Oct 17,2013
By: 'Nightmare on Doncaster Av'
Oct 17,2013
2 people found
this helpful
There have been many faults that Homes4U have had and the service that we have received overall has been disastrous, resulting in myself and my housemates being left with a bitter taste in our mouths after being shunned by the company on multiple occasions. They have a very serious problem with communication in that office and most of the time, they\'re completely oblivious to sorting out the needs of the tennents. We have requested countless times to have some small household repairs done and they have been met with little enthusiasm for following up. Even over very serious matters, Homes4U have been somewhat useless as organising a simple boiler appointment, which is just appalling from a nationwide letting agent. Not only that, but the issue of renewing our contract for a further 12 months turned into a slanging match because the agent failed to communicate that the landlord wanted to increase our rent from £750 to £1140 a month. Again communication was the failings that i will speak about later.

To begin, Homes4U have been efficient to send over personnel to review the property and to assess that the house is in good order and that if there is work to be done on the house, that it is recorded and a work order is made for the repair. Well, last year we had 3 visits, each time outlining the problem with the overgrown garden, the damp soaking into the flooring and coming through the ceiling about the entrance hall, the broken plugs (2 of which are shocking blue sparks), and the mold growing in 3 of the 4 bedrooms among some general repairs to the wooden fixtures in a couple of bedrooms. These were all documented by those visiting and as we have come to expect from agents of Homes 4U, told what we wanted to hear, that the damage was serious enough to have someone come and look at it immediately and that they would be in touch. What they mean to say is that they have documented the information about the house, had a nice look to review any damage that we may have caused and then, upon returning to the office, slide the nice, neat quarterly review they have made of the house into our home file and forget about us and our problems until we are forced to come and sit on their desk, performing like spoiled children to force some sort of blood from the stone of our \'award-winning agency\'.

The garden took 9 months to have H4U sort out and sent a gardener to our property to clear the garden of the tangled mess of weeds and bramble bushes that had accumulated over years of neglect. We were promised on the viewing of the property that it would be sorted within the month of moving in. Over the 9 months, we consistently had to badger the agency with phone calls, emails and physically going into the shop to try and get some organization from them over the matter. After finally having a phone call from H4U saying that they needed photographs to prove that the garden was in a state of disrepair, as if my word that the garden was a mess was a falsity. My patience was at an end and i had to go and sit in the shop and refuse to leave until the matter was resolved, that\'s how annoyed i was at them for their incompetence.

When H4U told me that the gardener was to turn up at the house, we were told that he would clear the garden, remove the waste and dispose of the festering rubbish that had been left by the other tennents prior to us living there. The gardener chopped down the brambles and overgrown areas of the garden and dumped the waste in the corner of the garden and didn\'t take any waste away with him saying that \'that wasn\'t what he had been paid to do\', leaving us with the waste. This shouldn\'t have happened and once more, we were effectively side-stepped by the agent over the matter who pinned responsibility to the landlord. If this is the landlords problem, why did they just spin a load of lies about the gardener moving everything? Was it to get me to leave the shop so they could all go home? Perhaps it was that they anticipated the landlords thought, but if this was the case, there was no courteous phone call to inform us about it, cementing the fact that H4U don\'t care about is as existing tennents.

The bathroom floor has been considered by visiting members of the agency as a serious issue that the landlord has always chosen to ignore, simply by just painting over the damp prior to us moving in, but it came back very quickly and H4U said that they would have someone come and have a look at it for repair. Nothing happened. The shocking plug sockets, a guaranteed health hazard that if reviewed by someone from the council could land the agency in hot water but once again, the multiple times we have to ask to get something like this sorted is time consuming when really, a simple phone call should be enough to sort out this serious health risk.

Recently we have had boiler trouble with the loss of pressure happening on a daily basis. speaking to H4U, we were promised a call back within the hour to discuss a time that the boiler man could come to look at the boiler. No call came. I called back later that day and I left a message requesting a call back about the boiler, stating that it was urgent. No reply came. Did the message not reach the person sorting out the boiler for us? Did the person get the message and forget? Perhaps they are too busy, or have \'higher priorities\' then use as tenants with no hot water. Who knows. I didn\'t actually get a callback at all and after 2 WEEKS of waiting for this to get looked at i went into the shop in Withington and after speaking to someone about it they said that it was on the system and that it was strange that nobody would have called back to me to tell me about what was going on with my boiler. I informed the member of staff that it may seem strange to her that I never received a call back from the agency, but that I was quite common to get ignored by our agency.

Now my last point comes to the issue that we had over Homes 4U messing up the communication of the landlords rent increase. Under 4 weeks before the end of the contract we get a call stating that there was a rent increase that they had forgotten to inform us about, after we had come in and signed documentation for the swiftly approaching year. In the end i begun the process of hiring a solicitor to deal with the matter because we would have been made homeless by the shear incompetence of the agency and there terrible organizational skills in a simple tendency renewal. After agreeing a new price just in the nick of time with the landlord we agreed to staying the property for the year but really, this has been the final nail in the coffin for us as tenants and we intend to move to someone else, so as to avoid anymore stress, upset and unprofessional-ism that we have encountered from Homes 4U. Even after agreeing that we would be staying the property at the new cost, we received letters from H4U stating that we had to move out on a certain date and that we would have to hand in the keys. Again, another example of bad communication as to us staying in the property. Almost seemed that they had no recollection of the week of hell they put me though.

The majority of their staff consistently haven\'t got a clue about the property when we come in. I obvoiusly don\'t expect everyone to be waiting by the door, waiting for us to come in and complain about something, but I shouldnt have to come in at all! I only come in and complain because when i call the agency and tell them my problem, they don\'t seem to care. They log it onto their computer and go back to something else, forgetting that we are serious about having something sorted. I speak to a different person every time and they just shrug their shoulder and say sorry. Sorry just doesn\'t cut it anymore. My housemate, even after coming into the office to pay rent off was told that they owed rent for 2-3 months prior, despite being up to date. Once again, nobody knows anything about even if the rent has been paid, their commodity to running a successful business. If the members of Homes4U can\'t keep an eye on the money paid into the rent then someone is seriously out of their depth when organising the basics of letting a house, which is worrying. Staff will wipe their hands clean of our problems whenever we try to get things sorted with them and only begin to try and help you when you are in their shop and getting angry because of their ineptitude. This has left us all feel exhausted with the agency, resulting in us now considering leaving.

Their current processes for managing current tenants is the worst that my housemates and I have ever encounter after renting housing for 10 years. I have found out that when we do eventually decide to leave the property, we don\'t even get to be in the house when H4U looks around the house to see if we are deserving of having our deposit returned. They do the inspection after we move out, removing us from the equation and then having to suffer whatever blow that they see fit as to keeping our deposit. Well, this maybe the way that they want to play the end of the tendency, but when we move we will be expecting the full deposit back from them because we have looked after and cared for that property like it was our own house and expect to have the deposit back. This, I\'m sure, can be assured will happen but i am also hesitant and believe Homes 4U will take the deposit anyway because of their poor managerial skills. It\'s just a hunch.

I do intent to steer anyone away from Homes 4U that is thinking about coming to them for letting. It has been a whirlwind of suffering from the beginning and if they are serious about this review of the service that they have given us, then I suggest that dedication to their current tenants is JUST AS IMPORTANT as dealing with new tenants. We are not all gullible students that are stupid or naive with housing and we expect better service from an agent that is proud of its awards, inflating the sizes of them and sticking them to the walls of its shop to show how grand and proud they are. Try impressing those that already pay the rent.
What agent could do to change your mind?
Improve communication skills Sort out our housing problems, especially the damp and damaged plugs
Attached Files
Was this helpful? Yes
By: Ann Durrell
Nov 26, 2013
Hi, I am Ann the Operations Executive at homes4u. I am sorry to hear of the issues you have raised. I have escalated this post to be handled as a formal complaint with the Manager of the Maintenance Team who will be in touch. A copy of our complaints procedure can be downloaded from our website http://www.homes4u.co.uk/about-us/

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