Jan 28,2008
By: 'M'
Jan 28,2008
5 people found
this helpful
I recently moved to the Hertfordshire, UK, area from the USA. My husband went through the initial process of scouting property, signing the agreements, etc. When I got to the country, I put my signature on the documents, thus making me a legal tenant as well.

When my husband first viewed the property, he brought it to their attention that the hot water tap in the bathtub had a continuous stream of water, which was causing extense limescale damage to the tub's surface. He was told a plumber would be out that week to fix the issue.

November comes and goes, I arrive, still no plumber. We made numerous phone calls to Sterling and were told that we would have to wait for the plumber to contact us as they had only one on retainer.

December comes and goes, and the leaking tap gets continously worse. We eventually got a plumber the second week of January. He informed us the entire tap will need to be replaced as the limescale damage was so bad due to how long it had gone unfixed.

Currently we have an issue with our neighbors and the stench that comes through a shared vent, which we are not permitted to cover. The agent I spoke with (Becky) was unhelpful, rude, and refused to let me finish a sentence before interrupting me with her uninformed opinion. She was hateful when I went to sign the lease. She was unhelpful throughout the plumber debacle.

The only person that was remotely helpful was a woman named Karen. I have since written a letter to the property owner informing him of the shoddy job Sterling is doing managing his property. If you pay a fee to a company, you expect a bit more help and consideration.
Was this helpful? Yes
By: Benjamin James Bird BA(HONS) MNAEA MARLA, Partner,
Nov 26, 2010
I have been made aware of some comments on this site and will endeavour to answer each comment posted.

Firstly it would be useful to know if we were retained as a managing agent on a fully managed basis (whereby we would be responsible for sorting out repairs) or if we were just instructed to find a tenant and leave repairs to be sorted out between the tenant and the landlord. From the sounds of this email I suspect we were not instructed or retained by the landlord to mange this property. Once of the most common frustrations from tenants is inactive landlords, and as agents, unless it is an emergency (and we can therefore act as an agent of necessity) we cannot instruct contractors to conduct repairs etc on the landlords behalf. Secondly, if we are managing agents we would require the written consent of the landlord before instructing work to be completed on the property.

Therefore it is clear to see why there can be delays in what is considered non emergency work, but I think it would be unfair to blame an estate agent for these delays, although I can see we are the easy option to vent frustration.

As far as the member of staff you commented about negatively her employment with Sterling was terminated some time ago. The other member of staff that you praised, Karen, is still very much flying the flag for Sterling and a key player in the lettings department. Please email me at benbird@sterlinghomes.co.uk should you have any further information I can look into in a bid to restore your confidence in us.

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