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.]
Deposit Returned?: Still living in the hole in question
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!
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?
We decided to rent a house with CPS for our second year, a mistake. Aside from paying half rent over summer (2018) for a property we didn’t even have the keys for, all seemed ok…
Until we actually moved in, the kitchen was filthy, it took my housemate hours to clean it. At least my room came with a free gift, a pair of mouldy high heels at the back of the wardrobe!
After a few weeks living in the property, I noticed a thick layer of mould along the wall below the window sill. Around the same time, I started getting recurrent chest infections. Even after wiping it off, it came back after a few days. I contacted CPS who blamed me for the issue and reminded me of the ‘expensive dehumidifiers’ the landlord had purchased, out of the goodness of his heart! And told me to open a window. Evidently these were measures we were already taking, two dehumidifiers don’t divide well between five tenants, and the fact that my room was on the first floor – particularly in autumn/winter, I obviously couldn’t keep the windows open 24/7.
Yet despite measures we took, the damp still accumulated every couple of days in huge amounts. I continued to email CPS, who maintained it was entirely my fault, and that it’s completely normal to wipe mould off a wall every few days, basic upkeep I suppose! I continued to have constant chest infections and even started coughing up blood from sleeping in a shithole every night. I spoke to my GP, who suggested the mould was likely contributing to it (I didn’t experience anything like it before I moved in).
Eventually (after emailing CPS consistently) I asked the council to send someone over to have a look, who advised the window needed to be resealed at the bottom, and the breeze of cold, damp air entering the room didn’t help. At this point we managed to get in contact with the landlord directly, who was happy to get it resealed quickly and take other measures to resolve it – funny, he didn’t seem to be aware of the issues that had been occurring, it seems CPS wasn’t even doing the bare minimum of letting him know of our concerns.
However, my personal favorite experience of CPS, was getting a knock on my bedroom door in the morning, followed by someone trying to open it (followed by 5 random students doing a viewing), as I lay naked in my bed, trying to get some rest after a night shift. When I told them to ‘fuck off’, the agent got a bit shitty, I suppose it is out of order denying strangers access to my bedroom and a view of my tits. Fortunately, CPS had graced us with a text message notice, 20 minutes before they arrived, clearly I was in the wrong for not hearing my phone go off whilst sleeping off my shift. [This is completely out of order, 24 hours notice must be given and you have the right to refuse entry. ]
They also knocked on the bathroom door when I was doing a shit once, again without notice. I’m not sure how their potential tenants felt viewing the bathroom, as the scent of my feces, mixed with the Febreeze I attempted to cover it with, wafted towards them.
When we questioned this and the whole 24-hour notice rule, they told us they would give us notice every single morning otherwise, how thoughtful of them.
(Photos attached are after the 2 weeks I was home for Christmas, clearly I should have kept the dehumidifiers on, the window open, and returned every couple of days to wipe the walls down)
The boys that live in my house came up for some small party. Neighbours called my landlord, Jagjit Klar, saying about the noise. So the landlord called me and that shouted down the phone to clear up the mess. He then came down without telling and went in the neighbours house to the garden to see what’s happening.
One of the boys told him to suck his dick and insulted him while standing in house. The landlord kicked everyone out, but we thought he seemed chill. Landlord then came knocking on the door at 9pm asking for the boy who insulted him, behind him saw massive hunter Knife and knuckle duster 🤦🏽♂️ [Editors note: Fucking Terrifying] We mistakenly told him where the boy live as we hadn’t seen the knife and stuff which we regret after. He then went waiting outside that house which was down the street. Tried to convince him 3 times to go home and then he was drink driving and speeding off. Police got called next day and they did fuck all.
Editors follow up: Just a few questions, if we post this, will y’all be safe? This man sounds dangerous and we want to make sure, y’all won’t become targets for this man. Secondly, did you find this place through an agency at all?
We’ll all be safe, this man doesn’t know where any of us live or living next year. We want everyone to know about 101 Cathays Terrace and want to warn any future tenants. This man has problem if he can get triggered from a such comment and take this big of a step. This house was found from CPS and we will complain this to them soon. Thank you.
CPS scammed me and my friends, it was our first time living outside of uni halls and they used that to their advantage.
As soon as we moved in there was a leaky gutter and I reported it several times over the following months. Water began leaking through my window and created mould all over the walls, which grew on my bedding and all my belongings. I had to stay with a friend as I have bad lungs and the room was deemed a health hazard by an independent mould inspector that my parents paid to get done as CPS continued to ignore the issue. Photos attached.
Finally, after 5-6 months they decided to repair the gutter and fix the mould (that was my fault for not alerting them soon enough?!) The work was supposed to take no more than a couple of days, but it turned into a couple of weeks and then a month for the room to be habitable again. In this time I had to remove all my belongings from the room, my bed frame was taken apart and the mattress up against the wall as they moved a CEMENT MIXER in and had several workmen in the room daily. There was absolutely no way I could function or sleep in a room without a bed or privacy, and so I continued to stay at my friends house. They offered me no compensation for this time, they did not provide me with alternative accommodation and they harassed me constantly to pay rent (the only reason they started the work was because I stopped paying rent until they fixed the room). It was a recurring issue with previous tenants, one of the workmen told me that years of mould had been covered up with paint year after year.
But CPS still pointed the finger at me and caused me incredible stress during my studies, I had to seek mental health support and I was physically unwell too from the damp/mould. Eventually, the room was fixed but the relationship with my flatmates was gone and I had been bullied by CPS to pay rent for a room that I couldn’t live in for months. I had been homeless for a couple of months at this point. I found someone else to fill the room and had to pay additional contract change fees (£150 to cross out my name and add a different one! Scam!) [As of September 2019 this is illegal!]
They gave me my full deposit back. Not sure how much was taken from the remaining housemates / my replacement but I was just so glad to be rid of them. I ended up paying CPS over a grand for the time I was effectively homeless including contract changing fees. It really ruined my second year of University and I would really ask anyone thinking of signing with them to reconsider. The house will turn to shit in weeks of moving in. They don’t fix anything. There weren’t even beds/mattresses for the first week of renting the property at FULL RENT. It was so dirty on the first day we moved in. They’re rude and aggressive and called me a liar despite all the photos that proved I wasn’t making up there was a damp problem (even more sinister when you consider how many times they painted up that same mouldy bedroom). They manipulate their reviews by sponsoring sports teams and getting team players to give false 5* reviews posing as tenants to muddy the clearly very negative reviews from honest tenants. Avoid CPS at all costs.
Paul Biggs owns 19 May Street. Amazing landlord! Got all our deposit back no question, really nice guy who was happy to sort out issues when they arose. Stayed for both of my years! We found him through CPS Homes in 2017!
Rooms in the house with good mattresses and others with springs that literally poked through and made noises. When this issue was raised the landlord, who claimed the bed was fine. Windows with the glass blown in the middle which was quoted for but never sorted as it was ‘too expensive’. Landlord turned up unannounced on multiple occasions. [Editors note: Very illegal! If this ever happens, threaten to call the police.]
We took some things to the house to store between summer and September (we were told this was fine) & the landlord threw out our ironing board, which she did replace in the end. [Yikes]
When we moved into the house there was around 10 bulbs out – multiple tenants sent emails about this and it took a very long time to get a proper response. When we finally were sent new bulbs but we were sent the incorrect bulbs. When we informed her of this she came to the house to check they were wrong as she did not believe us. She then promised to send us the correct bulbs, which did not turn up for months. We had been in contact with both the landlord and CPS on multiple occasions about these bulbs. At our final CPS inspection, CPS promised we would not be charged for replacement lights at the end of tenancy due to all the problems we had faced (e.g. not having bulbs for at least 3 months, never having them when we moved in).
This never happened – we were charged to replace all the lights – I doubt they were replaced based on our experience moving into the property (10 bulbs out, kitchen cabinet half attached, left items from previous tenants). They also tried to charge us for things that were broken prior to us moving in the property, luckily we had photo proof of this, and were able to fight those charges.
As we had trouble with getting our deposits back before, we made a huge effort to clean the house to avoid cleaning charges. However, the day the last tenant was leaving (before the final inspection) the landlord turned up with a builder, who proceeded to create dust and mess in the house, despite our efforts to clean. When we were then changed for cleaning which we had to fight. The whole tenancy felt stressful, the landlord and CPS did not act responsibly, and did not care about our welfare.
From 2018 to 2019, I stayed in a 7 bedroom house. Good size for what it cost but there were some evident issues that needed fixing; namely the backgarden was covered in weeds, the front porch step was broken and coming loose and various patches of mould around the house which we asked to be sorted before we moved in. Only the weeds were sorted, the front porch step was fixed multiple months later after a complaint of the wobbly slab and to my knowledge they’ve never sorted the mould problem despite one of the tenants being asthmatic. Other than that, we were happy to move in despite the general bumps, scratches, dents and stains to be expected when we moved in that were not caused by us.
The issues arose later. I’ll even say, we did require some deductions. One of the tenants put a hole in the kitchen wall but no one admitted to it. Some bin bags were left in the front garden after moving out due to excess waste we weren’t able to get rid of. And there were some little things here in there that were just not able to organise. So a reasonable deduction we expected. CPS tried to take us for more than half of the deposit. Some of which were the reasonable deductions expected. The rest were either grossly inflated (like £40 to remove a coffee stain from a desk) or outright not caused by us. They were unable to produce an invoices for more than £800 of the £1500 they tried to take. We had to fight tooth and nail for our deposit back through the deposit protection service, managing to claim a portion of the deposit back.