Jan 21,2014
Minithumbdown
By: 'S Horrocks'
Jan 21,2014
1 people found
this helpful
My family rented a property through Howland Jones which could have seriously injured or even worse killed us , (Similar faults were found at the property they managed next door too). They had not checked any of the Landlords paperwork and some 4 years after renting the property we discovered that:

The property was electrically unsafe. It had live exposed wiring in two bathrooms, the consumer unit was wrongly labeled and there were no circuit breakers on sockets in the garage. Their own contractor confirmed this.

The wood burning stove was installed so badly it was a fire and carbon monoxide risk. Once again their own contractor confirmed this.

There were drain covers not properly secured.
The roof leaked at least 3 times in four years.
The boiler had a leaky heat exchanger for the whole time we were at the property.
Patio doors didn\'t shut properly

A substantial part of the building had not been signed off by building control as it should have been.

After complaining about the settlement cracks they told us that their policy was to fix them after 6 years. This is contrary to any house developer who usually fix them within 6-12 months.

After getting into financial difficulty they encouraged our landlord to serve a section 21 notice essentially making my family move over the Christmas period. We can show you the emails!!

They took two weeks to provide a reference and failed to understand why we were angry.

To this day we have not had a penny in deposit or rent back.

Lets see what the Property Ombusmen and ARLA says. May be they will agree that as managing agents they have a duty of care to tenants and must rent properties in line with law.

They claim to be a family friendly business! Well, you decide, if you would like your new born babies or young children in a house let through them. I certainly would not.

Unfortunately we launched a claim in the county court and did not clearly state Statutory Obligations relating to letting agents. The case was struck out and awarded them costs and they now seek to Bankrupt us.

What a family freindly business they are eh?

Landlords and tenants beware of using this company.

I would advise never ever renting from them!!!!!! Not even as they said an \'Executive\', \'Quality\' Home\'.

Misrepresentation me thinks, I wonder?
What agent could do to change your mind?
Let property in line with the law. A property must be safe and not in a state of serious disrepair the start or during a tenancy. It was not and we were allowed to live with significant dangerous faults for over four years. It would have taken them less than an hour to check safety certificates. They still deny they have done anything wrong. They also lied to the couple next door and told them they had to inspect the wood burning stove as a matter of routine. In four years they never check ours or anything else relating to the safe operation of the house!!!
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By: S Horrocks
Feb 13, 2014
The only action Rebecca Howland should be taking is to apologies to my wife and I and make good for her mistakes. She should have asked and checked the landlords paperwork. If he could not provide it then she should have insisted he did prior to letting the property.

We have all the evidence we need, the internal emails and indeed the electricians invoice and report and the stove engineer's email which clearly states the installation of the wood burning stove was a 'DIY job'.

It takes a letting agent 30 seconds to ask a landlord for his papers/certificates in relation to electrical safety. It would have also taken no more than 30 seconds for Rebecca to ask to see the plate in relation to the wood burning stove or to ask for the local authority sign off in relation to it.

Not least to protect her own business.

These regulations have been in place as long as Howland Jones have been in business. Further, the electrical safety regulations come under the umbrella of the Consumer Protection Act.

As the Citizens Advice Bureau says in relation to letting agents “where they (agents) are managing the property, agents are responsible for ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation. They should therefore ensure the property meets the required standards before it is let”

We understand Howland Jones had a contract with the landlord to manage the property. We believe they have billed a minimum of £6000 under this contract. The landlord needed them to be as he was resident in Thailand for large part of each year.

Indeed there are standard checklist for property inspections by letting agents available online which included safety considerations relating to electrics.

I suppose exposed wiring with 240 volts going through them in two bathrooms is fine. The consumer unit was wrongly labelled in places and their were no circuit breakers on the garage sockets. In addition the large oil tank at the back of the house had not been earthed et al.

Howland Jones have failed to deal with our complaint in line with the TPOS code of conduct.

Our complaint should be dealt with by ARLA, The Property Ombudsmen and Trading standards. We will also be contacting our local MP if no redress is forthcoming. It's time for letting industry to be licensed.

If Rebecca Howland would like to apologies and make good then she has my number.

I am entitled to my opinion and as I have all the facts to back it up I will express it.

Lapses in basic administration can be extremely costly. No tenant should expect to move in to a property with serious electrical faults that could have been fixed prior to the let for a few hundred pounds. Same goes with the wood burning stove. An agent should not let a property if the landlord does not have or cannot provide the required paperwork. Simple.

If my comments seem cutting then I'm sorry but we have been ripped off. However, we paid over £60,000 in rent for a property that did not meet basic safety standards or building regs and the poor state of the electrics and the wood burning stove could have had catastrophic consequences for my family especially our two young children.

The property we rented should not have been let in that state and my families safety was risked and compromised for no good reason. Quality and Executive are words most people would not associate with a home that had the faults Finch House did. It was a clear Misrepresentation.

Clean floors and fresh magnolia paint does not make a property safe. As I said, if Rebecca and her company wish to make this good then they know how to contact us. Then we can all end this matter.
By: Rebecca Howland
Feb 12, 2014
Howland Jones are subject to some malicious unwarranted feedback - we are taking legal advice in this. we trust that our 97% satisfied and many repeat customers will see this for what it is.

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The Howland Jones Organisation Limited

73-77 High Street Measham, Swadlincote
Derbyshire
DE12 7HZ

01530 271313

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