I approached Kings Edmonton for a tenant find service only. We negotiated on the deal and they finally agreed they would not charge a renewal fee.
Tip! NEVER agree to pay a renewal fee if the existing tenant stays in your property.
They conducted the interview process and completed the referencing on the tenants, BUT they were economic with the truth about the background of the tenants they were arranging to live in my property. They did NOT tell me that the tenants could NOT speak English and all dealings had to be conducted through a family member that could speak broken English and act as interpreter!
Considering I was taking on the role of property manager myself, it was imperative that I could communicate with the tenants first hand. Now everything is a struggle and misunderstandings are abound!
They are also quick to deduct their fees for a shoddy service, yet when it came to paying me the remaining first month's rent and the deposit to register with the deposit protection scheme, their so called "accounts department" (who don't know anything about basic banking procedures it seems) were happy to send me the first payment by cheque (WTF!) or a BACS transfer which would take up to 5 business days (or 7 working days). They were putting me in danger of not registering the deposit in time, and I wasn't going to register it until I had it!
In short, these guys are cut and run merchants and not in it for the long term. They don't look after their clients (the landlords) adequately enough and are happy to put anybody in the property.
Oh by the way guys, the AST you use is rubbish too. PainSmith Solicitors 2008 - out of date and it doesn't take into account the landlord holding and registering the deposit for himself. When questioned about changes to be made, your response was slipshod and you didn't offer to change it, inserting correct wording, instead leaving me to do it (and you're supposed to be the experts!). Over