19 Sunderland Road

Perry Vale, London, SE23 2PS
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Landlord Property Area
⭐ Tenancy review
Do not come. Not safe.
4 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆
Overall tenancy rating
Moved out
2023
Date reviewed
4 May 2024

Ssl Properties Ltd, Walsall

5 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
Landlord rating
When I arranged the first payments, I made by mistake a payment of more than £1000 to the agency that I shouldn’t have made. I told them, and they reimbursed me quickly with no problem.

The ad photos showed a microwave in the kitchen that was missing when I moved in. Fortunately, the agency bought one for us when I asked for it.

There have been dozens of previous tenants living in the house and they have not bothered updating their addresses. The agencies managing the house haven’t done anything about this, and so, the mailbox gets quickly bloated with mail for lots of people that don’t live in the house. More than once there have been agents trying to check who was still living at the address. It’s like they don’t even keep track of the people they have in their own properties.

I had to chase after the agency for weeks to get permission from them to install internet at the house. They took ages to reply each time.

When I moved into the house, the washing machine was broken. They took two months to get a new one. After that, there were problems with its installation, and it took entire weeks of going back and forth with the handyman to have it stable. We had to attach it to the countertop with wood planks to prevent it from moving. From them on, it would make a lot of noise and make the whole kitchen tremble every time we used it.

The main door was also broken before I moved in. It could be closed, but it could be opened without a key. Anyone could enter the house. In November the agency said somebody would fix it a couple of weeks after I moved in, but nobody showed up. Around April, it was still broken. After chasing after the agency, they finally had someone come to see it, and the guy left the door even worse than before. He removed the faulty mechanism together with everything else, leaving the door unable to close at all. It was left like that for another entire week before the guy came back, finished the job and we could, for the first time, close it well and require a key to open it.

My agency didn’t give me any key for the main door. They told me I had to ask another tenant for her key and make a copy myself. Then, they would reimburse me. I was responsible and did that early after I moved in. The moment the door was fixed it became clear that the two agencies that manage the house gave the key for the main door to almost no one, because suddenly no one could come in.

At the end of the tenancy, they returned me all the deposit with no problem.
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19 Sunderland Road, Perry Vale, London

4 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆
Property rating
Worst tenancy I’ve ever had. A constant stream of problems from the beginning to the end that didn’t let me rest. When it wasn’t the house itself it was some of the tenants.

The room was advertised as a studio flat. In reality, it was in a big house with seven rooms. Some of them I assume were actual studios with their own toilets and kitchens. Others like mine were just normal rooms. My bathroom and kitchen were separated from it and I had to share them, but only with the tenants of one more room.

The bedroom was big. However, the kitchen and the bathroom were small, and they had almost no storage space. They seemed to be built in rooms that were not originally made for that purpose, to stuff the building with as many people as possible. The bathroom sink was so small it was almost useless, and there wasn’t even a mirror. Everything that would normally go inside it and the kitchen had to take space in the bedroom instead, including the fridge and the rubbish. The room was also very tall, but it had no furniture to make use of all that height for storage. The only furniture was a small cupboard. So, half of the belongings had to be laying around on the floor, taking all the space. The bed mattress was horrible for my back, so make sure they give you a good one if you have the disgrace of living there.

The bedroom door was a fire door, so it closed automatically. And it had a lock that closed automatically too. Every time I wanted to use the toilet, the kitchen or go downstairs to take out the rubbish or something else I had to worry about keeping the bedroom key with me to avoid locking myself out. It was a constant source of worry. The most constant one, but not the biggest one.

On the good side, I never learnt how to regulate the heating because I never needed to. This house has the best heat retention I have ever experienced. Moreso for a UK house, which have a reputation of having bad heat retention. Sometimes I left the window open in winter for a long time and it was still not cold. However, the window, which is very big, is only covered by a very thin curtain that barely blocks the light. If you end up in this room, make sure you ask the agency for a proper curtain that blocks the sunlight properly. Especially during the summer heat waves.

The house has no internet. It only has the socket in the outer wall that comes from the telephone line, and it’s there only because I chased after the agency to let me install it. But it doesn’t have any wire connected to the inside of the house. If you want to bring internet to your room and it’s not facing the street, you’ll not be able to bring it unless the cable goes through the room of another tenant whose room is looking to the street. That, or rely on mobile data internet.

Through the course of the tenancy, there was always something that needed fixing. The main door, the shower, the bathroom light, the kitchen light, the washing machine and the boiler all needed fixing or replacing at some point. There was also a dump in the bathroom and an ant infestation in the kitchen.

The damp was painted over before I moved in and again before I left, but it quickly grew back both times because the agency doesn’t solve the source of the problem: there is some tile missing in the roof, and without it, the rain water doesn’t get properly delivered to the gutter. Instead, it is spilled all over the outer wall, which I suspect causes the damp. The window is also damaged by this and water gets inside its glass. I took the time to explain this to the agency, but they just painted over the damp again.

About the ant infestation, the agency’s solution was having me buy ant poison to kill the ants when I saw them, and reimburse me the cost. At first, I thought they were coming from outside through the window. Then, I realized they were actually coming from inside the window frame. And they were doing so on a second floor, which makes me believe they had their nest inside the walls of the house. They stopped appearing after I blocked the cracks with dirty papers, but I bet they are still there.
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Perry Vale, London

3 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
Area rating
The area looks somewhat scruffy, but there is a big Sainsbury’s and a train station close to it, and a gym right next to it. About the people living in the area, the only ones to cause trouble were within the house.

The tenants with which I shared the kitchen and the bathroom and me were renting with SSL Properties. All the other tenants were managed by Denhan International, and I believe they all had those properties allocated to them by the town council because they were on temporary accommodation. So, I’ll talk about them because I assume they are still there and they make a big part of the experience. Everyone living in the floors above the ground were saints and not only did I have no problems with them, but they also did me a couple of favors. On the other hand, the people living in room 1 and room A on the lower floor are a bigger pest than the ants.

After the main door was fixed and people had to get key copies, there was a couple in room A who did not bother getting theirs. Making a copy of the keys took me just two hours, but they spent weeks knocking the door every time they wanted to enter. When people got fed up with looking after them, they started causing trouble.

First, the guy twisted a part of the door to prevent the door from closing. He said it was only for one night because his girlfriend was coming back home with their baby late after midnight and he would not be at the house at that time. He also asked me to lend him the main door key the next morning to make a copy, which I agreed to. The next morning he didn’t come for the key and the door stayed unable to close for at least a week, when we had to make the company bring someone to fix it yet again.

Then, after the door was fixed again, the couple got keys but they started to leave the door open every time they went out or they came in. Later, the woman that lived in room 1 started doing the same. For the last months of the tenancy, every day several times per day, they would leave the door open for entire hours. Sometimes even late in the night. Some days I woke up very early in the morning and the door had been open for who knows how long. Anyone could have entered, including stray animals. But they didn’t care. Not even for themselves nor for their children, less so for the other people.

I asked the agency to please speak to them and get involved in the problem, but they did nothing. I asked them to at least install an automatic closing device for the main door like there was for the inner doors, but they said they could not do that without telling me why.

This is a house from which you could hear the emergency vehicle sirens very often. It’s not exactly a place where you feel comfortable with having the door open all the time. By the way, a housemate told me the reason the door had been broken before I moved in was that one of the tenants in temporary accommodation was a junkie who broke into the house after he was expelled from it. Said junkie also stole from the room I was renting when it was occupied by the previous guy. It gives you another idea of what you might find if you live in this place.

Back to the other tenants, some time after the couple from room A started to leave the door open, I heard someone knocking the door. It was the guy of that couple. I let him in and came back to my room. Then, I heard him banging a door downstairs. Apparently, his girlfriend owned room A and she had kicked him out. Now he was trying to get in by force. The woman managed to hold him in a struggle, and the police came after he had left. You would think the woman would start shutting down the door after that. But not even being a literal victim of domestic assault and crying for it in front of the police put some sense in her head.

The other woman in room 1, before she started leaving the door open too, let her child roam around the house with no supervision. Many times I found him in the kitchen, getting inside my room when I had the door open or just in the middle of the stairs. I often went to the kitchen and back carrying kitchen utensils like knives and forks and very hot food that I could have poured by accident on top of the child while he was in the stairs. Or he could have started playing with the oven or other electrical appliances. But none of these thoughts seemed to bother his mother or even occur to her. The kid was also pretty noisy, and if you wanted to sleep with the window open, you could hear him stuttering until late in the night.

Finally, on the last weekend after I had already moved out, I came to the house on both days to pick my things and clean. These people had a smoke detector beeping low on battery on both days. It was clearly audible from within my room with everything closed. Good luck trying to sleep with these people if this happens while you live here.

As I have said, I bet they are still there at the time I’m publishing this review, and I assume they’ll be there for a long time. They are a threat to the house’s safety and I discourage everyone from living with them.
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