Our experience with DA could not have been better. Extremely helpful, responsive, friendly and professional. Helped us find a great flat. Thank you to Harriet who made sure everything went smoothly. Special shout out to Esteban who showed us the flat within an hour of us calling him and went out of his way more than once to make sure we had a great experience overall.
15th May 2021 (19 weeks ago)
We rented a property from David Astburys for 8 months and got out as quickly as we could. They are an absolute joke of a letting agency - incompetent at best and deceptive at worst.
They were absolutely efficient up until the point where we handed over the deposit and signed the tenancy agreement - after which everything went downhill swiftly. On the morning of our move-in day, we received a call from David Astburys letting us know that they had just realised the property had not been professionally cleaned, and asking us whether we would like to have them arrange to have it cleaned before we move in (in the middle of a global pandemic and a national lockdown, how is that even a question?). This was only a few hours before we were due to pick our keys up and gain access to the property. We ended up having to wait outside the property with all of our belongings for 7 hours while waiting for the cleaners to clean the place. To put things into perspective, we were meant to gain access to the property at 11am, and ended up only gaining access at 10pm when the cleaners left.
For the record, the property was in absolutely filthy condition before the cleaners came so it is obvious that David Astburys neglected to do the simple task of checking the condition of the flat before our move-in date. Moreover, the property still had black mould and general cleanliness issues after the cleaners left - a problem that was raised with David Astburys for which we received no apology, remediation, or even acknowledgement of the cleanliness issue. This was the first red flag.
We also were not allowed to view the property prior to move-in, which we were told was due to lockdown restrictions - fair enough. In lieu of being able to view the property in person, we asked for the property square footage, which we were told (in writing) was 72 square metres. When we moved into the flat, it was clear that the property was substantially smaller than this, and this was confirmed several weeks later when the property was measured for EPC renewal. The actual size of the flat, as documented in the renewed EPC, was 53 square metres. This equates to the property being advertised as 35% larger than its actual size. Again, we raised this with David Astburys and requested a rent reduction as the advertised size of the property was a major factor that we took into account when deciding how much to offer for the flat.
However, David Astburys refused to take any accountability for this, stating that this was the measurement listed on the old EPC. We contacted Citizens Advice and were advised that this is an unfair trading practice, and we were well within our rights to pursue legal action against David Astburys. However, we decided that it was not worth the stress and effort and simply resolved to move out as quickly as possible.
After we handed in our notice, David Astburys persisted to ask us to let people into our flat for viewings despite us letting them know that we were not comfortable given the Covid-19 risk (this was in December, when the NHS was being overwhelmed by the number of Covid cases). Also, remember that they used Covid-19 as an excuse to not let us view our flat (which was vacant) in person? Massive double standard.
Predictably, David Astburys proposing deductions for cleaning after we moved out despite us having cleaned the flat to a markedly higher standard than what was given to us. We did not accept the deductions and let the Tenancy Deposit Scheme adjudicate the case. David Astburys must have realised that they have no leg to stand on here as they did not submit any evidence to TDS to support their proposed deductions, and we have now been awarded our full deposit back.
David Astburys claims to be be better than your average (bad) letting agent, but in our experience they fit the stereotype to a T.
9th Mar 2021 (6 mo. ago)