After my experience with these guys I rather proudly made a facebook hate group for the company in 2008ish. Within the space of a week it had over 500 members. Luckily I remember most of the stories about parklane before they reported the group and took it down, which I feel people must be made aware of as this company will try and squeeze as many pennies out of its tenants as possible. I’ll post what I remember after I type up my experiences.
Firstly my experience with them. We found a nice flat, (on the outside anyway) and it had quite an unusual layout inside so we liked the place from early on. Now there was a bit of mould on one wall which we were assured would be removed by the time we moved in. This mould was never removed or even addressed for the whole year I was there. By the time I left it had spread across the whole of a bedroom wall, to the living room on the floor below. This started to rot the curtains, carpet, sofa and clothes within the cupboard near the wall, the lad that was in this bedroom was also an asthma sufferer. Despite several emails requesting they address the issue, they only bothered to look at the problem when they started to show new potential tenants around. The attempt to solve it was stick a de-humidifier in the living room. Apparently they sent someone around to fix the rainwater pipes which they thought was the cause of the problem. But one housemate (who was abit lazy) was in the house every day and never noticed anyone do anything to it.
The next issue. The electric shower unit started melting due to it not being fitted properly and started smoking and burning from some exposed wiring. This is a little un-nerving when you have a shower and exposed electrical wiring is near running water. This took a month to fix.
Problem number 3. late one night someone decided to kick the front door down and try and break into the flat while we were all in. luckily there is a front door then another door into our flat which they couldn't get through. This happened on a weekend and the company didn’t have anyone available in maintenance that works at weekends. the emergency number they gave us took us to an answer machine. So our main front door was left without a lock on it all weekend. When the lock smith came out to look at it, we were told it would take a week to get the parts and advised we just make sure the door is pulled shut when we leave the flat. Between my housemates we tried to make sure someone was always in to make sure no one came back to finish the job during that week.
Next problem. I think we had about 3 different dishwashers while living in there. each one either leaked all over the floor due to it been a very cheap and broken second hand washer, or the plumber that fitted the thing did a terrible job of it each time. Also the comment below mine about parklane calling without giving any notice happens more or less all the time. about 9 o'clock on a Sunday morning there was a showing which no one had told us about. the member of parklane then gave me continued abuse about how its in the contract that we have to make the property presentable when potential tenants are being shown around and we weren’t keeping up our side of the contract and she threatened legal action.
The last of the problems now. When we left they tried to take our deposits from us as well (this was in the days before deposit protection schemes). Despite us cleaning the place as much as humanly possible they claimed they had to clean the property at a cost of £100 and they had to replace some light bulbs at the cost of £50. Fortunately after all our experiences with them I took photos of everything prior to leaving. As soon as I told them I had photos of the flat been immaculate when we left and pictures showing all the light bulbs working, they instantly gave us back our whole deposits and didn’t even apologise. Ok I’m thankful they gave back the whole deposit but I just blatantly showed they were trying to take money of us without good reason.
During this whole time we still paid full rent despite all the faults. Legally if you can demonstrate the letting agents have broken the contract first you are no longer entitled to keep up your side of the contract. We were well within our rights to withhold rent but due to our studies and work commitments we didn’t have the time or want the stress of taking this approach. Parklane takes advantage of this fact with a good 90% of its student tenants.
Half way through our time there I felt I we had endured enough of parklanes blatant disreguard for its tenants and I made a facebook hate group for the company. The number of people that joined over a short period was unbelievable. Approx 500 within the first week. I put plans on this group of our flat showing every fault over the last year (I’m an architect so quickly drew up the plans), so they knew someone in our flat started the group. As a result they called all of us threatening to sue us unless the group was taken down. Unfortunately they reported the group and it eventually was forcibly taken down after around 3000 members had joined. I also put up pictures of all the staff from the company website, and the amount of abuse under these face was unbelievable. Under the manager I remember one comment saying “I would gladly brick this fat f**ks face in”.
Anyways everyone had a horror story in this group. A few that stand out the most to me I’ll list below;
One girl in a property with an ensuite moved in to find the toilet had over-flowed and there was raw sewage in her room. Obviously the place was uninhabitable, so she stayed at friends. Parklane still had the audacity to send rent payment requests to this girl, threatening legal action again, despite the fact she hadn’t spent a day in the property due to a bedroom full of floaters.
Another story on the group, a number of parklane properties came with a large flat screen TV as an added attraction to get people to move in. Surprisingly a large number of these properties were broken into shortly after new tenants moved in, the only thing stolen been the TV and parklane expecting the occupants insurance to cover the costs.
And lastly a story that made the BBC news. If you google “parklane sues girl BBC” a story will come up about a student that quit university to nurse her dying mother and she cancelled her tenancy with parklane and never moved in (despite paying £1500 for her first term). A month after her mum died parklane threatened to sue the girl for lack of payments and sent a letter to her requesting £2220 with the word “deceased” next to her mothers name as the guarantor.
Recently they had somehow blocked google reviews from appearing as I tried to post this before but it was taken down. Just noticed that people can put reviews back up, and the amount of contempt myself and other people have for this company means we relish highlighting there total incompetency at any opportunity so I’m putting my post back up again. Apologies for the long read but this is how passionately I want to prevent this company from ruining other student lives. Final years are stressful enough without having to deal with the failings of this company.