Foxtons UK property management / Property management incompetence and dishonesty
Why you do not want Foxtons to manage your property
I moved to USA and decided to rent out my apartment in Central London. I chose Foxtons to find tenants and to manage my property.
Firstly everyone needs to know this: Foxtons take ALL their commission in the first few months of your rental, and you’ll see no rent until they have collected their dues. For instance, if you have signed a two year contract with a tenant, then you will not see any rent in the first three to four months as that is Foxtons collecting ALL their commission for the entire two years first. Only after that will you start to receive monies from the rent. That way, when things go wrong, such as a tenant’s failure to pay the rent, you are one hundred percent alone in bearing the loss.
Therefore, before you even read on, ask yourselves this: what incentive does Foxtons have to manage your property with any level of competence and integrity??
So here’s my story: It is such a messy story that spans over four years that I will break it down into bullet points.
Tenancy number 1: [protected]
• Foxtons found me a tenant who was a con artist. He trashed the apartment and failed to pay me the last 6 months rent.
• My contact person at Foxtons changed so frequently that I never spoke to the same person twice. Furthermore it was impossible for me to contact a property manager at Foxtons, as they are always “in meetings.” But when my dishonest tenant wanted something fixed, Foxtons had no trouble in contacting me.
• I spent a fortune fixing things in my apartment that were suspect to say the least. A hole in the wall, a door knob that fell off. Only after the tenant left, did I realize that this animal had been doing structural damage in my apartment. Needless to say, the value of the apartment decreased and I was unable to re rent it for the same price.
Tenant stopped paying the rent for 6 months. Of course the only person to feel this loss was me, as Foxtons had already collected their full commission at the start of the tenancy.
Bankruptcy petition filed against tenant, delays more delays, and, two years later at my expense, this is still ongoing.
During the course of this tenancy I made a net LOSS. In otherwords this tenancy cost me money.
Tenancy number 2: [protected]
• New tenants found. Low caliber tenants, whose rent is paid for by the council. Due to devaluation of my property by previous tenant, my rent was now decreased. Foxtons ‘sold’ me these tenants, with the following argument, ‘as the council is paying the rent, at least this time you can be certain to receive your rent payments.’
So, like an idiot, who lives a ten hour flight and an eight hour time difference away, I agreed to this.
• Turns out my nearly new, high quality furniture wasn’t good enough for my free-loading, council-supported tenants. Foxtons told me that my tenants want £1000 to buy new furniture, because they didn’t like the colour of my furniture. I said no, find me new tenants. Foxtons advised that it was worth paying them £1000 rather than lose the equivalent in rent whilst searching for new tenants. So, like an idiot who lives 10 hours flight and 8 hours time difference away, I agreed. I had no way to recoup my own furniture, so have no idea what happened to it. In conclusion, this has cost me much more that £1000.
• Free-loading, council-supported tenants requested many things over this time. Paint the wall, paint the ceiling, change the curtains. I heard from Foxtons regularly with these mainly aesthetic demands.
• Foxtons forgot to pay me one month of my dues.
• Foxtons charged me twice for a large paint job performed at the request of my tenants
• Clearly my tenants had no trouble contacting my property manager at Foxtons. I on the other had had enormous trouble contacting my property manager. Whilst trying to resolve the discrepancy of why I was charged twice for a large job, thereby costing me another whole month worth of rent, my property manager ignored all my emails and phone calls.
• I contacted the person above him. My email was ignored. I contacted the person above the person above him and my email was also ignored. I phoned Foxtons and was repeatedly told that everyone was in meetings. Everyone was always in meetings.
This tenancy is still ongoing, so as yet I do not know whether I have made a net loss or net gain. Right now though, I suspect that I have made a loss, but we’ll see.
Foxtons will scam you. If you are buying, selling, renting or letting a property, then Foxtons shows themselves to be impressively energetic and hard working. BUT the moment you have signed that lettings contract and handed your property over to them for management, you can expect them to hand you over to a team who lives in the dark recesses of the company. A team who is careless and incompetent. A team who doesn’t care.
My advice? Find someone else to manage your property. I don’t yet know what the others are like, I’m sure they have their pros and cons, but I very much doubt that any property management set up is as well designed to scam you as Foxtons.