Oct 31,2013
By: 'Ms Leeann A'
Oct 31,2013
8 people found
this helpful
Reading the glowing reports here, it is obvious which ones are fake as they are all written in the same repetitive style of grammar and syntax, and none of those ¢â‚¬Ëœfans' use their real or second names or give much detail of their property experience. I'm not too surprised as I can see reading through the real reviews that many other customers like myself have had a torrid times with this agency. I am actually renting one of their properties now and ended up biting the bullet as I had simply run out of time to find something else to rent. I'm considering lodging a complaint with the Property Ombudsman. The only reason I haven't done so yet is because I've had a mixed experience with the agency and only recently started to deal with Jennifer who actually (miracles of miracles) returns my calls, answers my questions and speaks to me like a human being. I only give it a reluctant 2 stars because of Jennifer; and without her there would be absolutely no stars.
The Saturday I saw the property, I decided to put down a deposit immediately in order to secure the flat and everything went smoothly on day 1. Matt showed me the property, and Dave did the paperwork. Later on I was emailed a pre-contract agreement. Since I've not rented in the UK for many years, I was unsure of some of the details and then next step in the process. I presumed that I had signed ¢â‚¬Ëœthe contract' and that it was simply a matter of sorting out the references and monies. Before e-signing, however, I wrote Matt an email with questions about the furniture, picture rails, and the breakdown of their fee which contradicted with the schedule of fees attached, and some of the moving-in logistics. I didn't get a response (and to this day, after many emails to Matt, have never had an email reply or a return phone call)
I waited for a reply early the next week, and when nothing was forthcoming, I called and spoke to Dave about my queries. He told me that the ¢â‚¬Å“landlady was reviewing the furniture issue and looking at their budget¢â‚¬Â. It seemed that they weren't expecting to furnish it after all. I was worried as I couldn't afford to furnish the flat, and had very little time to find an alternative place. And I was confused as to whether I had the flat secured or not. Matt had told me very specifically that it would come furnished with beds, sofa etc. Dave said he would ¢â‚¬Ëœget back to me'. Over the next few days no-one returned my calls, and I emailed again and left messages and Matt either didn't take my calls or said ¢â‚¬ËœI'll call you back to confirm'.
Towards the end of the week, I finally got through to Dave and said that I was very worried as I hadn't heard back and think I may have to find a new place. It was at this point that things really unraveled as Dave was blisteringly rude to me. It took my breathe away! I am a tough cookie as I project manage developments with lots of difficult, and burly characters and it's been a long time since I've been so floored by such an aggressive bully. I was told that he had clearly answered all my questions on Monday (he hadn't) and that ¢â‚¬Ëœit was not me waiting for them, but them all waiting or me'. I was wasting their time apparently ¢â‚¬Å“because I hadn't signed the agreement yet and only after that can they start checking my references and deal with my questions.¢â‚¬Â I was unsure of the procedure and had presumed that the reference checks would already be underway but I was blamed for the delays, and never explained the contractual procedure. ¢â‚¬Å“IVE ALREADY ASNWERED ALL YOUR QUESTIONS!!¢â‚¬Â he shouted at me, and said that he was no longer sure of what ¢â‚¬Å“sort¢â‚¬Â of tenant I am. It was threatening behavior, and he just kept talking over me when I spoke or tried to explain my concerns. By that time I had cancelled my paid weekend plans to go away and to stay in London, to start looking for a new place as I had presumed that it had fallen through, causing me a lot of stress and money.
I heard soon afterwards that the landlords had actually approved the furniture request and that flat was mine, and eventually I moved in. I started to deal with Jennifer who handles the contracts and inventory etc who was friendly and professional. She has even replied to emails that I have sent after hours. It was only when I came back to pay the final amount that she finally answered the questions regarding their fee and admitted that the attached schedule was incorrect and had not been updated so the 420 pound fee did not in fact tally. Dave and Matt had refused to answer this simple question for 2 weeks. In fact none of the issues that I had raised had been included in the flat or contract. The fee is fraudulent as the fee does not tally with their fee schedule, and of course I paid them a lot of money for very poor and aggressive service. What an unusual industry whereby fee-paying clients are treated with such disdain. I was told to pay, sign and shut up and pay 420 pounds for the privilege.
I got hold of the names of the owner/s and was going to meet with them directly, but then after seeing the terrible reviews on google-maps and here, I realize that the behavior of the staff must be endorsed by the guys in charge. After-all, the fish stinks from the head. The reason I would complain to the ombudsman is because I feel that I was forced to sign a pre-contract agreement under extreme duress, before I had an opportunity to get some simple questions answered. They misrepresented the property by promising furnishings that the landlord was keen to provide. And caused me extreme distress and inconvenience, and overcharged me their fee.
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Central Estate Agents (Walthamstow)

179 Hoe Street Walthamstow, London
Greater London
E17 3AP

020 8520 0033

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