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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

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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

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Dondi Eagles flies the extra mile!

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My flat was a beautifully furnished in the city centre round the back of the Mercury Hotel. Whenever we had a problem we could contact Dondi directly and it was solved without any hesitation. We also received our full deposit back without question as well. I had to get removal people to pack up my belongings because I live overseas, even though this was after my contract she helped out without taking anything from the deposit. Would highly recommend anyone to rent any of Dondi’s properties!!

Rent: £600
Deposit Returned?: Yes

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Where can I sign up for my Dondi care package!?

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Dondi Eagle is the best landlord I have had in Cardiff. Flats in Howard gardens and Howard terrace owned by this lady are stunning. Had a couple of issues that were fixed/ resolved quickly. She was easy to get in touch with and even sent me a well-being package during the lockdown. Have recommended this landlord and flat to many friends.

Don’t want to leave! Thank you Dondi!

Rent: [Not Given]
Deposit Returned?: Still living at hole in question

Uncategorized

Dondi Eagles – Amended

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We previously posted that Dondi Eagle was sending in fake reviews however since that post we’ve been in touch with a few of their tenants and become aware that is not the case. Because of that we have removed the post but would like to apologise for this mix-up. We shall be posting the positive reviews in the next few days.

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Yazi doesn’t use protection! (the deposit kind that is)

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We had the unfortunate pleasure of renting with Yazi Kayhanian, the house had recently been refurbished so we were pretty happy with the find. However this man is a nightmare to deal with, he doesn’t provide you with deposit protection details (probably because he doesn’t protect them) and is elusive when you need to contact him for any repairs and especially so at the end of the tenancy. Having now googled him I think we got off lightly, we got a partial refund of our deposit but that was after months of chasing him around the city.

Rent: £350
Deposit Returned?: Partially

CPS

CPS seems to be really into walking in on naked tenants. Voyeur kink, much?

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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)

Rent: £325
Deposit returned?: Yes