Added 6th September 2014
1 reviewRate this Rental
By Chrisjr - stayed here from 1st November 2013 to 5th September 2014
In November 2013, my girlfriend and moved into this two bedroom flat in Brockley. In February 2014, some scaffolding went up without explanation. When we asked the letting agent (Lilypad Estates in Honor Oak Park) what was happening we were told (after some delay) that the roof needed some minor repairs. During this time, builders worked six days a week (with all of the associate noise and disturbance). Dust and dust fell through the chimney every day, with pallets of building materials left everywhere. Also, given the scaffolding was just outside our window, we had builders climbing up and down on a daily basis, peering into our flat and even waving! On one occasion, a builder put his foot through our bedroom ceiling. They came in to fix it on the same day (without telling us) and left dust and debris all over the bed - they also left a size 10 boot mark on my iPad.
In April, with no sign of let up in the works we investigated further. We found plans on the Lewisham council website for a full loft conversion. The loft was actually being turned into another flat - with a set of stairs on the outside of the house, as well as inside our flat. We confronted the landlord who then sent us a bizarre email written in the third person. He said that 'the landlord' is not responsible for roofing work undertaken by the freeholders. It was laughable, we actually saw the flat being built above us and yet he denied its existence.
We complained about this. It was evident the landlord had always intended to undertake this work, and that our time in the flat was short. Also, the landlord had been into the flat without our permission on at least two occasions. We had to pester him to complete minor works. When the fridge broke and we requested another (it was on the inventory), he delivered a filthy appliance covered in food and gunk. When we asked for a decent replacement, he requested we buy one ourselves.
On asking for the landlord's address, we were given an address in Barbados. The strange thing is, my girlfriend had met the landlord twice - and on both occasions he pretended to be someone else. He was present when she first viewed the property, at which time he said he was the 'landlord's brother'. The second time he popped round pretending to be from the building company. It was bizarre as he was quite clearly the same person. The letting agent confirmed his identity.
We finally submitted a formal complaint, which the landlord has completely ignored. We also raised concerns about the state of the flat, including a leaky, cracked ceiling which were met with silence. In July we received our inevitable eviction notice (shortly after complaining). The letting agent herself was appalled by this and offered to help us complain to the council. We contacted a Roy Kennedy from the council. He agreed that the landlord had acted badly and tried to make contact with him - with no success. We then contacted out local newspaper The News Shopper. They wrote up a story about the issue but again, because they couldn't contact the landlord to obtain his view, they couldn't run it. We had no way of contacting our landlord.
Interestingly, we received a considerable amount of mail for our landlord's (Omar Odle) two property development companies 'Seven Star Development' and 'Lion Rock Development' - both companies are in Forest Hill. A cursory google search shows Mr Odle's name as a company director. It is patently obvious that the Barbadian address was an attempt to fob us off.
Our advice would be to stay away from this property - the landlord is a crook and a liar. We are currently in the process of taking him to the small claims court for 'loss of enjoyment of the property'. After some persistence, the council thinks they have tracked him down...The whole episode was a complete nightmare.Sign in to comment on this review