28 Hawthorn Terrace

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Letting Agent Property Area
⭐ Tenancy review
Carousel Letting Agents are incompetent
3 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
Overall tenancy rating
Moved out
Date reviewed
14 October 2022

Carousel Estate Agents, Gateshead

1 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
Letting Agent rating
Carousel are incompetent letting agents and conducted themselves in an unprofessional manner during our tenancy. Their organisation and communicationwere terrible throughout, and following the end of our tenancy they unreasonably attempted to withhold a third of our deposit.

At the viewing, the agent by the name of Johnny assured us that the bin area would be tidied and walled off with a key code “soon”. This of course never happened; the council provided the two buildings with an extra bin but this obviously failed to keep up with the waste of twelve flats (at least 24 people), and the rubbish and recycling overflowed every week. These flats were a new refurbishment, which had been completed poorly. Although we acknowledge that this is the responsibility of the landlord, Carousel repeatedly excused their malpractice as a result of it being their first property. This excuse is insufficient in all circumstances, but especially when the shower drain almost falls through.

At the beginning of our tenancy, they provided us with the wrong keys on two occasions. To amend this, they suggested we get replacement keys cut ourselves and provide them with a receipt for reimbursement. Surely the role of a letting agent is to provide the correct keys in the first place, and organise a replacement themselves in the event an error has been made on their part. Upon returning our keys at the end of our tenancy, they had no recollection of the issue and seemed confused at our explanation of the event.

As is law, letting agents/landlords must provide at least 24 hours written notice before entering a property, and must also legally respect a tenant’s wishes to be present. We expressed to Carousel that we had to be present for any visits, as this is what makes us most comfortable as tenants. Carousel failed on both of the accounts mentioned. On one occasion they failed to notify us of a maintenance visit. On another, Johnny almost entered our flat without knocking whilst we were home for an inspection appointment, suggesting he was unaware of the permissions we had provided. This was a huge breach, and a reflection of the poor communication and callous disregard for tenants at Carousel.

Julie, another Carousel employee, called us the day before we moved out, five days before the end of our tenancy, to ask if we were extending our rental period or not. We kindly reminded her of an email exchange from three months prior in which we confirmed we would be ending our tenancy on the agreed date, which Julie had responded to and mentioned a vague date for viewings. We were never contacted about viewings and she offered no apology for her error.

As outlined in our tenancy agreement, we were to be invited to a checkout inspection with all parties present. If you’ve been following along, you have probably already figured out that they did not adhere to this. The inspection was carried out around a week after our tenancy ended without notification or our presence, a clear and severe breach of their own agreement. In the event of a dispute over the deposit, adjudicators often look less favourably upon this kind of inspection because it is easier for a landlord to make unreasonable claims without the tenant’s presence.

Speaking of unreasonable claims, Carousel tried, and failed, to claim almost a third of our deposit for cleaning and maintenance. Initially, as tenants who treated the property with respect and kept it consistently clean (not to mention the entire day we spent deep cleaning the flat the day the tenancy ended), we took great offence, and were appalled that Carousel were trying to take advantage of us as young and inexperienced renters. However, they overestimate their intelligence, because it was not difficult to dispute the baseless claims they had outlined (with poor grammar), and get all of our money back. They wanted money for a professional clean of the entire flat, although they could not provide evidence they had done so in other flats in the building. Considering we left the flat in a cleaner condition than when we moved in (builder’s mess everywhere), this was the most laughable claim. They also wanted a large sum to entirely redecorate three walls and replace a whole door for minor scuffs and marks, all of which were fair wear and tear.

Our small victory represents a larger issue that exists in the power imbalance between landlords and tenants; had we felt less confident in ourselves and our rights we may have lost what is a large sum to us, but an insignificant amount to a business like Carousel. FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH CAROUSEL IN ANY WAY.
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28 Hawthorn Terrace, Elswick, Newcastle Upon Tyne

5 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
Property rating
Poorly refurbished flat, lowest quality materials and workmanship. Small rooms. Poor insulation.
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Elswick, Newcastle Upon Tyne

2 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
Area rating
Not safe at all. Witnessed many fires, fights, and other destruction of property from our window.
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