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

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

Capital Properties

Capital Crisis

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We rented a house through Capital Properties in Cathays. We have rented with CPS and 2let2 before and neither compares to the experience we had at this house. When we first moved in the house was in an absolute state. Mouldy curtains, thick black mould in kitchen, YEARS worth of filth, brown and orange stains, broken furniture (beds missing leg frames and completely collapsed, wardrobes damaged and held together by chewing gum) and stained mattress covers. It was so disgusting we wrote and called repeatedly until they came and repainted the bedrooms. As for the black mould – the roof needed structural repair. After being told the bathroom renovation and roof would be done within around 10 days, I can tell you now this was an absolute lie. Months later the work was finally done, only to discover the newly fitted shower and the existing one upstairs didn’t work. Straight away we knew we had an issue with the boiler as the showers wouldn’t get warm, and it took them MONTHS to even send someone out to see what the issue was.

The maintenance man – a shoddy, untrained, unprofessional, misogynistic man who barely fixed anything and regularly fly-tipped broken furniture we forced them to remove from our property. Not only is he a maintenance man – he is a part-time bailiff – after one of us locked ourselves out of our room (we were still in the house) at 10 am on a Saturday he attempted to charge us £80, when we refused he waited outside our house for almost a week demanding to see my housemate. When asked why the charges were not £30 as in the tenancy agreement, he shouted: “that’s nothing to do with me!” – a professional at heart.

The landlords aka ‘Capital Properties’ – Anne Marie Hamzelou and Nader Hamzelou routinely take it in turns to direct Capital Properties, who conveniently have no public office you can visit and reliable phone number to reach them on. Interestingly, a quick search on Rent Smart Wales (the governing body for rented properties) will reveal that neither our landlord (Nader) nor capital properties held a supposed license to rent our property to us in the first place. After lodging a complaint with RSW and speaking to the council, they came and inspected the property – concluding that one of the rooms was actually not permissible and required structural change. We presume the council’s recent enlightenment was the only reason we were able to get the majority of our deposit back.

[Rent Smart Wales is a great resource and you can find their landlord listings here, if your landlord isn’t on here and own an HMO then they are breaking the law.
https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/check-register/ ]

The year we rented with Capital Properties was the most stressful I have had to date, they are a shambles of a ‘company’.

DO NOT rent with them.

Rent: £340

Deposit returned?: Partially

Orinoco

Drugs, Mould and Rock and Roll

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We rented with Orinoco. When we moved in the fridge was full of maggots (initially they denied all responsibility and refused to clean), there were rats inside the house, mould on the walls, chewing gum on the floors, drug residue in the draws (burnt spoons, ripped foil, needles) and the whole house was dirty and had a musky smell. Throughout the tenancy we transformed the house, we deep cleaned it ourselves on move in, then again when Orinoco wanted to take photos for their website, for all their viewings and finally on move out (the place was spotless). During one of the deep cleans we took off the extractor fan chimneys to find that they weren’t connected to an external source, instead the smoke and steam was pumped straight back into the room. Not to mention the fact that throughout lockdown I transformed the garden from an overgrown skip to clean, tidy, presentable garden.

On move out the agent attended the property and commented on how clean it was and stated they would only charge for a burnt window sill in one of the rooms (fair enough). I was then shocked to receive a list of charges (mainly cleaning) worth £340. To top off the negligence and disgraceful nature of this company when trying to dispute their charges they took days to respond to every email. After numerous emails I managed to get the charges down to £140 (still £110 too much). At this point they said to accept it or consult a deposit agency where they threatened to charge the full £340. Not happy, will not rent with them again and would not recommend them to anyone! Avoid at all costs!!

Rent: £340

Deposit Returned?: Partially

Kingstons

Go with Kingston if your looking for Mould, Poison, Flooding and Mice!

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First problem: Mice
We had multiple sightings of a mouse running through the kitchen and living room. When we emailed Kingston’s about this they sent out a pest controller. They said there was already poison under the kitchen counters which meant that this was an existing problem that the agency was aware of but did not inform us.

Second problem: Drains
The shower drain was constantly blocked despite using cleaning supplies. This led to the bathroom being flooded and caused water to run down the walls into the living room and flooding that room too. Also, the drain the back garden was constantly getting blocked which caused an awful smell to go into the house.

Third problem: Attic Bedroom
Upon moving in there were already water marks on the bedroom wall (which I took pictures of). Throughout the storms the water marks got bigger and rain water actually started to leak from the roof into my room. I emailed Kingston’s who sent out a worker who ‘fixed’ it but then another storm happened and the same thing happened again. This time more workers were sent out and the problem seems to have been resolved, but the water marks are still all over the wall and mould has grown on them. When emailed about this they said they’ll send someone out to repaint (this never happened despite me informing them I have asthma)

Would not recommend.

Rent: £310

Deposit returned?: Still living at the hole in question

CPS

I don’t need CPS, I need CPR after this experience

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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.

Rent: 275

Deposit returned?: Yes

Cardiff Student Letting

Wonder if they put black mould and slugs on the inventory…

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Rented a house with Cardiff Student Lettings in 2nd year and 3rd year – we couldn’t be bothered moving. Overall we were pretty happy with the agency. They responded to all our issues within a few days, apart from a broken blind which just stayed broken but we lived with that. They always gave us plenty of notice before viewings

(Something I really miss now being with CPS who gave a 10-minute warning on a Saturday at 10 am!- but that’s another story.)

The house itself wasn’t the best and I was constantly ill due to cracks in the walls and black mould. We had an incessant slug problem which when I completely lost it one morning over, they came and put some polyfiller down which helped a bit… They fixed everything very cheaply if they could do it themselves they would, so a lot of stuff was very haphazard. It was quite a cheap house (£285 pcm and then 300 ) for a 4 bedroom so overall we thought it was decent. We got all of our deposit back minus £50 in total but that’s ok because we did cause a bit of accidental damage.


Overall would recommend as the team were always friendly and helpful.

[Unfortunately, this reviewer doesn’t know the name of their landlord. Whoever they are should be ashamed, as mould can have serious health effects and landlords should never let this happen.]

Rent: £300

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