertight. We looked at it very carefully and could see no signs of damp. The paint work was reasonably fresh and clean in most of the house. There was some black marking on landing ceiling that the agent assured us was from an old problem that had been rectified but that scaffolding would have been needed to repaint it and this hadn\'t been done yet. There was an odd splash on the lower living room wall.. The agent told us when questioned that the last tenants had probably done this.
Our circumstances are difficult but we felt we were making a good move. We signed a 6 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy, a section 32 and paid Connect an extra £100 for a credit check. After a great deal of preparation and expense and .assuring of my autistic daughter, we moved in. Within a fortnight of the move the unseasonably dry weather that we\'d had over April/May last year turned to heavy rains. Water started to pour in through the living room upper casement. Other (double glazed )windows leaked. Damp patches started to spread alarmingly in almost every room in the house including the children\'s bedroom.Slugs started to appear on the living room and kitchen floors and had to be cleared every morning. On closer inspection the splash on the living room wall at the skirting turned out to be varnish that the landlord has used on the wooden floors. Damp in this area of the wall was particularly bad rose to half way up the wall behind the settee. The kitchen became almost entirely damp and the floor tiling started to rise and a foul stench that changed in character started getting worse in there every day. If the kitchen door was not closed when we went out the stench permeated the whole house.
We went to Connect and complained bitterly - damp on this scale does not appear overnight and we knew we had been conned. They denied any knowledge of this property (although they had been advertising it for months - we stupidly thought it was hard to rent as next to Stadium). Instead of being apologetic, which people of any decency would be to people with children in our situation - Colin of Connect stated \'you looked at it for ages\' - and his colleague George \'you didn\'t need to move into it\'. This has been their attitude since then - we were the victims of a con and it was our own stupid fault. In a panic I rang Shelter for advice. Unfortunately, although they are usually good, the adviser on the day gave us wrong advice and we thought we had no option but to sit it out. Our complicated circumstances have also meant that having to sit it out for six months would entail at least a year.
Here we are a year later - we are looking for another property after having tried everything we know to appeal to the landlords/agents better side. We have written letters, carried out repairs ourselves, redecorated etc etc. The house almost self destructed from the moment we moved in and the amount of repairs of fitments, appliances etc is too numerous to mention. Most of them we didn\'t even bother the agent with. Of those we did bother them with only the most minor and inexpensive were dealt with and all of this was done in a grudging manner. Connects main modus operandi with this type of situation seems to be to be as rude and sarcastic as possible to deter you from bothering them. They have even resorted to outright lies and accused us of not answering our phone/door to repairs people! Every request no matter how minor now - we put to them in writing. Every repairs appointment (if we get any) has to be put in writing by them for us or we cannot trust them to be telling the truth. A year on - we have a kitchen so riddled with damp that the whole house falls below the tolerable standard because of it. The old clay waste pipe at the back is fractured and back up- from drains is probably seeping underneath the kitchen and that is what the various foul smells are.The roof has been leaking badly in heavy rains since January and they are lucky we are conscientious enough to have put the bucket in the actual loft to catch the water before it hits the landing ceiling. They don\'t seem to care either way. The windows despite shoddy patch repairs still let in water and the damp gets worse and worse.
Last week we received something through the post from them and thought it might finally be word of some of the major repairs that need done. Not a bit of it. We had advised them in January, in writing of course, that we would not be signing any new lease as understandably in the circumstances we did not want to commit to this and would be looking for another house. Enclosed was another lease with a covering letter telling us we had to sign this and return it as soon as possible with a £30.00 admin fee and in bold print \' Note it is illegal to occupy a property without a valid lease agreement\'. Needless to say - we are now fairly conversant with the law and will not be returning it.
To sum up - we were conned by them - the property broke the terms of the agreement from the start. We have carried out tons of improvements at our own expense because we (and more importantly our children) have had to live here). We have never missed a rental payment or any other bills for that matter and have improved the garden. Connect have a nice office but do most of their advertising through saturating the south side with illegal fly posters. They are nothing better than a bunch of well dressed slum landlords. Do not touch this company with a barge pole no matter how charming they appear to be before you sign the agreement!