We rented a flat for a year from C P Papas-they are without a doubt the worst and most unprofessional agency I have ever had the misfortune to rent from.
The part in their contracts stating that the flat will be clean and liveable is a downright lie. Apart from the minimal amount of paint work using outdoor masonry paint that was left there, nothing was done. It took us several weeks to get it into a vaguely ok state (and we're students, we didn't want a lot!) At least the extra beds, evidence of a far greater amount of people living there than down on paper, had been removed before we moved in.
Amongst numerous other problems with the flat, the gas boiler and hob continuously failed to start, so basic living essentials such as cooking food and showering weren't ever guaranteed. The front door lock repeatedly jammed, trapping us inside. Papas' men never fixed the problem, and if there was ever a fire I wouldn't have counted our chances. Our 'fire escape' was a glorified window 2 stories up followed by dropping down several times ending up on the overground lines. Even if the door had worked, the lack of a proper working fire alarm for 10 days might also have killed us. The few people we managed to get called out to look at problems were shocked by how old and bad everything was-the boiler itself was older than we are (and only held together by tape).
Being legal doesn't seem to matter to them, for example one time a Papas agent let himself in with no warning and started taking photographs. It also took more than the legal fortnight to get our deposits back. In the two weeks after moving out Papas demanded bill and council documents they could easily have asked us for before. They also demanded the permission of 3 other tenants for the return of the deposit into the lead tenants account- forgetting that there were in fact 4 other tenants, and wasn't even legally needed. 2 weeks after all this, we were lied to and told the full amount was in the post-only to find out the next day it wasn't and they were taking an unspecified amount of it for two ridiculous reasons. They then proceeded to ignore us on the phone, and it was only after we sent an email explaining that they didn't have a legal leg to stand on and threatening arbitration that they backed down very quickly.
We really needed somewhere to live but still I wish I'd just done a Google search before signing anything and seen the reviews (the credible ones that is). They could make a lot more money by actually treating their property and clients with respect and attention. To conclude I would never recommend C P Papas in a million years end of.
For a while have been thinking of moving in with my fiancee once my teneacy elapses on my current property. we decided to go ahead with the move and began to look for a suitable property. after a few weeks we found the perfect place, a 2 bed semi not to far from the uni (loughborough) where i am currently studying. the property was being advertised by john german, i had never dealt with a letting agency before as i prefer to deal direct with the landlord, however this place was perfect so we decided to go ahead.
at the first instance, john german said that they would not let the property to me as i am a student and this is there policy. however when i told them that i was moving in with my fiancee who is in full time employment, they retracted their statement and said this would be fine as they would perform all of the credit checks on her. so we headed to the shop where i was met by a horrible women who from the first instance looked down her nose at me and made me feel very small and very stupid, they were very unpolite and i felt very uncomfortable. i ginored this and began with the signing of the papers and paying our 'admin fee' of £230, a little excessive but it seamed all estate agents charge around the same price. before we signed the papers we were told that there had been a missprint in the advert for the property and it was no longer £425pm it was infact £450, this annoyed me and i questioned it being false advertisement which i am in the process of persuing. however i really liked this house so i agreed to the increase in rent as it was still within my budget.
a few days later we both recieved emails with links to an online application form which we both proceeded to fill in. a few days after this we recieved a phone call saying that all the checks had been performed and that we were not eligible for the property because we couldn't afford to live their based on my fiancee's income. this seamed a little strange to me as the rent on this particular property comes to a total of £5400 for the year, £450 pm. my fiancee has a sallary of £13k. therefore by my reconing, she earns enough even after paying bills and living costs. I therefore asked them to explain to me why i couldnt afford it, why would i apply to rent a property if i couldnt afford it? this seamed stupid. they said that in order for me to afford the property, mine and my fiancees income must be a total of £16000, however they couldnt tell me why this was, as i know for a fact that it does not cost this much as my current property cost the same amount as this one and me and my friend only have a combined student income of £12000and we get by quite confortably.
I explained to them that i have student income of £6600 per year, which in the first instance i was told could not be considered, however they now said that they could use it!!! very confusing. so with my income and my fiancee's, that gives us a total of nearly £20000, way over the limit they had previously disclosed to me. so i thought that would be the end of the matter, but no it was not.
a few days later they contacted me saying that my student income could not be considered valid as i do not recieve it on a month to month basis, i receive 3 lump sums every 4 months. how is this a problem???? the income is there! they have proof from my previous landlady, who they have contacted, and whom was my labdlady for 2 years, stating that i have bever missed a payment and i am tidy and she would give me a teneacy again no problem at all. they said that is just how they operate, what a load of rubbish.
so i asked, how do we proceed from here? which they replied i need a guarentor, this seamed fine as i have a few people who said they would be willing to do this for me. i therefore asked what qualifies someone as a guarentor, what are the requirements?
they replied that the guarontor must have a disposable income which would total or exceed the amount required to afford the property. this amount being £16000, the amount they had set fourth previously. i asked what they meant my disposable to which they replied, they must have this amount left in their salary after they have deducted there single outgoings, living expenses and mortgage repayments etc. therefore as a quick estimate, my guarantor must be earning in excess of £30k - £40k per year!!!!!! from where i am from, there are very few people who i know who earn this kind of money. how are you meant to get a guarantor??
it seams to me like they are trying to take my money put the house back up for rent and do the same again to some other poor unsuspecting victim. the way they treat their customers is horrendous, they are rude, snotty and veyr untoward. they think they are better than you, you are the customer, they shoudl be doing all they can for you, instead it seams they just dont care. once they have your admin fee they dont want to know you anymore. i will never bee using these people again and i would strongly advise that you stay away from them at all costs!! as you will just be met with dissapointment. they have left me with less than 3 days to find somewhee to live and they just dont care!!!!!!!!!! there policies stink and they have no justification towards them.
if anybody else has had similar running with this company, post itto as many places as you can to try and stop them doing it to other people.
Company you have to watch out for as service is very poor for a large company , I you contact this branch regarding something wrong in your property they dint seam to do anything about it and you end up chasing it up direct with your landlord that they say they can not get hold of ! . Secondly they lose payments making out its your fault when its not on more than one occasion ,The main thing with this branch is to always note down with every conversation is a full name time and date (even record and calls or in person conversations with them as if there is a problem further down the line and its been there fault they will deny everything) Always have proof .Wish i did !
For a few years I have moved from this rented house to that rented house. In a couple of day time I am going to move to another rented house in Nottingham. This review is dedicated for students who are pondering over university halls or rented houses.
First, renting a house is not always cheaper than staying in a hall. The price of one bed flat is quite pricey in my opinion. However, if you share a one bed flat with another student, the price is quite reasonable. If you like your privacy, are happy with limited space, and want cheap accommodation, a bedsit or studio will suit you.
Second, renting a house takes more time of you than living in a hall. Except the rent of the house include utility bills, which is not popular, you have to phone electric, water, gas, internet companies to get contracts under your name. You need to contact the landlord/previous tenant/agency to get the name of those companies. If you want to save money, you should go to uswitch to get the best deals. Or you can use cash back sites to get a few quid back when registering with the electric or broadband companies. If you share a house with a few people, you should get all their names on all the bills. If all of you want to go for monthly direct debit payment since you get discount when use that one, and you are the one who will pay, you should put the amount each of them has to pay at the place where everybody can see. (I suggest you should pin a sheet of paper on the fridge door) Furthermore, you have to cook (if you live in catered hall, food is provided). And you definitely have to clean. Because you will be charged a cleaning fee if the house is given back in a "not clean, not tidy" state. I suggest you should wipe all the windows, glass doors 2 weeks before giving the house back, and keep cleaning every 3,4 days since the landlord, agency may bring people to the house (they will phone you before coming just a day or 2 days) for viewing if you don't extend your contract.
Thirdly, if you definitely want to rent a house, ask around for any good deals. Landlords sometimes post advertisements at the notice board of university lecture halls or accommodation halls. Agencies is a pricey choice. They are professional but they charge various of fee, and each fee is not cheap. You should go for a professional agency which has an office, and you know where it is. You should pop in there at least once and meet the person who is in charge of the house you are interested in. Don't trust agencies which just advertise in small boxes with just their names and mobile phone numbers on lettings magazines. Even if it 's a good deal, you should request information of the landlords such as their address, contacts because it 's your right to stay in touch with the landlord.
If you really like the house, rent is cheap, location is good, but there are many applicants apply for it, the trick to be chosen is offering to pay the rent 6 month upfront or a year upfront depending on the period of the contract. However, you can only do this if you have enough money in your account.
When signing contract, paying deposit, there should be a witness. Well, private landlords sometimes give out informal receipts. So in the end of tenancy, they will avoid paying you back the whole deposit or they may eventually will not pay you.
The Glasgow branch of Coutrywide Residental letting are unprofessional,lazy,useless,unhelpful......
My tennents signed their contact on the 30th March 2010, I finally received my inventory (e-mailed to me ) by Gail Wilson (head of letting in glasgow on the 6th May after complaining.Had to chase up rental income and kept getting fobbed off by lazy staff saying "its the bank holiday" after complaing to the payments department a helpful woman their found out that the tennents had changed their payment date, at no time was this passed on to me.The 4th month check on the flat was yesterday and I took the morning off to meet somebody from Countrywide at 10.15am at the flat,nobody turned up and i had to go back to work, they turn up at back of 11 no phone call no text nothing!!!. The tennents quite clearly smoke even though I asked for non smokers.
I have the full management package but they do nothing for it.
Anybody in Glasgow looking to rent out their flat please please save yourself a lot of hassle and pain and dont touch Countrywide.
Renting a home has many pro's as well as many con's. I can speak from all angles as have rented myself in the past, worked for a letting agent and am now renting out my own home whilst living with my partner.
When I rented my flat, my landlord was an angel. I lived on my own and so things like plumbing in my washing machine etc my landlord did himself. I did have a few problems with the property, but these were all sorted out with a simple phone call to my landlord who would come and sort the problem out within the week. The down side to renting I felt was that you would have to get permission to redecorate and have your plans approved and also the rent was always higher than a mortgage would have been.
When I worked as a rental agent I discovered that not all landlords were as kind and helpful as mine had been. Often the landlords would ring up on the same day that the rent was due (often at 9.15!) to ask if the tenant had been in to pay the rent. They wouldn't always be very understanding about late payments e.g. if the tenant had been in hospital. Some of the landlords would argue about every little job that would need doing, and would take their time in returing your calls in this regards. Some of the tenants were hard work too. One lady I remember wouldn't change a light bulb herself and so someone from the office would have to go down and do it or she would demand an electrician! Others would let their gardens become over grown and generally not treat the properties with the same respect as they would their own.
I am now letting my property out and have to say that my tenants are very good (gosh I hope that I haven't spoken too soon!). They always pay their rent on time, if not early and forward any post (even junk mail!) onto me. We have had a few teething problems, in that they didn't turn the water on and nearly had the agents get an emergency plumber out as the toilet didn't flush! However on the whole they are good tenants. Due to this fact I want to look after them. My agents to be fair aren't that good, still to do the three months check on the property, and never like to answer the phone or return calls. However I have maintained e-mail contact with the tenant so that if any problems do occur with the house then I know that they wont be left stranded for weeks on end.
In summary, I think that renting is a good idea. It gives you the freedom to move quickly if you should so wish, it also takes away some of the responsibilty of maintaining a property. To rent successfully you have to work with your landlord and show them that you are going to look after their investment. Respect breed respect, and therefore if you do that the landlord will look after you when something goes wrong.
So you are about to rent a house. Here are my top tips for being a good tenant, making it your home and most importantly getting your deposit back.
1. Pay everything on time. Set up a standing order and tell your letting agent/Landlord that you have done so and tell them so. Make sure they know that you are going to pay up even if you need a month to get the money for your deposit in your bank then make out a post dated cheque for a time you know you have money. Check with the letting agent/LL that this is ok first though.
2. Be clean. Not necessarily tidy, but clean. Also remember in some contracts if you have left a mess which attracts rodents then you have to pay for it. Also most of the time these houses will have at some point been your LL home and they don't want to see it in a mess.
3. Let them know that you are being a good tenant. For example if there is a garden ask them to send you written conformation that you can weed the patio.
4. Get to know the neighbors, or at least don't disturb them. These peoples may know your LL and complain, which means that you may get evicted.
5. Just because it is not your carpet/sofa/lampshade does not mean that you can let things soak in. Treat it with respect at the very least this means that you won't loose any money.
Making it yours.
Personalise, Personalise, Personalise! Get pot plants, get pictures (though check that you can put it up first), ask if they buy the paint would you be able to redecorate. Buy a door mat. You will feel a lot happier in there once it becomes your home. My way is to surround my self with photos for the first week until I feel more at home and settled.
Getting your deposit back.
I am at the moment in a huge fight with my ll about how the house was when we moved in. In my words a tip. anyway it has all boiled down that they won't give my deposit back and it is a horrible feeling and place to be so if you are moving in follow these steps.
1. Fill in their inventory and your own. Send a copy to them preferably by email and keep a copy for your self. Not down everything. Even if you think that it is just minor note it. Same as you do when you first rent a car.
2. Make sure you know what you pay for ie. light bulbs, cleaning, left furniture, missing furniture.
3. Take photos of anything broken or in bad repair. Digital is best then burn them onto a CD-R and make sure they are date stamped. You may also want to email your LL these photos.
4. If anything happens such as brick through your window or spray paint on the brick work then report it to police. Then you get a police incident number which then your LL can pass onto their insurance.
5. When you are moving out take out your inventory and take all of your furniture and leave all of there's.
6. Get final copy of all bills and make a photocopy. Send the receipt of final payment to LL.
7. If you don't get your deposit back call them, talk to them. Last resort legal action, although normally just the threat of legal is enough to make them get in shape and get it back to you.
Hope everyone has lovely honest LL and enjoy their rented home.
I am very recently married, and I rented my very first property away from my family home in June of last year, I must admit we rushed into it a little too quickly, me and my then fiancee had been living 60 miles apart, and so it was difficult to see each other much, and so one day when I was in the town he lives in seeing him, we went to a letting agent, and ended up signing a contract on the first property we viewed.
The letting agent we used was Hot Property, and I must say I'd never use them again.
The flat we viewed was two bedrooms, a brand new build. It was on the top floor of a 4 story building with no lift, and next to a busy railway line, the stairs didnt bother us until it came to moving stuff in and the first shopping trip we had!!!! But the trains, we were told by the agent who showed us around, could not be heard from in the flat, and were not very often, this we found to be a lie when we moved in!! But, the flat was pretty, and needed nothing doing to it, and had all the white goods in it which was handy to a young couple.
The rent was £500 which was a little over budget, but we were ok with that.
A year later, there are cracks all over the walls, the paint which had been used was "builders paint" which when it gets wet, comes off, meaning you can't wipe down any marks on the wall, the laminate flooring is coming up, there is a gap around the windows where the sealant has come away and the gaps let cold air and rain water in. When emails and pictures were sent to the letting agent, nothing was done, and even though they were first informed of the issues nearly 5 months ago, still nothing has been done, and they actually had the cheek to send em a very snotty email this morning about it.
My advice is, if your renting a property, to most definitely have at least 2 viewings, look at all the flooring, walls etc, if there is anything your not sure about, mention it to the landlord or letting agent, and make sure its sorted before you sign anything!!! Negotiate the price if its a little too expensive, alot of landlords are willing to knock down the price by £10-£50 a month especially if the property has been on the market for a while with not much interest.
I would definitely tell you to make sure you love the place your looking at, and can see yourself living there, make sure you trust the letting agent, and read reviews on the service they give before you go anywhere near them!!!
If the landlord lives a long way from the property, do NOT bother with it!!!! If anything goes wrong, they will not be able to sort the problem out quickly and efficiently if they're living over 100 miles away!
Before you sign anything visit the property area at night, to ensure its as nice then as in the day, check with the council at what the banding of the property is.
Do not rush into it like we did, we have had nothing but trouble with the place we live, council tax been double what we were told it would be by the agent, vandals getting into a building which is supposedly secure and safe.
Renting is excellent, it means you don't have to get expensive mortgages, and it means if you need to move, you don't have to worry about selling up, but it can be unstable, you miss one rent, and they can kick you out within a month, but I suppose, its the same with a mortgage.
If your thinking about renting a property, please ensure you look into it alot, and any properties your looking into are researched alot!! Please take my advice, I don't want other people getting into the mess I did!!!
I've been on both sides of renting, as at the moment I'm renting out my student house in Nottingham and renting a room myself in a shared house in the south west.
Over time I've picked up a lot of tips from various landlords and tenants, so here are a few:
Always sign a contract and read it carefully. This may sound obvious, but if you don't have a contract, then you have no rights whatsoever and not even any proof you've ever lived there. Even with signing a contract, it's easy enough to move in and then forget you're responsible for looking after the garden etc. If you want to move out, how much notice do you have to give? Does your contract give the landlord any unfair advantages? When I looked over my new contract, it stated that I was responsible for paying the bills. Nope. If the other 3 people moved out, there's no way I'd be footing the council tax bill on my own, so I asked to have it changed to make it clear I was responsible for a quarter of the bills.
Know what you're getting into - will the rent be a fixed amount? How much is the deposit? How long is your contract for? Usually they are for a minimum of 6 months, which is a good idea even if you're planning to stay longer. You never know what will happen and you can always renew when you're more sure.
Anything extra that your landlord agrees to e.g. keeping a pet, make sure it is written into the contract as verbal agreements can always be denied. I've heard of landlords who agree to pets without really thinking and then somewhere down the line insist that they never agreed to it and want the tenants gone or a ridiculous amount paid for the pet.
As a rule, landlords (unless they are live in obviously) are only allowed to enter the property 28 days before you leave in order to show other people around, inspect damage etc. - some landlords are around every 5 minutes which is a pain. I have known others who just hang around in their tenants' houses or spend half the day walking up and down past the house which is a bit creepy.
Don't sign anything until you've seen the place. Ignore all the 'I'll fix this and change this and do that', because it's easy enough to say. Unfortunately a lot of landlords don't follow through with this (not always their fault but still). Assume that the property will be how you see it to avoid disappointment.
Ask the landlord of any other conditions. Yes these should be included in the contract but aren't always. My landlord actually has a handbook of very picky stuff that we aren't allowed to do, but at least everyone knows where they stand.
Your deposit can be held by a third party (google it for legit companies) which is useful to keep the peace and make sure that silly excuses aren't made by your landlord. You can't use your deposit for your rent, at least not legally.
Make sure your landlord is easy to contact - get an email address as well as at least 1 telephone number. My landlord lives in Ireland and is sometimes difficult to get hold of, so it's best to keep as many lines of communication open as possible.
Hopefully these tips will help :)
I currently rent a flat, having moved from a rented house, both of which I lived in with my partner. My current experiences of renting this flat have been positive, particularly as I deal directly through my landlord (ie not through a managed agent). My experience of living in and leaving the last house was, however, not so positive, and I would like to share my experience as I have learned a lot of bitter lessons and have only recently closed a very stressful chapter in my renting life!
When we left our last property, we cleaned it from top to bottom over the space of two days, only being unable to mow the garden as the tools provided were not suitable, and we had barely used the garden as we lived there over the winter. Expecting all or most of our deposit back, we were dismayed to find it blocked as we entered into a debate with our managed agents and landlord about the installation of a phone line which we had been given permission for but he denied, and wanted paying for it. First lesson - if you get permission to install anything or do any work to the property, get it in writing!
Once sorted, a few weeks later I received our deposit letter. Except, instead of giving us our money back he was demanding a multitude of extra charges for services such as cleaning, sofa cleaning, gardening and even charges for items which were not in the property! Thank goodness the itinery backed us up on the last of these points, but our landlord really was out to get as much as he could. Frustratingly, we had taken photos of the beautifully clean property we left, but the memory card was locked and none had saved. We also had failed to take photos when we arrived in the property, so could not prove the state we found it in. Luckily, I was able to find a few photos taken of us in the property that showed our use of sofa covers and existing wear and tear to the sofas, but without these candid photos we would have lost a lot more money than we did. Second lesson - photograph and record EVERYTHING.
After a long battle through the deposit resolution service, we finally settled with loosing only money for gardening, which although extortionate I guess we deserved, and cleaning, which we certainly didn't. We were lucky given the lack of evidence we had, but so unlucky to have such a ruthless landlord and a rude managed agent who was acting on his behalf and withheld evidence (videos of the property we moved into) when requested to put forward to the dispute resolution people.
In our current property we went through the itinery with a toothcomb, noting down everything - even wall cracks - that could possibly come back to bite us later. We've also made a point of calling the landlord for every little problem, and kept the communication open and frequent. Luckily he has so far proved very helpful and reasonable, and I fully intend to take him round the property with me as and when we do leave so we can find out anything he is unhappy with before it gets to desposit-taking time! You have to be so careful when renting, and I have learned not to rely on people using common sense and telling the truth but instead keeping everything recorded and keep dialogue open with your landlord.
My conclusion? Good luck, and get contents insurance....
We moved into a nice house with 4 students. Initially everything was fine apart from the fact that the house had not been cleaned as it should have. Little did we know that it was the least of our problems. We have had to deal with the Kingston branch for two years now and can't wait to move out.
The ''accounting department' is a joke run by one of the most incompetent women to walk this planet. EVERY month we were told our rent was overdue. EVERY month we proved that we had in fact paid. The money was coming in from 4 different accountants and yet they could never figure out who it came from. We had to look ourselves which was a major inconvenience. Despite the fact that we had paid we got really bad attitude and finally this week we received a letter stating the exact date of the missing rent payment. Why could they have not done this before? Lazy if you ask me. On top of that the missing rent is their own fault. They changed their bank account halfway through and one of the payments accidentaly went through to the old one. Did they think to check that for the missing payment? Naturally the answer would be no. We asked if they had this problem with other people and they said yes (bit stupid to admit if you ask me) so obviously we weren't the only ones!
I almost pity the landlord because he is now selling the property and he told them to ask us if we wanted to stay for a few months (with two month notice) until a buyer was found. This way he would still receive an income from the property. But they did not ask us, and now the landlord is losing out on money. In fact when the woman we dealt with asked us about the following payment we had to tell her that the house was being sold. She didn't even know, despite that a picture of it was hanging in the front window of the letting agency!
Needless to say we're not holding out much hope for our deposit. Now they have merged with Gasgoine-Pees (probably in the hope people will forget about them as countrywide) so I advise anybody considering them not to!
'we screw up, so you don't have to''
Avoid CP Papas on Junction Road, Archway. They made promises they couldn't keep. Our flat was filthy when we moved in. When we complained, they told us to clean the place ourselves and they would take £30 off the rent. Fine, but I would rather have moved into a clean flat. We rented the flat furnished, but both the sofa and bed were broken when we moved in and there were no curtains in any of the rooms. We were promised on numerous ocassions that both these items would be replaced. They weren't. Furthermore, our full deposit was not returned despite our protestations due to the broken furniture! The final straw came when we realised that the previous tenant's discarded furniture we had asked to be removed, was simply placed at the side of the building blocking the gas meter and then tiles began falling off the walls. We were told if we wanted repairs done to the property, we would need to pay an extra £50 a month in rent!! The agents were rude on the telephone and in person(without fail!) and would simply turn up at the flat for viewings and expect to be let in - the estate agents had managed to lose our keys!! Even if they offer you the perfect flat, it really isn't worth it. Walk away.
John German - absolutely dreadful.When I viewed the property originally (which I was trying to do for some time) another viewer suddenly appeared - how unprofessional is that. I agreed to take on the property subject to cleaning - which never got done. Various maintenance issues were raised by me immediately - not sorted in almost 3 months. Communication is one way. Avoid these cowboys like the plague. Zero out of 10.
Ive been moving into my current flat for nearly 1 month and a half now, despite numerous calls to their office, I still havent received an inventory list. They said there was an admin problem, OK but why it took sooooooo long??????? They promised me to rearrange pips so that my washing machine can be connected one month before I moved in, and they said that its in their system so they wont forget. However, it had not been done by the day I moved in. After 1 months casing up the request, they still havent done anything yet. My washing machine has been set in the middle of the kitchen for nearly 2 months now. They told me over the telephone that the landlady hasnt decided how to do yet (which sounds a lie to me). Ok fine, but I requested 2 months ago, wasnt that enough time for her to think about it? This is the worst Estate Agent Ive ever come across till now. Avoid them at any cost.
Would just like to warn anyone against any dealings with either of these companies. We are renting from them at present (thank god we are only on a 6 month lease) and they have proved to be all of the above mentioned things. Their maintenance people let themselves into the house without warning, the place was not cleaned as promised when we moved in, it takes over a month to have anything seen to, they are not contactable by telephone and they do not return calls or emails. I feel like I'm beating my head against a brick wall and can't wait to be out of this lease. The one star is only because I can't give them none.