Your Letting Experience

We're keen to know what your experience has been with letting agents around Southampton. Do any stand out as being a cut above the rest? Have you had any problems getting your deposit back or having complaints dealt with? Let us know below. 

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  • commented 2017-02-08 11:32:04 +0000
    Last year I had a terrible experience with Beals in Shirley. Me and a friend were required to move on the 1st May and found a 2 bedroom flat in Arthur Road in Shirley that we liked the look of and was affordable (£700 or so a month plus a month deposit). During the viewing and afterwards on the phone, I enquired how much admin fees would be. Both times Adrian (the manager) was vague and wouldn’t give me a exact figure, other than it would be a ‘couple of hundred’ and not a problem.

    They kept delaying the signing of the agreement throughout early and mid April. Finally with less than 10 days before we were due to move in they scheduled in a meeting to sign the tenancy agreement.

    They then tried to tack on a £1340 admin fee! When I complained, Adrian lied multiple times saying that he’d told me this repeatedly (he hadn’t) and that it was clearly displayed on the advert (it wasn’t). He claimed that it was also easily available on their website. It took 15 minutes to find their fees which were hidden away on their site. They offered to reduce the admin fee by £100 (which I declined).

    The breakdown is below:

    Referencing per tenant – £250.00 × 2

    Tenancy Agreement – £300.00

    Inventory – £120.00

    Reservation Fee – £120.00 (refundable at the end of the tenancy, subject to terms)

    Referencing per guarantor – £150.00 × 2

    They required guarantors for each of us, even though we’re both professionals in full-time positions (and my credit score is over 950!) They informed us that they would also be charging the following fees if we rented through them:

    Renewal Extension Agreement Fee – £100.00

    Outgoing reference Fee – £30.00

    Check Out Fee – £100.00

    Return of overpaid rent administration charge – £30.00

    By continuously delaying signing the tenancy agreement and not being transparent about their fees, I feel like Beals purposefully tried to put us in a position where we had no option but to pay their unfair and extortionate fees. Through sheer will, we managed to find another available flat with another agency that was available within the 8 days Beals had left us to search. That agency charged £300 admin fees:

    Landlord Property Service Charge – £100

    Agency admin fees – £200

    In conclusion, I think it’s outrageous that Beals are able to continue to operate with such awful, shady practises.