Where to begin...I\'ve rented several properties from several estate agents over the years, and NEVER have I had anyone as useless as Bridgfords dealing with my letting. I guess I\'ll start at the beginning, and it\'s a long list. *There is one exception to my bad experience with them, and I\'ve put it at the end. It\'s the only reason there would even BE one star, but it was only one person, and I consider it a fluke after my terrible experience with this estate agent.*
- Tenant\'s fees were extraordinarily extortionate. For that price, you assume you\'re going to get the best. Well, you certainly don\'t always get what you pay for. We also got two weeks free, WHICH they then tried to get back off us when we wanted to move out. Clearly, they\'re not doing well on the money front and need to claw it back wherever possible.
- Moved into a property where the front door (wooden) wouldn\'t close properly, there was a half-foot high bump in the laminate floor (tripped many visitors), and the washing machine didn\'t work--even though it had apparently \'just undergone checks and was working fine\'. We were also told that the boiler was new, and had just been put in. I had no idea boilers and pipes could get that discoloured and tatty when new. Another lie? I think so.
- Someone came out from their maintenance team to fix the washer. Nice enough guy, but took Bridgfords two weeks to get it arranged, and was told the washer (which then started after having had heating on for two weeks) must have gone off \'because there was damp at the back which had dried up\'. I expected something to be mentioned about this to us afterwards, but apparently having a damp, wet wall near your electronics is not a problem. We found it was, when our electrics went off one night when we switched the washer on. Mentioned this to Bridgfords, nothing more was done or said about it.
- Someone came out to fix the door, after repeated calls and emails from us for two months. Door was fixed, but for two months we had to use all our strength to yank the door open when people came, and it was never fully closed at the top, although locked, when we went out. The expensive contents insurance they make you take out at signing of your tenancy must get a lot of use.
- Damp and mushrooms were in a bedroom cupboard. Pointed this out, was told casually that it was \'nothing to worry about\'. Maybe Bridgford\'s employees like having mushrooms growing in their clothes?
- Had to have an inspection 3 months into tenancy. Was told it the date could not be changed, and that if we weren\'t in, they could \'let themselves in\'. Sure, because I always let people I don\'t know to have a poke around in my home when I\'m out. They expect you to change your schedule around them, so we had to make sure someone was home on that day, regardless of whatever more important things we had to do! Waited in from 2:30pm, agent was meant to be there at 3pm. 3pm came and went, as did 3:30pm, and 3:45pm. Finally rang the agents to find out where the hell they were. Was told \'Oops! I forgot! I JUST realised as you rang. (There is a lot of this.)I\'ll come over now. Will you be in at 5pm?" Presumably our house which is ten minutes drive from their office would have to wait until after she\'d finished another level on her Facebook games. And she\'d momentarily forgotten how to use a phone to tell someone she had missed an appointment. Waited until 5pm. No agent. Waited until 5:30pm, finally turned up. Was told \'There was a tractor, so that\'s why I\'m late.\' After waiting two hours for a ten minute appointment, I don\'t feel this is a good excuse. Looked (in a bored manner) at nowhere but the downstairs, spent most of the time tapping on an Ipad rather than talking to me, and basically sounded very dismissive of problems they were told about, including the water coming out of taps in bursts, as if there was a blockage. To this day, nothing has been done.
- Got a letter letting us know the house was being put up for sale, so we had two months notice. No mention of possible sales were made at the beginning of our tenancy, but fair enough. Maybe the landlady has also had enough of Bridgfords. We found another house very quickly with another estate agents, and informed them of this decision. As the house was being sold, we were being hassled about letting people view, and there was stress on a quick move, so we thought they would be delighted to hear we could move out sooner. Not so. They informed us that instead of moving out on a date that would match with 5 months exactly, we could move out ten days later--and pay them the extra rent. They also attempted to regain the previously mentioned \'two weeks free rent\' from the start of the tenancy, regardless of the fact we have paid in full every month promptly, and never caused any trouble with the property.
- We told them we needed references THREE WEEKS before our proposed moving date. They told us it was \'being sent off\'. Well, it was \'being sent off\' for two weeks, before we got sick of ringing them, and went into their office. We were met with rudeness and casual shrugs, which appears to be their language of choice when they mean, \'we\'re not bothered\'. Completely rude, unprofessional staff. We had to sign and pay for the references--no one had bothered to ring or email to tell us we needed to go in and sign ANYTHING. Made up some bullshit excuse about data protection, and tried again to make us move out ten days later than wanted. Were told, \'I\'ll try the landlady again, see if we can change it.\' I get the feeling (as the landlady wants to sell) she wouldn\'t care if we moved out that day, as long as she sold the house. So, another lie.
- Eventually managed to pin them down and move out on the day we wanted, but the new estate agents for the new property let us know that they had STILL not received the references. This is three weeks after we originally asked, and a whole week after we went in and laid pressure about it, and they still didn\'t have what is a single email. I might be wrong, but I\'m pretty sure sending an email takes under 60 seconds. Maybe less time being rude and more time doing their job would help. As it stands, we were due to move out tomorrow, but this has now been put off until Tuesday by the new agents, as they did not receive the documents from \'Head Office\' (first it was the branch of Bridgfords, then suddenly it was \'Head Office\' who had to deal with it. So we now have to let work know, unpack items, and sort a van for a different day. I don\'t need to tell anyone who has ever moved how stressful this is. Any apology from them for messing us about? You\'d have more chance meeting the pope.
These are just the larger problems we\'ve had with them--and who knows, there may be more when it comes to getting the deposit back/handing keys in?! They are rude, bored, and the most unprofessional employees I\'ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with. They claim they will email or ring you back, but it never happens, so of course, you have to ring them back and chase up yourself. And good luck catching them when they\'re \'in the office\'. They were \'out to lunch/not in yet/not in the office/not dealing with that property\' so many times I wondered if they bothered to open the office in the mornings at all. The maintenance is a joke, the maintenance team are very nice people themselves, but Bridgfords arranging them/telling them the full problem is pathetic. The properties are a disgrace, with problems ignored and lied about, leaving the tenant to deal with the problem themselves. All of this combined with over-priced rental properties, and over-priced fees. I certainly never got my money\'s worth.
Without swearing, Bridgfords are an absolute pile of what the cow leaves behind, and I would NEVER go near them or use them again. If anyone is thinking of using them, don\'t even consider it for a second. Look at the pile of bad reviews for this company, and go with someone better and far cheaper. If I could leave no stars, I would. The most unprofessional, rude, discourteous, bored estate agents in the country, and they make absolutely no attempts to change that. If you really want a house they\'re selling, find out the owner and buy it off them without the agent. If you\'re renting, look elsewhere. No matter how nice the house looks, it is not worth the stress. I\'ve had a minor heart attack and other problems from stress living in this house, and I have no doubt that Bridgfords were an enormous part of creating that stress. Crap company, and I don\'t understand how they still have any business.
*I would like to make one note, that ONE of their employees was actually very pleasant, from the sales department. (As there were crossed wires with the house being sold, as \'Lettings\' don\'t seem to realise they can talk to \'Sales\' to find out what is happening.) She was polite, and actually tried to get the date we wanted to move out, made sure we were okay with people coming in to view, and sorted things quickly if she could. I also think she is new, so if that\'s the case, I suggest she finds a job elsewhere with a better company.*