Grace Woolford, a third-year English with Creative Writing student, has expressed frustration with the estate agency Martin & Co Nottingham City.
With three different branches in Nottingham, Martin & Co is not an uncommon agency for students who are looking for places to live in during their studies.
Grace, who initially revealed her frustration online, told Impact of her experience with the agency.
After paying the application fee back in June, the first major concern that Grace and her flatmate had was when they were told that they were only allowed to pay the deposit and sign the agreement for the apartment until move-in day.
“Their reasons weren’t good enough, or justified in our opinion”
Grace told Impact: “We asked in July to be able to pay our deposits and sign, but they repeatedly refused.”
According to the tenant, an employee from the agency told her that this was just standard policy.
She added: “It basically protects them should anything happen, at the disadvantage of the tenants. Their reasons weren’t good enough, or justified in our opinion.”
Move in day:
Three days before the move in day they were told that there was a leak in the roof which made the apartment unsuitable to live in.
“[T]hey said they weren’t sure how long it would be, but they estimated a couple of days, and at most two days after our tenancy was supposed to start.”
The agency informed them that there wasn’t much they could do as it was in the hands of the management of the building.
“We reminded them that our tenancies ran out on the 31st July, so we would need to be moved by then. They assured us it would be ready, and told us they would keep us updated and in touch. They did none of those things.”
“[They] refused to help us find anywhere to stay, pay for us to stay somewhere, or compensate us in any way”
Grace told Impact that they called many times, but they never answered or called back. It was only when they went to complain in person, and the day in which they were supposed to move, that they were told that it would be 3-4 weeks before they would be able to move in.
By this time, however, their contract for their former place was up, which essentially left them without a place to stay.
Grace said: “[They] refused to help us find anywhere to stay, pay for us to stay somewhere, or compensate us in any way.”
However, the agency did offer them a different apartment, for more money, in an “inconvenient location for [them] both”. The other option was a full refund for their application fee. They accepted the refund.
Receiving an apology:
Grace informed Impact that they received an apology, “though not an acceptable one”, as the branch manager refused to see them “despite being in the building.”
Referring to online reviews, the student claims that “their malpractice, inefficiency and rude staff are well-known in the number of complaints.”
After having “nowhere to live” for over two weeks, Grace and her flatmate have now found a suitable place with the estate agency Your Move, whom they are “very pleased with”.
Impact have contacted the Nottingham branch of Martin & Co, but they have yet to respond.