“ Service: Estate Agents based in Durham, North East England „
Now, I know estate agents don't have a good reputation at the best of times, but you never really get a true sense of that until you actually deal with one. Munro was my first experience of a estate agent and I'm afraid to say that they met that reputation and then some.
Munro Estate are estate agents based in Durham in the North East of England and provide rental properties across the North East. Their website boasts of awards won in their short time and also has testimonies from people complementing the company. Although, it does say something that one of their testimonies on their website is from one of their landlords. Bit biased perhaps.
I don't know if all estate agents are the same (I'm sure there are some nice ones out there) but from my experience with Munro, it was all nicey nicey when they wanted to get you on board and then downhill from there. Wasn't really much of a honeymoon period either. Having travelled all the way to the offices in Durham to pick up keys for a property in Hartlepool (which isn't exactly nearby), we arrive to find that the window in the front room was smashed. Now, to be fair, they did warn us about that and they had bordered it up. They could at least have the decency to have cleaned up the smashed glass that was lying on the living room floor.
The taps in the bathroom were loose (and never got fixed in 18 months!). the gas wasn't on and had to wait for someone to come round to do so. They made promises of installing a cooker at the viewing but never received. At least they were in dialogue at the start with phone calls to sort some things out. But after a short while, they started to fail to response to any of our requests.
Then the cold snap hits and things really start to go wrong. First of all, we find out that the radiators are useless at warming the house up and you can adjust the temperature at the side, as the knobs are stuck solid as they're old. This meant trying to heat up a house on halogen heaters, which drain the electric and having to top-up every few days. Then the mould kicks in, making the house look disgusting and damaging our health. Plus, the invasion of slugs that would find their way in with relative ease. Do they do anything about that? No.
The condition got so bad that the council had to be drafted in and the house underwent health inspections. The end result was not good and they weren't happy. One inspection, Munro was invited around to attend. They failed to show (probably too scared to see it and deal with us in person). The end result from the council was that the house needed work doing. We thought this would give Munro a kick up the backside and get them into action. We were sadly disappointed. The inspections took place in December/January and it was mid-April (from Christmas to Easter) before any work took place, which was installing extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom. But, unless Mastermind, they started but didn't finish. We were told that they were missing a piece for one of the fans and they need to go and order it. Nothing has been said since.
And you can complain as much as you want, but they don't listen. Another problem was claiming that we owed rent and would send messages out to tell us so. We ring them up about it and was told 'oh, it's ok, it's been sorted now'. Only for them to still send out text reminders! If they don't know, how are we supposed to know?
Also, we don't feel secure about the house given that our house doesn't have an alarm but the other properties they own on the same street do have alarms. We expressed our concerns about it but that also fell on deaf ears. This is from a company who claim that they 'strive to provide a first-class service and love to receive feedback and comments'. If that is a first-class service, I'd hate to see a sub-standard one and they may like receiving feedback but they don't do anything about it.
Even at the end of the tenancy, there's signs of incompetence. Having received a letter around two months before the end inviting us to re-new the tenancy if we wish (weeks after we said we probably wouldn't look to re-new) and if not, we had two months left, we informed them with a few weeks to go that we'll be moving out and asked we need to do. Even then, they couldn't answer us. They just went and put the property up on the market, saying it'll be available the day after we move out. God help the person(s) who move into that property cos it's nowhere near ready for a new tenant.