Here’s what happened when an ex-tenant accused agent in damning Google review – the agent hit back

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

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17 Comments

  1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    Perhaps the tenant is a little red faced, after publicly challenging his ”Rockett(ing)” end of Tenancy  ”Bill”?

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    1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

      A dislike? Clearly I didn’t eat enough pun-apple for breakfast!

       

      On a serious note, it Kuru-been-a-villa but most probably the check-in report would have ended up in the Bin-u anyway…

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  2. Property Poke In The Eye

    Some tenants are just thick and don’t want to follow the rules.  They think if they write a review they may get compensated.

    In my opinion 99.9% of estate agents review sites are made up of friends, family, staff and someone you begged for a review.  Who in their right mind reviews estate agent sites.

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  3. Stillgame

    Strange how it’s taken 4 years but well done Bill for posting back. Totally agree tenants all to eager to review when things don’t go their way wanting to cause harm.

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  4. Eastsidestory90

    A perfect example of how some tenants have no idea of the differences between fair wear and tear and a dilapidation.

     

     

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  5. Shaun77

    Anyone know how you can reply to Google review? From what I can see, it isn’t possible?

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    1. Robert May

      You need to have a verified account then you can respond

      https://support.google.com/business/answer/3474050?hl=en-GB

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    2. DonShore93

      Points 5 and 6 in this article may help: http://www.helphound.info/2017/09/how-helphound-adds-value-to-do-it.html

       

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    3. DonShore93

      And who is getting the monthly Google My Business report for your business, Shaun? They will be the registered user – so they can respond.

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    4. Shaun77

      Robert/Don – many thanks for your advice. We actually use Helphound and are a client of Google, so I should really have known this.

      We had a tenant who genuinely missed out on a property, nothing sinister, and both her and her partner have been unjustifiably vicious and both posted a negative review each.

      I will address this today.

      Thanks

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  6. Mark Connelly

    If that represents distressed enough to sell then the owner was definitely not suitable landlord material.

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  7. DASH94

    I’m sorely tempted to respond to negative reviews – especially as it’s only  the disgruntled that can be bothered to leave reviews, but isn’t there a danger that  you’ll fall foul of the GDPR rules by being in any way specific in the reply?

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    1. DonShore93

      DASH94 – you are right on both counts: you should respond to all reviews, not just negatives – and you should not disclose any personal details about the client in your response, it’s not just GDPR, far from it – it’s good old-fashioned libel – we see far too many agents, when faced with a potential tenant writing a negative review, will say things like “You were not financially viable” – one call to a lawyer and ouch!

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      1. danandsan17

        They have a pretty good case against the tenant for libel to, with photographic evidence to back them up

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  8. dave_d

    We’ve had similar incidents and as of late we have started posting their checkout pictures as response to their review. Remarkably reviews from tenants seem to have decreased.

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    1. CountryLass

      Wouldn’t they cry date protection breach though? Don’t get me wrong, I think its a great idea! certainly shut me up when my agent sent me a picture of the state my ex left a rented property in… I’d been driving the furniture etc to storage as the new place wasn’t quite ready, and I’d left him to clean the place and throw out rubbish etc… Jeepers but I’m glad I split up with him shortly after, it was awful!

      Report
  9. danandsan17

    Spot on, named and shamed good work!

    Report
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