When a disgruntled tenant posted up a negative Google review of their agent, they probably didn’t expect the firm to respond – let alone in the way it did.
The tenant claimed: “They take massive deposit which others do not take. And at the end of tenancy, they will not return your deposit, by showing photo evidence of small marks, and will say, the house needs repainting. Bad experience. Do not rent with this agency.”
However Bill Rockett, of Rockett Home Rentals in Newcastle-under-Lyme, was not going to let this pass without – a remarkably polite – comment.
He posted up: “It is unfortunate that you feel this way, however, the deposits which we take are security for the landlord should any damages occur during a tenancy and are valued accordingly for each individual property.
“Every tenant is provided with an inventory at the beginning of their tenancy which details the condition of the property before they move in. They are then given seven working days to send back any amendments to the inventory that they feel are not reported.
“At the end of the tenancy, a check-out is carried out, this details the condition of the property after the tenants have vacated.
“All tenants are advised of their obligations for up-keeping a property and what is expected from them before they vacate.
“On the check-out an accredited clerk would note any discrepancies taking fair wear and tear into account. Therefore, a tenant would only be charged for anything which is above fair wear and tear.
“We have reviewed our records and can see that you vacated one of our furnished properties in 2014.
“Your check-out report detailed a large number of discrepancies when compared with the inventory, including broken/missing furniture, an overgrown garden and pen marks/drawings on walls and furniture throughout the property.
“We have a large file of photographic and written evidence detailing the damage and poor condition you returned the property in.
“I would suggest if you are looking to rent again, you make more of an effort to look after someone else’s property.
“The owner of the house you rented was so distressed at how you returned her property that she sold the house after your tenancy.
“If you would like more information regarding this please let us know.”
Rockett Home Rentals has 75 Google reviews, with an average 4.3 star rating. Currently, the negative one-star review from former tenant Binu Kuruvilla is the top one in terms of date order.
Rockett told EYE: “Tenants refuse to accept any responsibility for their actions. Tenants are so quick to review if they cannot get their own way, but it is nigh on impossible to get a happy tenant to bother to review.
“The house was brand new when let and Binu was the first tenant (and last!!).”
Below, pictures taken at check-out of the “small marks” and the garden