I have lived in a John Winter house for 2 years now and have had a really good experience. I would recommend them so highly. They are kind, friendly and super helpful. The two properties I’ve stayed in are well kept, clean and cosy homes.
Slightly disappointed with the handling of coronavirus, our house is completely empty and we’ve not had much communication regarding money issues that people may or may not have but that’s a small issue. I am thankful John Winter’s team, especially Ollie the maintenance manager who was always there if we needed him!
Deposit Returned?: Didn’t have one
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;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
Deposit Returned?: Yes
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.
Deposit Returned?: Still living at the hole in question
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