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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.

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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.

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

Olivia Louise Ltd

Can’t even joke about the shite this poor lady has been through

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Olivia Louise Ltd acted as landlord on behalf of Ruth Collishaw that owned the property. When I had to leave my job because of battling a stage 4 disease I fell behind on rent. I was then sent a section 21 notice that expired 30th June 2020. During COVID 19 restrictions and lockdown I decided to stay with my mother to help with my care and decided when I came out of the hospital that I would get removal vans to vacate the property. I planned to do this by the section 21 notice date given which was signed by both Olivia Louise Ltd & Ruth Collishaw.

When I arrived at the property the locks had been changed. My whole life including possessions of my deceased brother that I will never ever get back or replace which are priceless were gone!! My huge £2,000 corner sofa, my 50” TVs, money, family photographs, my clothes, shoes, ornaments you name it! I did not vacate or surrender my tenancy before the notice due date. Therefore the landlord or the estate agent had NO RIGHT to enter the property without my say so or unless it was an emergency.

When addressing this to Olivia Louise Ltd they claimed to not have anything to do with it or have any knowledge of it. They blamed the landlord taking the law into her own hands. When the police got involved and I recorded the call, Olivia Louise Ltd states the landlord called them and told them they had been into my flat and removed goods. They told her she should not have and the landlord gave them new keys after the locks were changed? Now I’m sorry but as an acting landlord, they are supposed to contact ME if they feel the property is in any form of danger. They need to contact the police if I do not respond to gain entry as I am still the lawful tenant by contract and notice! THEY DID NONE OF THIS! Why did they not contact me the day the landlord had entered illegally? Knowing the landlord was not licensed via RSW to do so?

Today I have been told that the landlord has stated they entered the property because they could smell rotting food that was in a food bin? INCORRECT! There was no bin left inside the flat before I went to stay with my mother. So you can smell rotting food from inside a fridge, outside the kitchen, down the hallway, down the stairs that turn to the left and go down again and out the front door? I think the fuck not!! I have evidence of everything I left inside the flat that belonged to me which was my whole entire life basically.

Olivia Louise Ltd state that the landlord left my property with Taff Housing, where I used to work before my illness got worse? LIES AGAIN!! The whole company has been on furlough and nobody that has been present has seen the landlord or corresponded with Olivia Louise Ltd or the landlord in regards to my property!! So now this is theft and handling of stolen goods matter! The police advised I would have to take them to a civil court and I shall do, and I shall win!! They have gone against the government guidelines during the COVID 19 pandemic and before the section 21 notice ended without my permission. Entered the property where I was still the legal tenant, changed the locks, stole all my property, Lied about where my property is and how it was left and all without ANY PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE OR EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE TO BACK UP THEIR CLAIMS!! I was also told a notice was stuck to my door to collect my belongings within 14 days, INCORRECT! as neighbour’s and family that passed the property stated was never there, and also would not have been possible during current lockdown restrictions of over a 5-mile radius and before that not allowing anybody to leave their homes unless for work or essentials. A notice to collect would have only been able to have been placed if after the notice ended I did not collect my belongings from the property. I DO NOT RECOMMEND OLIVIA LOUISE LTD, CANTON AND I DO NOT RECOMMEND RUTH COLLISHAW! These people are highly unprofessional, dodgy, and will see me in court!

Rent: 500

Deposit returned?: Didn’t have one

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I think Yazi confused students for sardines. He packs them in the same way.

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Review for Yazdan (Yazi) Kayhanian Just google him and you’ll quickly get a feel for his unsavoury character and ineptness.  These flats have failed so many basic requirements and have an extremely shoddy finish (I doubt the electrician was qualified). Yazi is the definition of a cowboy landlord. Highly doubt the flats meet fire safety requirements – evident from the ridiculously thin walls. Yet to receive our deposit back on this ludicrously overpriced hell hole. There was also a worryingly overcrowded property within this complex.

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/4601168.teacher-failed-to-list-theft-convictions/

https://theehp.com/2012/11/05/housing-cardiff-landlord-fined-for-management-breaches/

Rent: £400

Deposit Returned?: Maybe Someday

James Douglas

11 Months cold water, cold shoulder from James Douglas

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James Douglas are absolutely atrocious. I have been a student for 5 years in Cardiff and have even been with the notorious CPS (which, speak as you find – no problems at all). Now I rented through James Douglas – which was a big mistake. They are honestly all cowboys who work there, they have no idea of the property ombudsman and what they stand for. I have been living for over 11 months without a shower that gives out warm water, the process of chasing people to get things done is completely tedious. The shower situation is still not resolved and is unlikely to either, before I move out. They also manage properties through Seraph Management which is the same people who work at James Douglas, all in the same building and they will transfer you from one to another probably laughing whilst doing so.

JAMES DOUGLAS ARE WORSE THAN CPS

Rent: 400

Deposit returned?: Still living at the hole in question

CPS

Oh CPS, Your Eagles preying on the vulnerable!

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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.

Rent: £330

Deposit Returned?: Partially

Keylet

🎵 5 Taps leaking, and 4 fucked radiators, 3 unhappy tenants, 2 toilets leaking and a Completely broken bed!!! 🎵

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Keylet’s motto is ‘let’s open doors together’ but what they don’t tell you is, they’ll also slam them right back in your face and jam your fingers in them while they’re at it.

We moved into our property with the sofa having rips in it, marks on the walls and carpet, but overall the flat seemed lovely..for now.

5 taps a leaking, 4 fucked radiators, 3 unhappy tennants, 2 toilets leaking and one completely broken beeeeeeeed ( as well as the door dropping from the hatch). And we’d had enough. Called them up, only to be told you absolutely HAD to send it through fixflo ( oh but don’t forget, you can ONLY submit once otherwise the staff get confused…you have to question their intelligence level if THAT confuses them)

When we moved out, these problems still were not fixed and we actually now ALSO had a broken window. You love to see it.

The place was SPOTLESS. And I mean there was not a sign of dust anywhere…so with a spotless flat but multiple problems reported to Keylet that they did not fix. We didn’t expect the whole deposit back knowing their track record.

Please enlighten me as to how we got charged for none of these problems, despite them not being fixed. But had over £500 removed from our deposit in ‘general cleaning’ and ‘paint retouching’ when we provided proof the wall markings were there when we moved in? £300 to paint tiny marks? Are you hiring someone to paint one stroke a day? Will they be flying from Antarctica to do this paint job? Are you reincarnating Van Gogh for this? The marks were barely noticeable!!!!

In addition to this, we didn’t even see our deposit for 2 months and were repeatedly ignored in emails and rudely spoken to when we called to chase up on it.

For your own sanity, don’t rent with Keylet.

P.S. They walked into our flat unannounced on numerous occasions and once we were all asleep in our rooms and they still came in x

[Editors note: Creepy and illegal by Keylet]

Rent: £370

Deposit Returned?: Partially

CPS

It’s habitable! So habitable that we’re taking it off the market, so no one new can rent it!

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Where do I begin?

Firstly, we were promised that the bathroom would be redone but didn’t get this put in the contract meaning that we couldn’t force them to do it despite the promise.

Once moved into the property there were several issues such as severe mould and damp, a broken gate onto the street, a broken window that faced onto the street downstairs and if a burglar saw it could easily break in, cupboards unclean, broken dishwasher, cupboard under the sink disgustingly mouldy and damp, carpet torn, stuff left from painters and a barely functioning front door. There were also damp issues across the entire house.

So what did cps do?

After emailing and calling at least once a week and going in, the window and front door were fixed… in January (only 5 months after we moved in…). Why did they fix it? Because we called the council and had them come round and they threatened to take away the HMO license. Only reason CPS/the landlord did anything about that.

I will give credit that our dishwasher was fixed within a month which for CPS is pretty decent.

With regards to the mouldy and damp kitchen – the landlords excuse was that he was redoing that following summer. That is a bullshit excuse for the condition.

So we had gotten the council round and they sent a report to CPS/landlord. And so they organised to do works which we were told would be minimal and not disruptive, and would also only take a couple of days.

They started the works about 6 weeks ago… it’s still going on. They tore off the outside render, made holes in our house, completely tore up our back garden and filled it with builders crap. Our neighbours actually had to complain because the builders knocked bricks down their fireplace. Due to the holes in the property, we got rats and had to have pest control. This is all happening during lockdown.

CPS have been unhelpful in communication and take about a week to reply. We have asked for compensation especially as one of us is still living in the property during lockdown and having to live in this shithole. CPS simply stated that the property was habitable because there was someone living there – this is not the definition of a property being habitable. We are worried we won’t get our deposit back because of the damage that the damp had done. The builders have stated that they would never have called the work they are doing minimal and that the damp was diabolical. Which considering half my house has asthma and other lung issues, is extremely dangerous.

The property was actually taken off the market after one of their employees came round for a mid tenancy inspection because of the actual house itself. If you have to take a house off the market, surely there is a bigger issue here?

We pay £330 for the house, if I were to price it, I wouldn’t pay more than £280 and during the works, the rent should have been halved. Because of the works we have no garden during lockdown and can’t even open a window in the hot weather because of the dust.

I know CPS is a hit and a miss. But whatever you do, DO NOT GET A PROPERTY THAT IS MANAGED BY CPS AND NOT THE LANDLORD!!!

Rent: £330

Deposit Returned?: Still living at the hole in question

CPS

CPS: Oops! We forgot to tell the previous tenant, that we’re renting to someone new!

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Move-in day:

  • One tenant was still living there as CPS ‘hadn’t had time to check the property and go over the inventory with them’
  • Got that sorted, then they gave us all the keys… or so we thought. No front door keys were given, meaning all the previous tenants still had theirs. Had to get the locks changed and give in new keys to CPS (which they claim we never gave them).

House Viewings:

  • All viewings of our house were given less than 24hrs notice, and one was literally 30mins before they turned up at our house, and started banging on windows to get us to let them in. [Editor’s Note: If someone does this in the future call the police and report them for harassment.]

House condition:

  • A leaking tap, all year even though we emailed repeatedly about it
  • Radiator not working & leaking all year (again, having phoned & emailed about it regularly)
  • Bathroom door didn’t close (was by the kitchen) and though we literally emailed them 20 times about this, servicemen just came around, stated ‘you need a new door’ and left, without any resolution.

2/10 do not recommend to a friend.

Rent: £315

Deposit Returned?: Still living at the hole in question