To be honest with you all, this is very much going to be a bit of rant. I had the worst experience ever moving into my final year flat a couple of weeks ago.
I won’t name the letting agency, but they were awful.
The flat itself is great and it’s all fine now, but oh my god, we drove 5 hours crammed into a van with all of my belongings to arrive at a flat that had DEFINITELY not been cleaned. It was disgusting. There were used cotton buds on the floor, the toilet was vile, we found tissues and crumbs on the sofa, the mattress was covered in stains and matted with human hair, and everything was covered in a layer of dust and grease. I did not plan on spending my first day in my new flat cleaning slime from bathroom walls. The letting agency repeatedly told us it was clean, spoke over us on the phone, and refused to do anything about the situation. They also refused to contact the landlord (I assume because they don’t want him to know how poorly they handle their properties) despite us asking several times. They were incredibly rude and repeatedly reduced me to tears with their complete lack of empathy.
As well as the flat being filthy, the water pressure was so low it was impossible to shower, we had no hot water, and the electricity key was in debt – so we had no power. Unfortunately I moved in on a Saturday and didn’t realise that we had no hot water until late that night (as I spent the entire day cleaning!!) so our water wasn’t fixed for several days. I would make sure everything is working as soon as you move into a property, so you can tell the landlord or letting agency immediately. If there is anything wrong with the property I would also take photographs and videos of everything, and then email it all to the letting agency/landlord and yourself/ parent/friend, so you have evidence of the state the property was in when you arrived. You also need to make sure the inventory is correct, and don’t sign it if anything is wrong. Ours stated that all the walls were freshly painted etc. but they weren’t, so I made sure to make a note of that on the inventory as to avoid being charged when we move out.
I never thought much of renting a property managed by the letting agency, I assumed it would be fine and that I would be able to get my landlord’s contact details. But this was definitely not the case, I still can’t get in touch with my landlord, and the letting agency are quite hostile everytime I ask to speak to him. When you’re looking for flats and houses in second year, I would definitely make sure you will be able to contact the landlord. My experience so far with the agency managed property has been pretty awful.
I would also once again suggest going with the Student Union Letting Agency, as they don’t charge agency fees and I have heard from a few friends that they are much easier to communicate with than the other letting agencies in Cardiff.
Anyway, rant over. I don’t want to panic anybody, mine was a bit of a nightmare situation, but I’ve mostly had okay moving-in experiences. If you have any questions or want any advice about moving into a new property, please drop me a message and I’ll do my best to help!