Flat 27, London, W11 1PG

Added 24th June 2014

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1. Felt like I was living in the worst hell....

By caligirl - stayed here from 26th February 2014 to 14th June 2014

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This flat is awful...let me count the ways....how much time do you have? We came from the US and were tricked by Marsh and Parsons to take this flat (the only other flat they showed us had a landlord who hated Americans and wanted a years rent upfront). We were desperate, we leased this place. First off, the landlord didn't disclose that the living room windows were falling apart. We opened them during the flat viewing but we had no idea that the glaze and putty were disintegrating....how can you discern what is damage and what is "vintage charm"? Then we discover that the landlord is overly frugal and hires a buddy to fix our window. The handyman friend came over 11-12 times, was always 10min-2 hours late (w/o notice) and in those appointments, never made real progress to replace our windows (??!!). He would leave a pile of dust and debris from his construction and we lost use of our living room from so much tearing up. Our dining table became his work bench, where he would put his filthy tools. Even worse to boot was that I came home midway through a repair appointment and discovered that the landlord had opened and gone through a box we had. He had also entered our flat w/o notice (there was no emergency to justify) and never locked our flat with the deadbolt. And without locking it correctly, you can just open the door with a credit card.

The flat itself, outside of the damage drama, is unsavory. All the furnishings and fixtures are ancient. No care has been given to update it at all. Windows are cracked. Doors are splitting. Flooring is three different types from the building's inception. Drapes, sofa, chairs are filthy and beyond worn in. Also, surrounding flats can all look into it, making you feel like you are in a fish bowl. In addition, there is construction in front of the building and below the flat's windows. If you love the noise of drills, jackhammers and dust/debris coming in your window, this is the place for you. And construction has been ongoing for the last year and is not "scheduled" to end for another 18 months - that is, if it is on time. OH - and my favorite part. The neighbor downstairs starts to smoke after 10pm, but only in the bathroom...so if you leave the door slightly open, your home, not to mention your bathroom, can also smell of smoke....including your towels. Imagine that when you are drying yourself off the next day from a shower. *shudder* No matter how much I cleaned, I always felt like I lived in a crack den!

Both agents Marsh and Parsons and this landlord really set up to screw over foreigners living in London, who don't know what to expect or what their righs are. This flat is rented fully furnished therefore catering to those who don't want to buy furniture for a shorter term stay. The renters before us were from outside the UK but smoked and had 2 cats, of which they never properly cleaned up. Supposedly we received it with a "professional cleaning" but we discovered mountains of cat hair and food still stuck on the plates.

After spending an eternity researching our legal rights via Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter and the Tenancy Relations Council (of which I left a standing complaint against the landlord with John Hutchings of the council dept), I drafted a strongly worded letter to request a mutual surrender to release us from the lease. And somehow, the only good thing I can say is that the landlord released us from it all. And during the inventory check out process, the actual inventory clerk from Let Check Inventories (some hag named Gita) broke the shower panel and she was going through the flat and blamed us. I also raised hell with the director of Let Check and miraculously we were able to get our deposit back in full.

But this awful, awful flat was our introduction to London. And it was an infuriating, invasive and nightmare of a living situation. DO NOT rent this place or from Marsh and Parsons either! All the legal advice told me that M&P are known for scamming foreigners. Also, we left before they finished the window replacement are being tired of the indoor construction and invasion of privacy. So I don't know if it has been fixed??? But since all the other windows are in really bad shape, with cracks and mold/mildew, just avoid! Drafts come in when it is cold and it becomes freezing! Since electricity is not cheap, heating the place get very expensive too. If it looks like sh-t, it mus be sh-t!


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Reply to caligirl:
caligirl said:

ALSO....we petitioned to leave before they finished with the window replacements as we were fed up with the indoor construction and invasion of privacy. So, I don't know if they have been repaired....but all the other windows are in really bad shape! Drafts come in, causing it to be freezing inside when its cold. It feels mildewy/moldy too. Just avoid, avoid, avoid!

on 24th June 2014 at 12:09pm