Flat 5, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 3EN

Added 22nd June 2015

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1. Not nice, too expensive, inactive landlady... But that's the norm, right?

By northernsaint - stayed here from 22nd June 2015 to 22nd June 2015

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I lived in this old council flat for two years, with rent increasing when we signed on for a second year. Pretty galling as it's an old bought-out council flat and we were the only people in the whole block paying rent, and there were no improvements or upkeep at all.

The landlady herself... Was difficult to contact. We would usually have to do so through the estate agent. This was only a problem a few times - she had a local odd-jobs company which we could call instead of her to fix anything minor wrong with the house but when, for example, the "balcony" (read: 4ftx4ft outside bit) flooded, it took several days to sort out during which there was water damage to the flat, and our things.

The icing on the cake was that at the end of our two-year stay, when between three of us we'd paid over £30,000 in rent to live in a poxy cupboard of a house in a crime-ridden estate (we never had any trouble, to be fair), there were spurious and arbitrary charges used to prevent us getting our deposit back.

"Cleaning" - £5.
"Cotton throws" - £10.

That kind of stunt. As well as that, she added a charge to replace two beds (we'd had to replace one ourselves) for a price which WOULD have bought beds good enough to not break in the first place!

Anyway, a strongly-worded letter with some legal mumbo-jumbo from the former law student among us, and she dropped it entirely and just gave us back the deposit. Which was fantastic, but showed of course that it was just a con in the first place.

Positives - aside from being nasty over the deposit, the landlady never came round or gave us grief, which meant we could have parties, smoke inside, and generally treat the place in a pretty student-like manner and get away with it.

However, we gave the place a mighty scrub down, left the windows open for around a month, washed the carpets and curtains and painted all of the walls, leaving it in as good a condition as we found it - hence our annoyance at the random £800-odd of ridiculous deposit charge.

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northernsaint said:

We also had to pay pretty significant estate agent fees to the estate agent, Leaders. The landlady would not entertain the possibility of allowing us to stay a second year and pay rent directly to her. Her choice, I guess.

on 22nd June 2015 at 3:45pm