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Oakleigh MaintenanceOakleighs Maintenance Limited

D Review updated:

Dont trust these guys. The Owner Andrew Carlton ( Darren Russell) have shown they have a history of setting up a business, operate and leave clients and sub contractors in significant debt. I cant be certain, but I believe they are now operating as Property Plus Group http://www.propertyplusgroup.com/ - I cant be sure, but this looks the same. Note new address 1 Northumberland Avenue,
Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5BW. These guys have been referred to the Serious Fraud Office, BBC and HMRC. If you are researching wether to use these guys, please think again.

Responses

  • Du
    Duped by Oakleighs!! Mar 20, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just logged on to see if anyone had gotten anywhere with Oakleighs - and am sad to see more people duped by them!!. We have a similar story to everyone from 2014 and are out of pocket over £10k. We've been waiting to see if anything happens.
    There is a complex web of companies Andrew Carlton / Darren Russell uses and I'm fairly certain we will never see a penny despite taking Oakleighs and Barlifields to court. According to Companies House, Oakleighs was dissolved on 26 Feb 2016: '26 Feb 2016 Final Gazette dissolved via compulsory strike-off'
    Someone mentioned some names above - I'm pretty sure they are all fake. The names we had are:
    Alan Cronk (only ever spoke to him over the phone)
    Joanne Walsh (PM - middle aged, slightly overweight blonde)
    Chris Valeri (planner)
    Theresa Parkes (diary manager)
    The so called 'finance director' was always an unnamed person, but had to be consulted by all of them.
    We found this article from 2004 and think it could be the same person - http://www.standard.co.uk/news/tycoons-rent-scam-6982668.html
    I sincerely hope someone gets their money back from this guy and he and his band of thieves are thrown in jail.

    0 Votes
  • Mo
    monchique Jan 29, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @Duped by Oakleighs!! Good day,
    In December 2016 I let an apartment in Cape Town, South Africa to a Darren Russell. I later found out that he has several fake names, David Robinson, Andrew Carlton etc. When he defaulted on rent I googled his name. The article in the Evening Standard came up so I contacted the Evening Standard. Their one Editor confirmed that the date of birth i gave him (from Darren Russell's passport proves it is the same person. Darren Russel told me his company is called Eden Wright and that he does incredible renovations/refurbishments etc. On one occasion he told me all his bank accounts had been blocked and that he needed to go to London to sort it out. A liar forgets his lies so when he got back he told me he had just returned from Dubai!

    He was in the apartment for just over four months and owes me Sterling 36000+ plus in damages, stuff he stole, unpaid rent and services etc. One day he would be lending money from the cleaner for cigarettes and the next he would send her to banks to draw up to Sterling 5000 using various credit cards, none of which was in his name. He said he had no money for rent but was buying expensive cars. I tried to figure out how he earned money sitting on the beach in Cape Town in a luxurious apartment. Having done renovations I know you have to be on site or it will be a disaster! It seemed to me he received deposits for jobs went on extravagant shopping sprees and when deposit dried up he would be penniless till the next deposit arrived.
    When he defaulted on rent, he refused to move out and ran up huge utility bills. Fortunately he eventually moved. He then tried to get back into the apartment using the name "David Robinson". By then the letting agents knew him so that fortunately failed as heaven knows what sinister intentions he had.

    On one occasion, he needed a computer technician. I introduced a lovely young man who assisted me. Pats were bought for Darren Russell's computer, my guy spent hours working on it etc. Now eight months later he has still not been paid! The man is a pathological liar and thief and should be in jail.

    He apparently now lives in an area of Cape Town called Blouberg. In December he lent money from my cleaner who he still keeps in touch with. When she asked for her money back he asked her to lie on his behalf to say I had him thrown out of the apartment by thugs. She said it wasn't true and she would not be a witness for him till he paid her back. He also asked her to get a friend to lie on his behalf.

    Something must be done to stop this man tricking and stealing from innocent, hard working people.

    0 Votes
  • Ac
    ACS Structures Dec 24, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Eden Wright were selected as a tenderer for a small project for, which I was the designer, by the client . I am an engineer with 40 years experience of the construction industry, most of it at a small scale, and yet I did not spot the warning signs during the tendering process. I was not concerned that the contract was based on the client paying for materials and for labour costs, as I have run a number of such 'cost plus' contracts. I thought EW's proposed payment programme was weighted towards the contractor and so insisted that the contract used the JCT Building Works contract, which provides for a 5% retention payable on final completion, to which EW agreed. I did warn the client that their programme was unrealistic and that there were gaps in the pricing, so that they should expect a longer contract period and signficant cost increases, which I would administer.

    What I had not expected was that they had simply lied about who would carry out the work. I had set a contract condition that the foreman should be someone with a full command of English and of building construction, but it soon became apparent that EW had simply passed resonsibility for the work to a Moldovan who is, in essence, a gangmaster. His power over the Rumanians and Moldovans he employed was partly that he does speak reasonable English and has good contacts. However he was only occasionally on site and was poor at translating English instructions to the people to whom he subcontracted the work and was also rather poor at reading drawings in any language. The result was that the work proceeded by successive approximations to what was required. However the people on site were pretty diligent at correcting their errors and their building skills were certainly adequate given proper instruction, though their ablilty to read drawings was variable. Eden Wright were conspicuous by their absence on site and by their constant clamouring for money by Terrance. As someone else has commented, Michael O'Keefe was pretty unimpressive before the work started and then absent, though I did question him about the pricing of the labour, which suggested that he had had some experience as a builder's estimator, which reassured me. In fact it later became clear that all he was doing was adding a generous mark up to prices given by the Moldovan.

    Luckily, the work reached practical completion before the wheels started to come off, and we had even succeeded in getting them to remedy many of the minor defects, so that little now remains to be done. I had also kept a close eye on the costs, so when we reached practical completion I was able to send EW a draft contract sum calculation which showed that we probably owed them around £2k. It turned out that they had not kept any proper record of costs or payments, and it was then that I finally realised that EW were not interested in the building work at all but only in the money, from which they were presumably creaming off a large proportion. It then became apparent that not only was the gangmaster owed a substantial sum by EW but that he in turn owed much of that to the people who had carried out the work, so they had all been shafted by EW.

    The final chapter is that the new gas supply, and boiler and cylnder installations, had been carried out by someone who was apparently not GasSafe registered, which is illegal. The GasSafe Register themselves came to investigate, found a number of defects, luckily none of them safety dritical, and have now reported the problems to the Health and Safety Executive, so now they might get involved. Luckily the 5% retention sum is about the same as the cost of the necessary remedial work, so I am now in the process of determining EW's contract on the grounds of their failure to remedy defects which prejudice the health and safety of their client, whereupon we will use that money to carry out that remedial work.

    I feel sorry for the guys at the bottom of the heap, the Moldivans and Rumainians, who were, without exception, decent people with some skills who wanted to do some decent building work and get paid, even though at very low rates by UK standards. Well, we've really shown them the ### end of the 'open economy'. The one thing that would really help them is English language lessons, supplemented by instruction in UK construction materials, details and techniques.

    2 Votes
  • Fi
    Field Mouse Dec 23, 2015

    I have just had the displeasure of dealing with Eden Wright and lost circa £5-£10k. I had massive concerns at the start (always trust your gut) I referenced them and decided to take the plunge.
    All actually started fine and work was well underway but that's when essentially Terrance (Darren) stopped paying and we couldn't get any money out of him for materials.
    The workers who completed 50% of the project have not and will not get paid for it.
    Eden Wright is run by Darren Russell and he is based in Cape Town. My story is similar to all the above except I did actually get work underdone but it's the workers who haven't been paid and these are good honest guys delivering outstanding quality. All Terrance (Darren) will do is lie and drag processes out. My "Project Manager" Michael came to site once and never returned a call. Samantha is still part of the team and was very helpful but with all of these things it's impossible to tell who's involved and who isn't.
    I have now cut all ties with the company and am paying the workers directly. I'm already 11 weeks into my 5 week project.

    Essentially Darren Russell is continuing to screw everyone over and there more we spread the word the more people will know of him.
    With leverage of my personal network I managed to get money back. He thinks he's safe in South Africa but once you tell him you know his real name and where he is he gets scared.

    Best of luck

    1 Votes
  • Da
    Danstie Feb 14, 2018

    @Field Mouse Hi there, how did you get your money back? Can you share where he is? He still owes us £30k :(

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    Sashi L Oct 05, 2021
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @Danstie I have information. Can you mail me at sashaleelee94 AT gmail.com ?

    0 Votes
  • Al
    Alexandru87 Dec 23, 2015

    Hi all, my name is Alex, I worked for this guys for one year, and how all people who deal with Eden Wright he left me out with 28k . So this guy named Terrace or however he leaving in Cape Town he is not in England, all other people who is working for him is here in London.
    I don't think someone can get money back unfortunately.

    0 Votes
  • Mo
    monchique Jan 29, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @Alexandru87 He is living in Cape Town. He continues to do his dirty crooked work from here. He should be in jail.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    Sashi L Oct 05, 2021
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @monchique Please email me sashaleelee94 AT gmail.com

    0 Votes
  • Br
    brazzer Jul 21, 2015

    They have almost completed a project of mine and I only found this board when a deposit had already been paid!

    I tried to get out of it, but decided to keep an eye on them and not pay more than I needed to. They are not Eden Wright based in Holborn, just a PO box to make them seem professional. The builders were really good, the company are clearly getting cheap labour to complete jobs and making a hefty profit. Micheal the so called "Project manager" only met me 1 time during the 4 week project, he's clearly a lacky that produces rough qoutes and then goes completely missing. Im relatively happy with progress but DO NOT give them any money until you have a) asked them what their VAT number is (they charge vat on everything but I've never seen a VAT number). B) agreed a resonable deposit for them to start work.

    They are the reason why builders have such bad name in this country, they do no work (builders bought materials themselves) and sit behind a email address and expect to be paid £000s for being a glorified go between. If anyone knows where to find these i diots, or want to discuss further please message!!!

    0 Votes
  • Mo
    monchique Jan 29, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @brazzer I am a recent victim of this man. He stayed in my apartment which I had just renovated at huge cost. He caused huge amount of malicious damage and theft. He asked me to assist him in opening a banking account. I approached my bank manager but she told me that Darren Russell has no banking account in his name in the world! He lives off deposits he receives from people he crooks - too terrible. He must pay for the pain he causes.

    0 Votes
  • Br
    brazzer Jul 21, 2015

    Dont go anywhere near these guys

    1 Votes
  • Mo
    monchique Jan 29, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @brazzer How do you avoid them when they go under fraudulent names?

    0 Votes
  • Ir
    Irene64 Mar 25, 2015

    I just wanted to say thanks to you all for posting your comments about Taylor Harcourt. Unfortunately I've only just found this board, so it was too late to stop us being conned in exactly the same way that everyone else has described, but you have stopped us wasting more money by pursuing them through the courts. I have emailed Nicola Tudor and offered to send her copies of emails/photos etc in the hope that she will be able to do something useful with them.

    1 Votes
  • Gs
    GSXR66 Mar 10, 2015

    Please - whatever you do. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT deal with, or work with ANY of the following: 1. TAYLOR HARCOURT, 2. PROPERTY PLUS GROUP, 3. OAKLEIGHS Maintenance.

    We have lost just under £30, 000 (March, 2015). It really really hurts. We have no way of getting our money back.

    They are ALL complete crooks, thieves and genuine fraudsters. The SFO (Serious Fraud Office) have an on-going criminal investigation against them, and the two known Directors.

    Terrance Taylor - director
    George Almeida - director
    Liz Smith - office manager

    - of course, they could all be fictitious names, but we have no way of finding out.

    Beware two other people: whom we've actually met: a guy called "Richard" (young black man) and his girlfriend "Salsarah" (young overweight white lady). They will disarm you with their extreme politeness, and ohhhh such lovely heart-warming charm. They will claim they no longer work with 1. TAYLOR HARCOURT, 2. PROPERTY PLUS GROUP, 3. OAKLEIGHS Maintenance. They will also claim that the above 3 companies owe them a lot of money and hence, no longer want to be associated with them. The reality is, they are an integral park of the scam. Richard's company is called DFL (which I believe is also mentioned above). Please be very careful. ALL the above mentioned have a very disarming patter, and 'charm' and will fool you into paying them. We ended up paying 75% up front, which we've subsequently lost. They do not respond to any emails (the odd 1 or 2 emails we've had have been 'one liners' and are never signed) - and they certainly do not take telephone calls. They use a call centre (third party) and 'shield' every single call - to ensure you never actually speak to them.

    I am very very interested in pursuing this case further through the SFO, and I'm happy to speak offline to gather more evidence. These last few months have devastated our financial situation and domestic life.

    The project was supposed to take 4 weeks, we paid a substantial amount of money [each weekly] almost £30k, and here we are 6 months later, with NO work done, and 'vanishing act' by Taylor Harcourt/Property Plus Group/Oakleighs that Houdini would be proud of !!

    These scandalous, deplorable, despicable, contemptible, dishonourable, discreditable, reprehensible theiving criminals WILL PAY one way or another, and I can't wait for that day! They belong in jail for all the heartache and complete pure devastation they cause to people's lives.

    These are the email addresses to be aware of (this is NOT an exhaustive list). Please be very very cautious - it's extremely easy to set up a new email address and website:

    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    If you have ANY suspicions; please call Trading Standards (also mention above) I'm in dialogue with Nicola Tudor, Trading Standards (Tower Hamlets) [protected]. She will take your call, and is very happy to help - they are building a strong case against them.

    Their 'sales blurb' includes all the following, and I can categorically tell you that every single point is a complete and utter lie. NONE of it is true, and it is all designed to lull you into a false sense of security. Don't fall for it !

    HERE ARE their utterly false and completely misleading claims:

    "We guarantee all our clients complete satisfaction and once quoted, we never veer from the price"

    We have never failed to deliver a project on time, on budget and to a clients satisfaction and we are always more than happy to show clients current and past projects or out you in touch with customers for their feedback.

    We:

    1. Underwrite, insure and guarantee every job and project

    2. Guarantee a 100% satisfaction. Our clients only pay when they are happy with the project

    3. Our insurances are the most comprehensive in the industry and we have never had to make a claim on them

    4. We have never failed to deliver a project on time or on budget. We have never had a complaint.

    5. We list and quote each item of works separately to allow the client to vary the cost or scope

    6. We list and quote each item of materials or fittings separately to allow the client to vary the cost or specification. Or indeed, choose their own items

    7. We allocate every client a personal project manager to ensure site supervision and the highest quality of works

    8. We only use personnel with considerable numbers of years UK property experience

    9. Each client has their own office based personal account manager

    10. When we commit to a quote – we never increase the price on a client

    We would be happy to help with any questions that you may have

    Kind regards

    Projects Team

    2 Votes
  • Mo
    monchique Jan 29, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @GSXR66 Add to your list of email addresses:
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    He is now crooking innocent people in Cape Town, South Africa while living off deposits he receives and then spends on extravagant shopping sprees.

    0 Votes
  • Ta
    TaylorHarcortTookMyMoney Feb 03, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We had the unfortunate experience of engaging with Taylor Harcourt. They first contacted us via Rated People via a company called DFL (whom they later claimed to have ceased engagement with). Since they responded well to our questions and gave a good price we decided to use their "services".

    It turns out that that are basically a middle man who cold call builders and get them to sub contract. When things go wrong (as they did in our case) and the builders don't turn up for any reason their approach is to call another builder and they just expect you to take whoever they eventually find and to whatever schedule. If you're not happy with this then they take your deposit (in our case, 25% although they did return the materials money paid in advance). For a full account of what happened I've copied my summary mail to them where I requested that they return my deposit since they were unable to fulfill the contract. Needless to say, they didn't refund the money.


    We entered into the contract on the understanding that the representations made by your company were true, we would have a single project manager and it would be Michael, they would commence work on the 1st December (subsequently agreed to delay until 8th December) and that the work would complete by the 19th December.

    Instead we found that on 2 separate occasions the work failed to start. On both occasions we were given no prior notification and on the second failed attempt we weren't even given a reason as to why Michael didn't turn up. When we called him he said that he was not our project manager and that the job had been allocated to someone called Richard, despite Michael himself saying only 3 days previous that his wife was now fine and he would personally be on site on the 8th December.

    When your office responded to our enquiries about the lack of builder on the 2nd occasion we were informed that job was under quoted. At this stage we requested a full refund since it would be of mutual benefit. It was confirmed we would be refunded and that you were at fault for “trying to book so close to Christmas” and you were “sorry it didn't work out”. The only stipulation at this point was that we would need to wait until the next day for the finance director to sign off.

    Having not heard back from Taylor Harcourt and having sent more chasing communications we were suddenly informed on the 9th December that another builder had now been found and was ready to start work the next day (this notification came at 6:15pm) and we could either proceed with this unknown builder or be held in breach of contract. This was entirely unacceptable behaviour and at this stage we had completely lost confidence in Taylor Harcourt’s ability to deliver this project. The project was beyond delivery on schedule (completion by 19th December was a clear stipulation made before commencement of the contract) given that you had no resource lined up and were already phoning unknown builders to try and fill the job at the last minute with no knowledge of their ability to deliver, no materials had even been purchased and you had already failed to turn up on 2 separate occasions. It was unreasonable to expect that we continue to with the contract under these conditions. We requested that the materials money was returned with immediate effect given that there was no contest for this portion of our money while we took advice with regards to the remaining money.

    In your communication on the 10th December informing us that we would be in breach of contract you mentioned that one of the reasons for retaining our deposit was justified by the effort expended on our quotation and arranging the building work. Firstly, the quotation was not chargeable work, and secondly, the only reason that there was so much effort required was because of repeated failures on the part of Taylor Harcourt including, not turning up to commence work, failing to quote for all aspects of works required, losing emails and having to be chased for answers. In terms of wasted time/effort myself and my wife lost holiday time whilst also spending 2 days preparing the house for works that were never started.

    In an unexpected twist, the newly proposed builder happened to be in the area and came to our house on the evening of 10th December “to see if the contract was actually genuine” despite being advised by your office not to contact us directly for some reason. During my discussion with him it came to light that you had cold called him and ask him to work as sub-contractor. He advised me that he had no intention of working with Taylor Harcourt, he doesn't take on sub-contracting work, couldn't find a valid physical location for your company (the landline number and address is for a call centre) and was not comfortable working for a client he had never met. It would seem that there is no substance to your claim that an alternative builder had been found (since he wasn’t prepared to carry out the work and if we had agreed to your proposal we would have, once again, been left waiting in the morning for a builder that had no intention of turning up) which further validates our lack of confidence in your ability to deliver.

    In conclusion, we consider that the contract was invalidated through Taylor Hardcourt’s failure to commence work as agreed on two separate occasions, desire to sub-contract to an unknown third party at the last minute and failing to uphold the spirit of the engagement which was based on such assurances as:

    “Guarantee a 100% satisfaction. Our clients only pay when they are happy with the project” (we are not happy with the project)
    “A dedicated team who will remain on site until all works are complete with no changes in personnel” (you had no control over an unknown sub-contractor employed at the last minute)
    “Your own personal project manager” (our personal project manager was confirmed as being Michael, who never started working and denied that he was even the project manager)

    Please return the outstanding balance of £1, 587 with immediate effect to the following account or we will be forced to pursue the matter further.

    2 Votes
  • Ti
    Tim Essex Dec 09, 2014

    I can confirm that TH are indeed very dodgy.
    Having sadly not been alerted to there practices before engaging them I had to throw them offsite after 3 weeks when no work was carried out and the contractors were refusing to continue the work as they had not been paid.
    I have however got a member of the projects team on email claiming to have made payments falsely and I will be following up via legal means as 6K was paid to them as 1/3 of the project cost.

    I feel that all individuals who have been cheated by any of these companies and their subsidiaries need to chase them no matter how small the cost otherwise they will continue to operate in this matter

    2 Votes
  • Ch
    Chaz Knight Oct 07, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Oh dear, I have just had a quote by Taylor Harcourt. When I asked for a copy of their Professional Indemnity, (which they send) alarm bells started to ring as they are actually Blue Arrow Trading Ltd trading as Taylor Harcourt. Also linked to Property Plus which has exactly the same website!!! Upon more research the only things I could find on any of these companies are Job adverts looking for works quoters, marketing and sale adviser (commission only!!). I had a feeling these guys are dodgy. Glas I found this site.
    I will definately not be using them!!!

    2 Votes
  • Rf
    rf1 Apr 14, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    One of the companied they are trading as is James Balfour
    145-157 St John Street
    London
    EC1V 4PW

    but I think enough people are chasing them that they no longer there

    1 Votes
  • Sw
    swatus Apr 14, 2014

    I have completed decorating works for Oakleighs in 2012 for over 3500 GBP, i'd take them to small claim court and successfully I won this case but never received a penny, even The Sheriffs Office couldn't help if anyone know the new address of oakleighs as they have moved from tiller road ...
    Greg

    1 Votes
  • Rf
    rf1 Feb 26, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Brilliant. Thanks Duped by Oakleighs. Already progressing ththus by various other routes. Will do this as well

    1 Votes
  • Du
    Duped by Oakleighs!! Feb 26, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hi rf1
    Know how you feel. They are definitely trading as James Balfour, aka Conrad James - they are not even subtle about its reference back to Oakleighs if you take time to look. They are all the same - Oakleighs, Property Plus Group, Churchhill Butler, Barlifields etc. Avoid at all cost.
    Give trading standards a call - Nicola Tudor, Trading Standards (Tower Hamlets) [protected], and send something to the Serious Fraud Office (google action fraud and you can report it from there)

    1 Votes
  • Rf
    rf1 Feb 25, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    May also be trading as company James Balfour ( jamesbalfour.com)

    1 Votes
  • Rf
    rf1 Feb 25, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    £1000 deposit paid into Barlifields Limited account (requested by Oakleighs) as deposit. Then communication stopped.
    Might be paying a visit to New Providence Wharf soon

    1 Votes
  • Oa
    oajleights Jan 31, 2014

    734 new providence wharf E14 9PJ
    Oakleighs director home address ( Andrew) if it will helps to any one.

    2 Votes
  • Du
    Duped by Oakleighs!! Jan 29, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We too are suffering at the hands of Oakleighs - they refuse to pick up the phone, they have our money and they are not paying people to turn up for the work they are contracted to do. The house is in a demolished state unable to be lived in. Absolutely gutted & wish we had never been involved with them. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get money back?

    2 Votes
  • Du
    duped by oakleighs Jan 28, 2014

    Hi, I wish we saw your post earlier. They quoted us for a job to be carried out beginning of Jan taking 75% costs up front. On the day the subcontractor they were using failed to turn up. When contacted subcontractors they informed us that they did not get paid and noted that Oakleigh maintenance is due to be struck off from the companies house. Upon quick check in the companies house it turned out to be true. We turned up at their offices on the day trying to get our money back. At their offices we have witnessed shocking scenes of violence, staff being abused by angry subcontractors demanding a payment for the completed job. They tried to convince us that they will appoint another subcontractor to carry out a job but we just could not trust the guys after what we have witnessed and just wanted to get our money back. They promised a repayment plan but ended up messing us around for further 2-3 weeks. They have shattered our dreams and left us penniless and nearly homeless with 5 month old baby on our hands. I can't believe these sort of crooks can go on unpunished!!!

    1 Votes

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