Flat 20 First Floor, London, N6 5PG

Added 1st June 2014

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1. Duplicitous estate agents and landlords.

By veronique - stayed here from 15th August 2009 to 15th February 2014

When we moved out, our landlords forced us to pay the rent while a painter / handy man was working, sleeping and smoking in the flat. This had been organised by the estate agency although they denied it at first. Nobody would have informed us of this fact but they could not hide it when I came back to our flat ten days after our move to pick up the mail.

The landlords and the estate agents were very duplicitous. It really looks as if they were counting on the fact that we could not afford taking them to court at that point. Indeed we thought that it would cost us so much to have our rights enforced that we did not sue them (landlords and estate agency), although the case was obvious and I was really upset because the estate agent Charlotte had lied while talking to me directly in person. As we protested, we got our full deposit back. We thought that this cut our losses as much as possible given with whom we were dealing. What would have been the point of wasting time, energy and money with going to court? (apart from calming my nerves.)

Over the 5 years we lived there, our landlords organised no work to improve the place. When the washing machine or other things were broken, they would do nothing for several weeks until we would propose to organise everything (and after some time they would pay us back).

The estate agency (Taylor Gibbs) was of no use during the rental period. To us, they repeated that their role is limited to finding tenants and collecting the rents, although they organised the work when we moved out - without informing us - and they slowed down the advertisement process so that the flat would come on the market after the work was finished - and we had to pay the rent during that time.

In terms of finding tenants, the agency are certainly good, but I would not believe any of their information about what bills are already included. For example, they assured us that water was included in the rent via the general bill of the building. It is true that one does not pay hot water, but Thames Valley still charged us more than £30 a month for (cold) water.

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