I'm writing this review on the day I finally received my £900 deposit back - after having ended my tenancy on January 3rd and gone through a dispute process to do so.
After I moved out, communications from Goodchilds basically ground to a halt (they weren't exactly free-flowing when I contacted them as a tenant). I submitted my notice to vacate, then... nothing. For over a month. I chased up the process, and received an email from Vicky asking if I'd had chance to check over photographs she had sent me (she hadn't sent any at all). I responded immediately and again... nothing. I eventually heard back a couple of weeks later, with information Goodchilds had instructed a damp specialist to survey the property.
After that it was complete radio silence. I couldn't get any response from emails at all, and when I called up by some freak coincidence Vicky was never there. I was constantly told she was out of the office, and would call back tomorrow (this despite the fact I actually overheard her in the background on one occasion). Obviously, she never did call. At this point I'd been waiting for two months and not heard a peep from Goodchilds when I could expect my deposit back - or even how much I could expect.
So, having run out of options I opened a dispute through MyDeposit (the holding company for the deposit money). I submitted as much information as I had available, and had to wait for it to be assigned to an independent adjudicator.
After two more months, the case was finally settled. It turns out, Goodchilds had not only claimed the full £900 to cover the cost of repairing damp damage, but also a further £250 for a professional clean of the property. I have to say I was quite taken aback when I saw this. Goodchilds at no point communicated to me how much of the deposit they intended to keep, then suddenly when it comes to claim they want above and beyond the amount I paid for a deposit.
Luckily, the arbitrator seemed to see straight through their pretty feeble and hopeful case. They allocated just 10% of the damp repair money to Goodchilds - a mere £90. Bear in mind this is an expert legal dispute arbitrator, who read through all of the facts given to them (including a damp survey provided by Goodchilds) and pictures taken, and based off of all that, determined Goodchilds were entitled to just £90. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get more than a little satisfaction from this, I doubt that even covered the cost of the survey itself - let alone the months of lost revenue while the property was still up for rent (yes, they put it back up for rent straight away, so make your own mind up exactly how bad this supposed damp issue was). I was thrilled to finally have the whole process come to an end in my favour, no thanks at all to Goodchilds themselves.
I write this review as an enormous "Buyer Beware" tale for anybody else thinking of renting with this Goodchilds branch. Do not expect them to play ball when you move out, do not expect them to be forthcoming with any help in the process, be ready to put up a fight, and do not let them rest until you have your deposit back. They won't make it easy.
1153 days ago