Our regular blog readers will know that we often speak about the steps we take to ensure that the landlord (and his/ her property) is protected: comprehensive inventories, thorough check-outs, regular inspections… It is generally believed that these tasks benefit the landlord alone but some feedback we received from a previous Strawberry client reminded us just how important they are for tenants too.  
The lady who took the time to send us a lovely letter had been a tenant in one of our properties in the past but has since moved and found herself at the mercy of a “not so great” agent. She speaks of her frustration on moving in and finding that there was no handover information – no alarm codes, no details of safety checks, maintenance on smoke alarms, CO detectors etc. – and nothing appeared to have been checked by the landlord or the agent prior to her moving in. 
 
On moving into the property her family found that no lights were working and upon further investigation discovered that they had been turned off at the main board. As they flicked the switch to resume power, the house alarm was activated and – yes, you guessed it – no-one, including the agent, had the code to stop it. 
 
As if all this wasn’t bad enough, the catalogue of failures continued for this poor family. The alarm took over a week to be addressed, the garage door was unsafe but was not scheduled for repair, there were no keys for the windows or the side entrance to the property. Even worse, when the agents did send someone to fix one of the window locks they managed to break the glass (but then hastily denied that they had, and left it for the tenant to replace!). 
 
As much as it reassures us that we offer the best service by miles, we never like to hear stories like this. Firstly, because we know the people involved and know them to be good, reliable tenants who simply expect their property to be in good repair and want to have the confidence that any issues will be resolved quickly and efficiently (after all, that is what they got from Strawberry!). Secondly, these tales of shocking experiences do nothing to expel the myth that all lettings agents (and, by association, the landlords they ‘serve’) are unscrupulous and simply want to exploit tenants at every opportunity. Inventories, check-outs, property visits, maintenance requirements and the like are not designed to ‘catch-out’ the tenants but are instead meant to ensure that everything is handled fairly, and that health & safety is protected for everyone who lives in the property. 
 
To put it entirely in the words of the tenant: - 
 
“We realised how grateful we were to have you managing the property and looking after it and us so well.” 
 
“You guys would have been on top of all that before the tenants moved in.” 
 
At Strawberry we won’t cut corners with our service as we see – sadly too often – the problems which it causes for both landlords and tenants alike. Whether you are a landlord who values your investment or a tenant who needs peace of mind, you know where to come… 
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