From the moment the contract was signed I had realized my mistake. We were promised a professional inspection of the property prior to us moving in (August 2012) to make sure the flat was up to standards. When we moved in we found numerous issues such as a broken boiler, damp, mold and poor fixtures such as skirting boards and coat racks. Thomas James did not help us set up our bills (which they were responsible for) and upon ringing them to report issues they would not pass on these reports to the landlord or maintenance. It was only after we implied that we had been in communication with Environmental Health Agency did they decide to do any much needed work to the property. Builders turned up unannounced and began to dismantle the kitchen and several bedrooms making the flat uninhabitable for a week. Within this week thing were fixed that we later discovered had been illegal before hand (no fire extinguisher in the kitchen, no fire blanket on the wall, fire alarms didn\'t work). They then proceeded to blame as many things as possible on us for problems with the flat despite our reports to them from the very start. They would not record our problems and there was a distinct lack of communication even between departments within the company. They would turn up with people to look around without notifying us, not warn us of builders and refuse to respond to our emails. They were quick to aggressive when rent was not paid and yet were happy to allow us to live in damp, cold and mold throughout the entirety of winter providing feeble excuses to justify their complete lack of professionalism.
My experience with them has been nothing but stressful and we were subjected to a flat that was both extortionate in price and a risk to our health (which it did affect). Friends who were also with Thomas James experienced similar problems. They deduct £50 from your deposit (£200 overall for my flat) as a "Move out fee". All this entails is that they do a final inspection of the property, which they are obligated to do anyway and from our deposit they deducted further charges for problems which were not caused by the tenants, had been reported numerous times and had even been supplied with photo evidence.
I strongly advise everyone to not go with this company. They made my life a hell for eleven months, and put unnecessary stress on myself and flat mates during a crucial time in our studies, and cost me a lot of money.
If you are with them here is my advice. If something is not being done, take photos/video evidence and go to the authorities. Make sure everything you report is followed up in writing of some form (usually email) and DO NOT let them get away with placing blame on you or taking advantage because of your student status.
What agent could do to change your mind?
The agency could have done their job. What was most laughable is blaming us for things which were obviously products of their unprofessionalism. It would have been nice for them to not be aggressive down the phone or pathetically snide over email.