After spending four months in University Halls I could not take it anymore, so me and Kelvin (boyfriend) decided to move out and find a small flat that we could both live out the rest of our University days. This of course, was really exciting at the time, it was an adventure into independence – away from the shackles of control. I only say that because I found University Halls to be over-baring in the sense that I could not be trusted to keep my room clean (Room inspections), i was not allowed to smoke in my room, and was fined if i did, as well as having to reach the expectations of the other students that i lived with, and not forgetting the fact that i did not receive my student finance until a week before new years eve.. This became a bit of a struggle as i became depressed, sleeping all day, and not really wanting to talk or socialize with anyone.
So with all this stress on our heads, we both went out in search of somewhere fresh to release the constraints we had around us. We found a beautiful little one bedroom flat in Eastliegh, the next town down from Winchester where we were studying. It was perfect in every-way, and in some ways made us think it was too good. It was marketed at £605pcm, which we thought was reasonable, as we were paying a combination of £900pcm to live in Halls, because we had separate rooms.
We called the advertisement which was on http://www.Rightmove.co.uk and we were instructed to meet at the property the next working day. This was great news, as we had had a lot of trouble even getting onto a good level of communication with estate agents in Winchester, as they tended to turn their noses up at our quite obvious northern accents, and boyish looks. So we went off to meet our agent, who was Amy from Enfeilds in Eastleigh. Amy was excellent at making us feel welcome, assuring us that everything was going to be fine, displaying an “anything is possible” attitude. Kelvin and I could not believe our luck, we actually felt like we were making progress, not just with moving out, but in ourselves… step into independence and all that.
But, after we left the property, equipped with our embarrassing excitement, we were taken back to the office where we were assessed, and were asked for the estate agent fees. Now this was where everything started to take a turn for the worst. We were told by Amy, that to secure the property, and acquire references we would have to pay the fees immediately, which was £400. We then rushed off the bank, skipping all the way, until i took the money out and saw it in my hand. I really felt like they did not deserve that much, as i know that they would recieve financial relief from the landlord also. But due to the need to escape University Halls, we carried on back to the agency, where we handed over the fees for our new home. After handing the money over, it seemed as if all the hard work had ended for the staff at Enfeilds, as they remarked on how the chances of passing the referencing was fifty fifty, as they had no idea of how their referencing agency worked. This was when nerves really started to fill both Kelvin and I, as we were left for one whole week until the news came through about our referencing. I received a call off Amy to say that “would you believe it, you’ve only gone and passed the referencing… come and collect your keys tomorrow”. This says to me, that they were more concerned about acquiring our cash, than really having our best interests at heart. This of course should not be the case, when an agency has control of something so sensitive as the roof over ones head. This of course, is just a minor blip… easily explainable. But their so-called awards for customer service are most defiantly up for debate, as i wonder which customer they are supporting… would it be ‘The Landlord’, or ‘The Tenant’. After doing some digging online i found that i was not the only one to be a victim of Enfeilds and their money motivated approach.
And heres a few… (courtesy of Allagents.co.uk)
by Unhappy 83, Tue 28th September 2010
I was highly disappointed with the service received by Enfields. We have now waited nearly 2 months for our deposit and have not received the letter to log onto the DPS website to retrieve it only to be told by Enfields there is nothing else they can do and be told by the DPS they cannot help us without a user ID which Enfields should supply. Terrible service with rude and pushy people working there that are only interested in the landlord and not the tenants. Our toilet smelt of sewage for 6 months and was only fixed after we threatened not to pay rent. Unsurprisingly at the time we were told there was nothing Enfields could do at the time and the onus was put on the landlord. It seems these agents are quick to place blame on others rather than coming up with solutions. Very unimpressed.
by Anon on 15th May 2013
After reading through the reviews and seeing that most of the positive reviews for them are from house sellers and landlords, it seems that is where their service lies. Not with tenants.
My partner and I have had an awful experience with this agent, worst ever in fact. Firstly they charged £540 up front in pure admin fees, this was never justified, they weren’t up front about it, it didn’t count towards the final amount due, i.e. wasn’t taken off the final amount, nor was it value for money as we ended up doing most of the running around for referencing ourselves. Also the paperwork that came through had to keep being corrected as it was being sent to us wrong.
We now are looking to move and they are trying to charge us a £25 referencing fee, which is basically to have a telephone conversation with our new agent, or at most fill out a form. I only found out about this from the new agent, not Enfields! Horrendous service.
AVOID THIS AGENT AT ALL COSTS. Or at least ask questions before doing ANYTHING with them. They will never justify why they charge such extortionate amounts for admin fees. And will seemingly keep adding on costs when they feel like it without warning. Worst thing about it is there is no one to complain to about such a terrible service.
by Jo, Sat 5th March 2011
Be warned don’t use Hythe Southampton branch. Rented a filthy property out to us today even though we met with the estate agents and said that we would not rent it in the present condition. The owner of Enfields Jonathan showed us round and it was him we had the conversation with then today he said he didn’t know who showed us round when I went to the branch today it was him. Asked for my money back he refused that’s ok I will get more than the money he owes me in lost customers as I will be outside his shop any free time I get informing his customers of his so called customer service. What a bunch of cowboys.
by Shocked, Fri 8th February 2013
I found the service from this company absolutely terrible. They were uncommunicative rude and unprofessional. I found Chris Heaps incredibly aggressive and found that the service changed dramatically from very friendly when they were trying to get you on side to totally Unreasonable once you were involved in the process. I felt they felt they had me over a barrel and would do the absolute minimum to get their money. They made relations between the parties very difficult due to the lack of communication. I would warn anyone to be very wary.
by Andrew Burton, Wed 5th June 2013
I found Sarah to be extremely professional and insightful, providing sound advice on how to improve our chances of selling by improving our outside space and proactive methods of keeping our page on right move “fresh”. She worked very well with their solicitor of choice “Now Legal” and I have had no issues accepting her recomendation on this front as well. I have now used three estate agents in the Bournemouth area and can easily say that Enfields have been the most natural sales agents and I recomende them whole heartedly. I think it is mostly the total lack of slimeyness/dishonesty that so often accompanies many agents (apologies to any general offense to the industry but its true in my experience) that leads me to this decision.
So from these ‘opinions’ about how Enfeilds operates, it becomes clear who’s side they are on as a company. One should steer away if they are a tenant, as they have the Landlords interests at heart, and not the tenants. One should also steer away if buying a property as they will more than likely apply favoritism wheres needs be. And if you feel like you should sell your soul to the Devil then please go in and ask them to sell your house, as they will be getting commission, which as we can see, is their favourite little perk. I will carry on with explaining how complicated my situation got with Enfields.
When we picked up our keys, we were informed the Enfeilds was only the supplying agent, and would not be interfering anymore, basically meaning that we would have to go through the landlord if any issues were to arise. We were given contact details, and were sent on our way… while in the time being, being very happy, even if a little bit nervous about the fact that it had cost us near £2000 to just acquire the keys. We were overjoyed about the fact that this was like a new world opening up for us, and we were ready to grab it by the balls. 🙂
After a couple of days of living in our new home, we recieved a call off Jane (our new landlady), just to say that she would come round and introduce herself, which we were quite excited about, as we had a visitor to entertain (always a good reason to make cookies). When she arrived, conversation was pleasant, and in some ways it felt like we connected in a weird way. Which led to Kelvin and I being in regular informal communication. We were so relieved that our Landlady was so laid back. She invited us around to her house to see all of her horses, and all the other animals she had on her land. We felt very privileged with the offer. When she was leaving, she remarked how pleased she was with us as tenants, and that she would love us to stay in the flat for a long time to come.
One or two weeks went past and we noticed defects in the flat that we thought Jane should know about. One of the reasons being that Jane said she had just bought the flat, and rented it straight out, so she did not know, even if anything was wrong. These consisted of the carpet in the bathroom (extremely unhygienic), which had orange marks all around the bath edge, indicating some type of leak. The second being the water boiler, and its inability to control the temperature leading us both to get burnt on several occassions, which was fueled by the fact that there was air in the system, which lead the high temperature water to be sprayed out at high pressure.
When we told Jane about these issues she was quick to remedy the situation if completely honest, but it was with a lackluster approach. She had a “friend” come round and look at the boiler unsupervised which lead the boiler to leak after his visit, leading to increased problems associated with its use. She stated that the reason why there was a leak in the bathroom was the fact that there was a shower screen instead of a shower curtain which is what lead to the rust marks on the carpet. This is completely illogical as the rust marks were out of line with the shower screen. But we did not question this as we felt that we could trust Jane.