Ludlow has been managing a property for me since March 2007.
Let me categorise the failures in service so that other landlords have an idea of my ordeal.
The fiasco began with several 'negotiators' from the same office competing with each other - taking deposits etc even before I had a chance to agree anything with no obvious communication between them
Finally I agreed to a prospective tenant and a holding deposit was taken and his details were obtained for referencing. The tenant (from the Netherlands) was 'referenced' (in which - strangely - someone elses credit card details were taken instead of the actual tenants - so that rents could be charged if they later defaulted. I soon learned that the use of this card was unauthorised and my debtor amounts rose swiftly). The tenant was said to be of good credit yet a few weeks after moving in he asked me to sign DSS papers for him (which I declined).
The tenancy was negotiated for 24 months and they took their management fees over 5 months up from for the whole period. Why this is done - I do not know - but the result of it is that once the benefit has been passed to them - there is no further incentive to actually manage the property efficiently.
I later learned that the tenant had been accepted and 'tenanted' despite the fact that he had never viewed the property.
The next part of the fiasco began when the tenant started to make demands and threats of legal action - apparently all sorts of furniture etc had been promised to him (without my knowledge) even though the tenancy was supposed to be UNFURNISHED. In the end I felt that in the interests of keeping the tenant (whom I beleived to be of good standing at the time) I shelled out a few hundred more to furnish the flat with some basic items.
I have two properties in this (new) block of flats. Both are managed by independent agents. One property - no issues ever other than the usual problem here and there. The property managed by Ludlow - seems to incur more repairs, call-outs and other costs than any other property I own. i.e. the property costs are disproportionate to other assets.
It is clear that they get some benefit from contracting out 'repair jobs' - some examples: (a) tenant couldnt use the dishwasher. Solution: Send a qualified engineer to show the tenant how to use the appliance. Cost: over