Cardiff Student Letting

Ian Husband: Spousal support like never before

Posted on

Ian was a lovely landlord whom we rented from in 2016/17. When I went to pick up the keys in July I noticed some minor damage to one of the cupboards and to part of my wall. both were fixed before I moved my stuff in. When we moved in he gave us his phone number and would be over without fail on the same day if there was an issue. When the lock to my bedroom door broke he got a locksmith within the hour and was always helpful.

When CPS homes, who were doing renovations next door put up scaffolding over our house and damaged our roof (being naive second years we did not realise this was illegal) he was quick to get it taken down and get the damage fixed, checking up with us that they were not causing any more trouble. The house was not a palace but perfect for second years and the rent was affordable and any repairs were fixed almost immediately. Genuine nice bloke.

Rent: £290

Deposit Returned?: Yes

Umbrella Homes

Raining Bigotry with a routine appointment for the shitter

Posted on

Very poor service. Didn’t clean the property before we moved in. Had no communication with the landlord and blamed it on the tenants. Tried to charge £25 for sending an automated email. Only took the male tenants seriously. Dead named and misgendered a trans tenant constantly despite knowing from day one they were trans. Refused to fit a new toilet, instead we had a plumber come over every time it broke, which was every week, and fix it to work for another few days. He told us we needed a new system but Umbrella were refusing to pay. Tried to refuse giving us a new oven when ours became dangerous, despite the contractor who viewed it saying we needed a new one. On more than one occasion argued with tenants about the lay out of the house that we lived in.

Admitted they didn’t know how to deal with non-students when we challenged bills and charges. They want tenants they can charge for anything. During the deposit system they refused to take tenants seriously, refused to allow us to join them on the inventory, accused a tenant of lying (by shouting in their face). They then tried to charged us £40 for blu-tack on a varnished door and removing a carrier bag from a room. Refused to answer emails, constantly lied to make us concede to the charges. They also refused to give us redress information to complain. They don’t treat tenants like paying clients they treat them like pests in their properties.

If I could give them zero stars I would. I would highly recommend avoiding this company like the plague.

Rent: £300

Deposit Returned?: Partially

4let

Daisy and Peter don’t think tenants need hot water!

Posted on

My landlord was Daisy/Peter Souto. Poor quality housing, full of mold, no hot water/heating for 2 months, locks so cheap the locksmith won’t cut a copy because you don’t even need the keys.

These landlords rent out their properties through the letting agency 4let.co.uk, they have a massive portfolio of properties that they let to students almost exclusively. Avoid these landlords if you expect the property to be cared for in the slightest.

Rent: £320

Deposit Returned?: Yes

Pinnacle

Pinnacle being the Pinnacle of shite

Posted on

Pinnacle Lettings Agents are by far one of the worst companies I have dealt with in any capacity.

It would take me an age to describe all the things that have happened in our dealings with them, and you would most likely fall asleep or fall ill before you have finished reading it, so I am going to summarise slightly.

When we first went to move in to the house, moving truck and all, we arrived on the doorstep on the agreed move in date to a house with very few floorboards and full of builders, and were then told the house is not ready to move in yet. (no call or text or forewarning.) They put us up in a hotel for a few days (as per an agreement we put in to the contract because it was getting a bit sketch) and ultimately when the work was hurried finished we were moved in when they told us the house was ‘habitable’ as we could cook (just one microwave) and there was running water (the shower didn’t work, so wasn’t actually habitable) ((we had to pay for the hotel, it took them two months to refund us))

All the rooms were covered in dust and plaster and the house in general seemed previously derelict.

Despite weekly ( and sometimes daily ) emails from us (bare in mind the house was empty for over a year before this, they had a lot of time to do this)

The downstairs toilet had backed up sewage for the first month or two (full to the brim), god knows how long it was like that before we moved in. It was cleared but never cleaned, toilet was unusable and smelled of sewage, it was never cleaned, just cleared. Never functional, they said it was okay because of the amount of us we only needed one toilet.

Before we moved in the house was not cleaned to any standard, we had to attempt to transform it from a building site into a home.

The loft bedroom was not insulated well (some fancy people came round and investigated) so it was always melting hot or freezing cold.

Garden was never cleared and uninhabitable from last tenants. (they sent a contractor round but only paid him to sorta look at it and start bagging it)

When we moved in the freezer was not functional, we had to wait two months to get one.

When we moved in the oven was not working for six weeks. (they said it wasn’t a problem as we had a microwave)

[Editors note: If the inventory list has an oven on it, it’s under the assumption it’s working, your landlord has responsibility to make sure these things are working before you move in.]

When we (like the fools we are) resigned for a second year, we had to pay £100 resigning fee each, in which we resigned the literal first contracts again, dates were not changed at all – paid £500 for photocopier use.

Severe damp on some of the rooms, bed bugs, closets filled with the rubble, them not sending contractors to fix things, or sending people without giving us any warning at all.

There are so many more, these are just the ones that come to mind. Some of this is also the fault of Felix De Giles, the person who owned the property – in which I will do a separate post for.

[Editors note: if the house was rented and marketed to you on the basis it had 2 bathrooms, both bathrooms should be working. Your house should be in habitable condition before you move in. Its your landlords responsibilty to repair these things. If this isn’t adhered to, this is cause enough to exit your tenancy agreement]

Rent: £270

Deposit Returned?: Yes

2let2

2let2, not 2 bad, not 2 good.

Posted on

Wasn’t too bad all year, bar the landlord shoddily fixing the damaged fence between our property and another with ropes, until it was time to get our deposit back. Took at least a month from what I recall and had ridiculous charges like £70 for Blu-tack marks in one room and £30 for a mattress that was already stained when we moved in. This is alongside £70 to have the house “professionally cleaned” despite us having left the house clean. Classic letting agent deposit scamming, wish I’d kicked up more of a fuss now (was my second year house and I’m now at the end of third year). All round though 2let2 were not that bad, a couple of ignored complaints here or there but if you’re persistent I’m sure you’ll be fine! Not the worst of all the letting agencies

Rent: £315

Deposit Returned?: Partially

Cardiff Student Letting

Felix De Giles is a crook.

Posted on

Felix De Giles is a property owner in Cardiff. He at the time of us dealing with him he rented to Pinnacle Lettings Agency but when we left I think he has transferred some, or possibly all, to Cardiff Student Lettings.

I have written another post about Pinnacle Lettings Agency, Felix was nothing to do with our time in the tenancy, supposedly, he was not managing the tenancy, just the owner – read the below with this in mind.

This man knows absolutely nothing about being a landlord. He would frequently break both the law and general practice, some examples;

  1. He changed the locks without informing us or the lettings agency. the contractors had a key to the our house and we nor the lettings agency knew about.
  2. He would send contractors round to do things that, given a long list of rather emergency things to be done, were not important. These things would not be communicated to us, people would just show up. One of these was putting a large box around our electric meter at 8am – they let themselves in and woke a housemate up.
  3. He uses the cheapest builders that could not be any more cowboy if they rode in on horses firing guns in the air. There was plaster everywhere, paint everywhere, once they left our front door without a lock for a few hours?
  4. When we ultimately complained by putting posters everywhere in the house when people came to view the house, we got a call from him directly giving us advice on how to solve our problems. This advice included ‘never shut your heating off’ (we were on a pay meter) and for him to trying and explain how all the faults in the house were in fact our fault.

There is plenty more information about this if people are dealing with him, or want more knowledge.

I think when we left the council was investigating.

Rent: £270

Deposit Returned?: Yes

Jeffrey Ross

Jeffrey Ross communicates when they have viewings via telepathy! No such thing as phone calls or emails!

Posted on

When I lived at 44 Diana street, I had a terrible time with the agency from the very moment they decided to put the house on sale. Now the agency had corresponded with every single tenant in this house up until that point when it suddenly became a problem to give notice for viewings. The first time, they had turned up unannounced but told me they had corresponded with my one housemate so I let them in to view. Only to find out that there was no previous correspondence to anyone in the house myself included, so they literally just turned up claiming false information. We tried to look through our emails and texts and there was nothing. [Editors note: what Jeffrey Ross did here is illegal, 24h notice must be given!]

The second time this happened, I was naked in bed, depressed, feeling like absolute shit from the night before where I had a breakdown and destroyed my belongings. A woman comes into my room straight after knocking (not waiting for the hello) and catches me with my boob out. She instantly closed the door and asked me if I had not had notice. I said no. She replied with “well don’t you and your housemates communicate?”.. I said that it was their job and that we all work and have lives and do not see a lot of each other. We later found out that there was no correspondence again. I rang the agency the third time when this happened and asked them what was going on, and they made out like I was the problem!! “Well we can’t keep rearranging the viewings” she said. Even though it was literally down to THEIR job to give US THE NOTICE.

Finally, they refused to give our deposit back because of the “state of the oven” which we had CLEANED to look BETTER SINCE MOVING IN, so I got up every single screenshot and apology email that I had from the agents where I had complained about them walking into my house unannounced and had to threaten to take this further. Needless to say I got the deposit back. But 0/10 for Jeffrey Ross and their entitled attitude towards tenants.

Rent: £180

Deposit Returned?: Yes

CPS

CPS casually double booking the house and performing a B&E to try and double book again!

Posted on

We were delayed moving in until the end of September as the property had been sub-let to another party over summer – despite us paying a summer retainer (so we couldn’t even store our things over summer). His official excuse was that there was work being done at the house or something but there wasn’t any work done whatsoever.

At the start of lockdown an email was received from landlord via his agent that assumed we were going home during the lockdown that we were to turn in our keys for the property and move our things out, but to CONTINUE PAYING THE RENT?

So none of us went home and we informed him of this fact. He then turned up at the house and LET HIMSELF IN to check if we were still there! (aka to check if we were lying in our email.) This whole thing I can only assume was an attempt to yet again sublet any properties that were left vacant for the end of their tenancies despite the tenants still paying FULL RENT. We were also perplexed at why there were none of the usual household items (e.g. toaster, kettle, hoover, iron, mop, etc.) and we inquired about this, the response was along the lines of “we stopped providing these items to tenants after one group clogged a vacuum cleaner with a sock, the property was ‘let as seen’, even though we had seen these things when viewing the property and they were not the belongings of the previous tenants and that they were going to carry out an inspection in the next week BECAUSE we didn’t have these items and therefore they expected to find something out of place?

Some quick fire points about CPS:

  • Giving 14 minutes notice for a viewing
  • When we didn’t let them in, they got a key and let themselves in
  • When confronted about the lack of notice, the agent in question seemed to have no idea that the law I quoted to her had been broken or even existed in the first place – although her acting was terrible so I don’t believe it for a moment. [Editors note: Can confirm what CPS did here is illegal, 24h notice must be given and this is breaking and entering!]
  • CPS and the landlords have in general have been difficult to get in touch with and/or get a response from.

Rent: ?

Deposit Returned?: Still living at the hole in question

John Winter

John Winter thinks students should rent two houses at once

Posted on

So John Winter pride themselves on having a good reputation with students, which means they pride themselves on absolutely f all. My housemates were sent from Satan himself, broke every T&C of the contract, surely meaning it’s void and I can leave the tenancy for my own mental and physical health? However, I was not allowed and was advised to just rent a second property if I didn’t like this one, because that’s suitable for my student budget. 🙄

Maintenance people are constantly walking in unannounced to do unnecessary things. I begged for support from JW because it was becoming impossible for me to stay in the house, (which by the way is not up to the exceptional standards they claim to have) but I was palmed off. We all asked for support during the global pandemic, and even with JW having a mortgage holiday, our rent was not subsidised following the actions of Cardiff uni accom and other landlords. Staff are money hungry and unhelpful. Wouldn’t recommend.

Deposit Returned?: Didn’t have one

Pinnacle

5 Clodien Avenue

Posted on

I lived at 5 Clodien Avenue for two years between 2017-2019. I rented the house through Pinnacle, who let it as a three-bedroom but we later had someone move into the smaller room making it a four-bed. My landlord was Rebecca Lewis Jones. I paid around £330 during my time there.

When I first moved in the lock was faulty, and it took an hour and a half to get a locksmith out to let us in. I rented a van by the hour and so had to pay the extra costs. Pinnacle refused to reimburse this saying the lock wasn’t broken. The lock was incredibly unreliable needing a certain twist and push on the door to get it open. Pinnacle refused to replace it and it took me a year to get used to opening it properly.

The house itself was lovely but it soon became clear the landlord didn’t want the place let to students as it used to be her own home. This lead to some tension with her telling us we couldn’t use blu-tack or door hangers because of the damage. We spoke to Pinnacle and they said it was fine as any damage would come out of the deposit.

A few months after moving in a leak dripping from the kitchen ceiling, we immediately called Pinnacle and they sent a plumber over several hours later. This was despite repeated calls saying the dripping was getting worse. The plumber turned the water off and left and within the next hour, the ceiling collapsed into our kitchen.

Pinnacle didn’t come out to check the damage until the next day and we were unable to use the kitchen or any electronics near it as we were afraid of the electrical damage. They fixed it over the next few days and did a good job but we lost several dishes in the damage and the smell of damp was horrible.

After this incident, I started talking to the landlord, Rebecca Lewis Jones, directly. She was very nice and worried about all of us after the accident. She seemed to have lost a lot of faith in Pinnacle after they took so long to stop the leak and if we had any maintenance issues from that point on we went through her. She often replaced things like a broken freezer quickly but only used a single contractor that she trusted, if he was busy it would take weeks to fix something. He was lovely but she wouldn’t always listen to his suggestions, such as adding a better extractor fan in the bathroom. This meant he would repaint over the mould and it would just come back again. She did let us have a cat for a £100 deposit, we had that added into the contract with Pinnacle.

Overall I had a good experience living there but I wouldn’t want to renew due to the cost and the constant mould in the bathroom. Pinnacle took two months of emails and phone calls to get my deposit back but I did get it back in full. Overall the landlord was ok but Pinnacle was a frustrating middleman in the renting.

Rent: £330

Deposit Returned?: Yes