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I rented a mid terraced property in Stoke-On-Trent from Keates Hulme for a period of 3 Years.
The agent was available when required between office hours Monday-Saturday. The phone was always answered when called and the office always manned when visited.
The agent was at times very unprofessional. Whilst the phone was always answered or the office was always manned it's staff were often unhelpful, lacked knowledge or lacked basic customer service. On a number of occasions I was advised somebody would call me back yet this rarely happened. Additionally a number of letters & e-mails sent to the agent were never replied to or acknowledged altogether.
The agent regularly wrote to us to advise they were conducting an inspection or a gas safety check was impending. However when I as the tenant contacted them they regularly said they would call me back or they would respond to an email I had sent it unfortunately this rarely happened.
The agent were transparent as it was easy to follow there processes and they were readily accessible. However it was clear from the beginning there interest was in the landlord only and I do believe at times they deliberately withheld information from me on a number of subjects as it was in the landlords interest.
Fees & Charges (2/5)
Overall fees and charges were fair and proportionate however I do feel they need to be reviewed, for example I was required to renew my lease on the property to which the agent charged a £60 administration fee. In order to renew the lease I was required to sign 1x A4 sheet of paper which they sent so I am unsure how £60 was justifiable.
Inventory Handling check in/check out (1/5)
When I moved into that property I was provided with a check & inventory document which unfortunately had 63 different errors on which required correction. The most glaring of errors was that the property had a cooker fitted which it did not. The document also lacked any substantial detail or photographs and was open to wide interpretation. If I was a landlord I would have been very worried as the agent showed a complete disregard for the property and its condition.
Unfortunately the check out document I was provided was an equal disaster. On the day I left the property I made sure to film and photograph the property clearly documenting all doors and windows all of which were intact on leaving the property. However the check document I was provided by the landlords agent listed two missing door handles as damage and sought to claim money from my deposit for there replacement. When challenged the agent admitted that potentially the landlord may have removed them. As I was able to prove they were intact the landlord admitted he had removed the handles subsequently the deposit claim was removed. I do believe however that had I been unable to prove otherwise the landlord and the agent would of sought to claim for the doorman flea against my deposit.
Responsive to requests (1/5)
Requests were never answered and were often answered with staff saying he will ask the landlord and call backs
Responsiveness to major issues (1/5)
I only ever had 1 major issue in relation to the property however it was out of office hours. The Emergancy contact number provided went unanswered with no voicemail. I subsequently had no choice but to liaise direct with the landlord who was less than impressed.
Frequency and Relevance of visits (2/5)
Inspections of the property were carried out every 12 months and and were for insurance purposes only. They were quick and efficient. Issues of repair all of which were the landlords responsibility were regularly reported but were never dealt with or resolved.
Would you rent Again from the agent (1/5)
As a tenant I would never rent from the agent again as overall there service was poor and unprofessional. As a landlord I would never put my property into there stewardship as whilst there interests are in the landlord I find them to be particularly incompetent. I would encourage landlords and tenants a like to utilise other agents in the area many of which I feel are more competent in there actions.