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Example of what an illegal tenancy agreement looks like!

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Although we mostly post reviews we are always happy to chat to people about their rights when it comes to renting properties. We aren’t trained in this, nor are we lawyers. (Tbh we just hate landlords)

Someone approached us after reading our comment on a CPS review. In it, we explained that charging tenants to change the names on their tenancy agreement is illegal. The person we were speaking too showed us a copy of their agreement and wanted to know the exact law we were referring to.

In September 2019 Welsh Government changed the laws regarding tenancy fees. Under the new law, it is illegal to charge the tenant any fees related to signing a contract, renewing one, inspecting the property and administration fees. You can check the full list out here! Included in the full guidance found here is a paragraph relating directly to changing names on contracts:

“Landlords or agents are unable to contractually require a payment from a tenant to change a joint tenancy agreement to reflect a change of sharer, should one tenant leave and be replaced by another.”

“Should either party wish to amend a tenancy agreement, a landlord or agent cannot contractually require a payment for the amendment.”

This makes these elements in a tenancy agreement illegal if it was created and signed after September 2019. If this happens to you we recommend you check out our where to find help page. In this case, we recommended the tenant contact ACORN Cardiff and Rent Smart Wales to help them out.

Sales & Letting Angels

Sales & Letting Angels living up to their name!

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Lovely lettings agents – all staff are friendly and up for a giggle with us. Most staff are young, approachable women. Small touches like a goodybag, free coffee and cake when you move in and check-in e-mails make us feel well looked after as tenants. They are speedy with maintenance issues, with replies within 1-2 weeks. They always give at least 48-72 hours notice before coming around. The communication between landlady and them are always efficient. The house is gorgeous. We’ve had no issues thus far, and got the deposit back in a short space of time.

Rent: 360
Deposit returned?: Yes

CPS

CPS pulling a good olde electric switcharoo

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Firstly we agreed to pay half rent for July and they gave us the electricity bill and which was about £400. Then they changed our energy supplier on the 2nd August the day after we moved in to a different one which prevented us from making a deal with the original energy supplier which was the cheapest. When trying to get hold of them about it they’re avoiding it.

[Your landlord or agency should not be switching suppliers if you are the one paying the bill. However they pay the bills for you, they are within the right to choose the supplier. You can find more info on this here.]

Rent: 335

Deposit Returned?: Still living in the hole in question

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Don’t rent with Julian Turner unless you want to be body-shamed on Facebook

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Landlords always manage to impress us with how shitty they are! Today’s lovely example comes from Julian Turner who thought it’d be a fantastic idea to show off one of his properties on Overheard at Cardiff University.

For the sake of dignity, we’ve blurred the images but Julian Turner clearly didn’t give two fucks. One of the images even included the poor tenant’s details and the address of the property. Regardless of how a tenant leaves a property this kind of shaming is not acceptable. It’s a GDPR nightmare and he’s an idiot for thinking this was appropriate.

It’s also repulsive they tried to shame them from blood-stained sheets when that’s a natural part of having a period and landlords should be understanding that leaks happen. God knows I’ve trashed a few mattresses and felt like shit about it afterwards. I’d be mortified if my landlord shared images online about the situation.

Rent Smart Wales has their details listed so you can avoid them. [Update] Since posting we have been contacted by Jac Y Do Limited and they claim Julian Turner has no association with them and they only operate within Ceredigion.

Since the address was in the original images we were able to look that up too.

What a joy! The address IS NOT REGISTERED. Julian Turner has broken the law by renting this property so he really should be avoided at all costs. We are going to look into reporting him but if you have rented from Julian Turner in the past please contact us at admin@rateyourlandlord.com and we can help you out. No one should be living in an unregistered property and you have rights.

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Signing up with 👑 Kingstons? You’ll be their peasant

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Genuinely the worst company I have ever had to deal with. When it came to move-in day, I was unable to get into my room as no-body in the office had a key for my locked bedroom. I had to wait 3 hours with my Dad in the car outside until the landlord could arrange for a handyman to come and change the lock on the door and let me in. My Dad then had to dive back to my hometown 3 hours delayed- no apology from the office about the wait or the fact they had lost the key to the bedroom.

When the door was finally opened it was clear they had not made any of the changes they had agreed to in the contract signing. It had been agreed that the single bed in my room would be upgraded to a 3/4 bed and a desk and chair would be provided for my housemate. They had been warned several times of when we would be moving in. Throughout the year we had several issues that were either not solved or took months for them to get round to. This included my housemates’ desk collapsing in her hands and an incredibly moldy fridge which was not hygienic enough to keep food it when we arrived. My bedroom was very small and had no insulation so got very moldy after a few months of living there, it also gave me a bad chest from sleeping in the room overnight. After complaining to Kingstons someone from the landlords’ office came to clean it which was great until she happily told me that if the mold returned she would be charging me and that I needed to keep my window open. It was February and I could see my breath in my room as it was.

When moving out of the house in June we cleaned it thoroughly but had to fight for 2 months to get our deposit back as they would not accept the fact that we had closed our water account when returning home during the pandemic. When finally receiving the list of ‘damages’ we were shocked to be charged a whopping £158 each (there are 4 of us) including £100 for cleaning, £28 for each de-weeding the garden and £46 each for an inch stain on the worktop. When we queried the damages we felt completely unjust, including the stain, some of the charges were dropped but we were told that the landlord was going to have to replace the whole unit. I do not doubt in my mind this will not be replaced. We have ended the year losing £120 of our £350 deposit each for a house we really looked after. A disappointing and difficult company to deal with needless to say we did not sign with them for the third year.


Rent: £305

Deposit Returned: Partially

CPS

Is that rotten eggs I smell, or just CPS homes again?

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CPS are honestly the worst agency I’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with. Me and 4 others lived at 76 Colum road in Cardiff, a seemingly lovely refurbished new house, no contact with the landlord and all problems to be dealt with CPS directly. (Using Rent Smart Wales we found our their landlords were Andrew Winsor and Gaynor Grace Winsor.)

Where to start?… well how about the start! The end of our first week of moving in I noticed the smell of gas coming from the kitchen, upon ringing cps and a gas man coming to deal with it he told us the leak on the ground floor was strong enough that if someone was living in the downstairs bedroom there’s a chance they may have died, it was a potentially lethal gas leak.

In our first month in the house, we noticed multiple problems, the downstairs bathroom having a pipe that leaked whenever the toilet was used, the kitchen oven was lodged out of place and rattled whenever being used, mould all over the front room wall behind the sofas, a window frame in the upstairs front bedroom that couldn’t close and a long list of smaller problems.

Obviously we reported all of these problems to CPS and the only one that was sorted was the leaking pipe in the bathroom.

Here we are 12 months later, having moved out 2 months ago, still without our deposit back and we’re being charged for all the things listed above and more. £101 for a cleaner to do 2 hours of cleaning in the house? What was £359 off our deposit has now become £399? Half of which is the problems that we had already told them about and they did nothing to sort out, now we have to pay?!?

Their an absolute joke and unfortunately own the monopoly on Cardiff’s student housing but I pray that one day they get put in their place and sort it out!

Rent: 350

Deposit Returned?: No

Uncategorized

Dondi’s back, back again

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Very nice one bed flat, furnished to high standard. Been in this property for two years now and am very happy with the landlady. Dondi is always easy to reach and promptly replies to any queries. Had some tiles cracking in the bathroom and a broken radiator recently which were sorted quickly without any issues. Can only highly recommend renting with her!

Rent: £900
Deposit Returned?: Still living at the hole in question

CPS

CPS Homes is…. ok. Barely ok

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CPS get a lot of terrible reviews (justly deserved) but I just wanted to write this to show they can be ok? Note: I was a young professional living with students I don’t know if this made a difference. My landlord was Dr Saha.

The house itself was like most student houses for this price, in need of TLC. We did have a few issues like the boiler breaking, the sink collapsing, slugs and mice but these were all dealt with by CPS and pretty quickly actually. Any time I called CPS or came into their Cathays branch they were helpful and friendly.

We got £60 taken off our deposit for “light cleaning” which was fair enough I guess, despite my hours spent scrubbing the house spotless… but considering my housemates had been with CPS and never got any of their deposit back, that’s pretty good. I did go through the DPS to get it back.

My one major issue was the viewings. They sent an email basically saying “We are going to come whenever, here is your notice”, then they would send a text like 20 mins before arriving. Once was on a Saturday, they showed up at 10.10 am after sending a text at 10.00… What if I had been asleep?

TL:DR – if they gave more notice on viewings they would be ok?

Rent: 300

Deposit returned?: Partially

Condor Properties

I didn’t think we had Condors in Cardiff, let alone one so wonderful!

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It’s my 3rd year living with Condor properties, and they’ve always been great. There’s no deposit & no agency fees which is a bonus & never had to pay for any silly damage etc. when moving from one Condor property to another. The staff contacts & maintenance team are all really lovely & helpful and get broken stuff sorted really fast. Furniture all matches nicely and the houses are all refurbished to a good standard. Bills are included in the rent price, and we pay in a term chunk when student loan comes in. Honestly only positive things to say about them definitely recommend never had any problems.

Rent: £368
Deposit Returned?:
Didn’t have one