For the past few weeks, the Soton Tab have been running a survey to find out you think about your landlords. We’ve looked over and sorted all the results into a list of the top-to-bottom rated landlords.

There were tons of landlords we’d never heard of who only got one vote, who we haven’t listed here.

We’ll look at agencies and landlords in two separate lists:

Landlords:

1. UniPads (Bob Church)

Average rating: 9.3

Average rent: £67.83 / wk

“Awesome”

“Very very good landlord! Easily contactable and always fixes problems the next working day.”

Website: http://uni-pads.co.uk/

2. iStudentlets

Average rating: 8.5

Average rent: £74.50 / wk

Website: http://istudentlets.com/Overview.pdf

3. Kal Kang

Average rating: 7.0

Average rent: £64.50 / wk

“He responds quickly and has not hassled us about renewing our tenancy agreement.”

4. Posh Pads

Average rating: 6.29

Average rent: £78.79

“Not a bad agency to deal with”

“Oh so over priced”

“They’ve taken on too many new houses and don’t have enough staff.”

Website: http://www.poshpads.com/

Comments from us: It is worth noting that Posh Pads are the highest rated ‘large’ student landlord.

5. StudNoFee

Average rating: 3.7

Average rent: £67.12

“Rat’s. But good maintenance. Rat problem now fixed! I would rent from them again.”

“The service is good, but they should call it “STUDENT we dont charge fees but insted we just take you deposit money NO FEE”

Website: http://www.studnofee.com/

Update: We have spoken to StudNoFee and the average deposit held for damages & cleaning is only £43.08 per student.

6. Homelife Lettings

Average rating: 2.75

Average rent: £78.25

“They go very much to the contract, which is I suppose is better than many landlords out there.”

“They never respond to emails ….. wish I’d never used the company.”

“Friendly enough and cool when we need to pay rent late but they don’t seem to care that much about the state of their properties, several of our long term complaints just were never sorted.”

“Our ceiling caved in and it took 5 days for them to come and see it.”

Website: http://www.homelifelettings.co.uk/

7. AAJ’s Accomodation

Average rating: 2.6

Average rent: £74.50

“House wasn’t ready until mid September, meant to be ready June 1st.”

Website: http://www.aajsaccommodation.co.uk/1431/frames.php

Agencies:

We decided to rate the agencies in a totally separate category. For those of you who don’t know – agencies (generally) show people around properties, and then normally take a finders fee for helping you find a house. We had a lot of students confused about what the fee was for.

As with landlords, we chose not to rank any agencies which had only one vote.

1. C2 Lettings

Average rating: 5.3

“C2 were the worst ever, with scares of them going bankrupt.”

Comments from us: C2 lettings went bust in the Summer term of 2010, so you can no longer rent through them.

2. Tenant Direct

Average rating: 3.0

“Tenant Direct agency are completely useless …. [they] lied in our face and then forgot to mention they changed the payment procedure for international students in our house.”

“They were really unfriendly, didn’t give us any advice or support at all.”

“We ended up getting charged an extra month’s rent because they couldn’t be bothered to set up the standing order properly.”

Website: http://www.tenantdirect.co.uk/

Comments from us: This author (Chris Houghton) ended up having the same issue with the extra month’s rent charge due to an incorrectly set-up standing order. The extra payment was returned to us soon after by our landlord (Homelife Lettings) with no deduction.

3. South Lettings

Average rating: 3.0

“With these guys it seems like you may as well just throw £140 down the drain …. they couldnt orgonise a pencil case let alone getting someone in to fix your toilet”

Website: http://www.southresidential.co.uk/

Anything else:

The landlords and agencies listed above are the best known landlords who received more than one vote in our survey. However, there were countless other smaller, private landlords, who generally fared very well.

General advice:

We also had a few comments on the survey from students leaving advice on picking a landlord. Below is a selection:

“Go to private landlords – no agency fee, you can haggle it down …. walk about student areas looking for posters”

“Go on www.sassh.co.uk, password sassh”

SUSU is also running a Housing Week this week, and you can find out more details a: http://www.susu.org/life/. This is probably the best advice you’ll get on housing in Southampton.

Stay tuned for more housing stories and opinions on the Soton Tab.

36 Comments »

Leave your response!

  • Frances
    avatar

    Bob Church (no. 1) is a fantastic landlord.
    Very friendly, very professional and will sort anything very quickly- our washing machine broke, we had a new one within days. My radiator started to leak overnight and he sent someone out to sort it the next day. One of our housemates backed out after we’d signed the contract and he had no problem with just substituting her name for someone elses, agencies can charge in excess of £100 for this because it alters the contract.
    I can’t recommend him highly enough

    Reply

  • Roxanne
    avatar

    Hi, Can you elaborate on how many students etc. were interviewed for this? Is there access to the full report?

    Also, has this been sent to the university? I went today to ask about Homelife and they said that they had not had any complaints and so didn’t see why we shouldn’t go with them! If people have complaints they really should complain to the uni too as then information gets passed to next year’s students.

    Reply

    Chris Houghton
    avatar

    Hi Roxanne, we’ve had around one hundred mark. In the case of Homelife, we had 8 people surveyed.

    We have sent this article to SUSU.

    Reply

  • Name
    avatar

    shamless plug alert!

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34211283191&v=info

    Reply

  • Zoe
    avatar

    WARNING: dont trust everything you see on SASSH.

    We found a house and landlord on there (Mr Punir) and when we went to move in the house was in a disgusting state, not only dirty but unsafe with dripping pipes onto exposed wires! When we reported him to the city council they inspected and insisted he carried out extensive works as the house was inhospitable! So do be cautious with SASSH as the way they are vetted are not great!

    On a positive note: Paul Kent is a wonderful and very understanding landlord. Having his own business means when work needs to be done on the house he has one of his guys round really quickly! :)

    Reply

  • Dano
    avatar

    Whatever you do don’t use Tenant Direct. They lied to us about the house to try and get us to sign ‘legally binding’ forms and also tried to take my friends to court by lying about what they were paying an ‘administration fee’ and signing a form for. Endless stories about them! Avoid…

    Reply

  • Dano
    avatar

    Whatever you do don’t use Tenant Direct. They lied to us about the house to try and get us to sign ‘legally binding’ forms and also tried to take my friends to court by lying about what they were paying an ‘administration fee’ and signing a form for. Endless stories about them! Avoid…

    Reply

  • Stephan
    avatar

    We were with Thornbury Homes last year, surprised theyve not had a mention here but guess its because they only have a handful of properties. Nevertheless they were excellent and i would recommend them any day of the week. Ive also left a review on their facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/thornburyhomes and they advertise via SASSH also. If in doubt always speak to their current tenants, thats the best way to determine what the landlord is really like.

    Reply

  • Charles Glanville
    avatar

    We have a new-to-market 5 bed, 1985 3 storey terraced house available for £88 per wk per room for a term September to June 2013 (ie less than the full 12 months). 2 bathrooms, 1 shower room, granite worktops, conservatory, laminate flooring and all in excellent condition. Semi furnished.Further information/pictures etc from [email protected] (private landlord)
    Thanks, CG

    Reply

  • Megan
    avatar

    Any chance that you could also ask people about average heating bills? I know that electricity and gas will vary a bit based on who is living there (leaving lights on, having the heat cranked up even while people are asleep, etc.) but it’s a good way to know how much extra you’ll be paying.
    Plus, info on things like drafty windows and doors, lots of damp, etc. is a massive pain to put up with, and a way to know just how attentive they are to their property as a whole.

    Reply

  • Name
    avatar

    I have had such a bad experience with Posh Pads. I would definitely not recommend them. They didn’t clean the house, there were stains on the wall and cobwebs everywhere, the ovens were filthy and there were marks and nails in the walls of every bedroom. We then had at least £100 each deducted from our deposits for ‘redecorating’. I have contacted the current tennants and no redecorating has taken place, not even painting. They are rude and often refused to acknowledge any problems. Please steer clear!

    Reply

    Tristan Gordon
    avatar

    Hello,
    I am genuinely sorry you had a bad experience with Posh Pads. We ask our tenants to clean the properties before new tenants move in to ensure we can return to the outgoing tenants all their deposits. The properties are then inspected prior to the new tenants entering. If the properties have not been cleaned properly we immediately send around professional cleaners. If new tenants wish for a room to be re-decorated then we will almost always arrange that straight away free of charge. We want you to have a nice room as we believe that if you live in a nice room you will look after it.
    We try to take a generous view on returning deposits. Most tenants have nothing deducted from their deposits. However you may recall that we do fit picture rail in almost all rooms so that you don’t use blu-tac and we do ask you not to use blu-tac while you are in the house. It is also in our contract. We would only have deducted money for redecoration if we had photographic evidence that you did put up pictures in your room using blu-tac. If we have not already, then we will be redecorating your previous room and in fact the cost to us for that is closer to £200. So we did not make the decision lightly.
    We do try to address every problem that is raised and again I am sorry if you felt a member of staff was rude to you. I agree that this is always totally unacceptable. We believe that everyone should be treated with respect even if you disagree with their view.
    I wish you all the best in your next house and thank you for bringing these matters to our notice.
    Kind Regards
    Tristan

    Reply

  • NameName
    avatar

    Landlord,
    Baljir, Punia Singh (sometimes B. Singh Punia)
    He has alot of properties around the back of Highfeild and possibly Winchester.
    Not only a questionable, a very very mean landlord. Moved into a house that had two gas leaks, and a water leak that you could hear dripping (within the house through the ceiling to the ground floor) whenever you flushed the toilet.
    We signed the house in question with ZenMove (wo seem to be doing a partnership with new housing company, Rodina.
    ZenMove, as im told by housemates near forced them to sign the contract, wouldn’t give them time to read etc, and as soon as we moved in they were not interested.
    They simply did not care that their was no kitchen (was currently being built – and i understand from prev tenants it was going on for a few months before leaving) numerous gas leaks, a water leak, a door that didnt lock, and a window that was to small for the hole in the wall therefore a big space, there was a washing machine but this was not connected to a waterpipe. The house was rat infested, and their was no carpet in the stairs leaving exposed nails pointing upwards, broken windows
    He near enough left the house in this state for two months. By this point i had contacted environmental health and the gas company, E.H. told me they had had proceeding with this landlord before with a few of his properties.
    In September/October he came round and shouted at everyone in the house, for a good fourty five minutes about rent and he had been on holiday in India and it was not his fault the house was in a bad state and was why his phone is alway off (impossible to contact near enough). And when you can contact, it is possible he will tell you to “shut up and listen to me” shout at you continuously asking questions (see first quote) and then “why you not answer my question”. Not to mention he phoned me up once complaining that he had not got his rent and i quote his words “these chinese are verrryy crafty, i dont like these girls. they veryy crafty” At which point i told him i would not listen to this racism.

    I urge all, to stay away from this mean, scary, racist, money grabbing, dodgey, scammer. Oh and no surprise he is not on the SASSH list, so uni wont help with the situation at all! so please fellow students. stay away!

    Reply

    PeopleAgainstPunia
    avatar

    Mr Punia is possibly the worst landlord I have ever come across.
    He has a disgusting habit of attempting to bully female tenants into paying “missing rent” by screaming at them and calling them untrustworthy liars, but will talk to male tenants as if they were best friends.
    He refuses to repair a lot of the issues with our house (though, none are as bad as the issues given above), and refuses to help us get rid of a serious mould problem which has now affected wardrobes and the clothing inside them as he claims that “it’s just a moisture problem, if you open your windows it’ll all go away” (easy thing to do when there’s 4 inches of snow outside, or there’s gale force wind and rain).
    I would advise any tenant currently living in one of his properties to not be bullied by him, and to let the advice centre know what’s happening. The sooner they can build a file on him, the sooner we can be rid of him.

    Reply

    Matt
    avatar

    Hi there,
    We’re with Punia at the moment in Ripstone Gardens and we have a rat infestation… Obviously Zen Move have no contact details for us and Punia is in India.

    We’re planning to threaten him by not paying rent but I was wondering what sort of solutions you had or are you having to bite the bullet?

    Having an absolute mare with this man. Such an idiot. A couple of years ago he was responsible for a fire that happened next door costing them £40,000 and did nothing to help!!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Reply

    Bill
    avatar

    Punia was locked up and not in India . Google Punia Portsmouth news . He’s a very nasty man.

    Reply

    Katy
    avatar

    I’m still trying to get our deposit back from Mr Punia from over a year ago. He was an awful landlord, which we realised straight away when we moved in to the place and it was absolutely filthy and in a poor state of repair – Mr Punia using the excuse that the new tenants should clean it and the deposit from the previous tenants wouldn’t cover it. After the tenancy ended he said that he wanted proof that we had paid all the bills and given back the keys. So I compiled these with a letter and sent them to him but heard nothing – then he must have changed his phone number as the one I have for him is no longer recognised! If anyone can help me I would be very grateful!

    Reply

    James
    avatar

    Oakview mortimers lane upham

  • gareth jones
    avatar

    Short term lets,
    This company is great, had a couple of minor issues with a neighbor, but the landlords people sorted it out next day, plus they always responds quickly to emails, i have been renting from them for 3 years,
    I would definitely use them and would recommend this company. My rental is £350pm

    Reply

  • Alex
    avatar

    Will put in a good word for Tenant Link – didn’t pressure us at all when showing us round, sorted house maintenance issues quickly, returned our deposit within a week. So’ton has some very, very dodgy agencies but it’s worth giving a shout out to the few good ones!

    Reply

    Alex
    avatar

    Didn’t mean that to be a specific reply, my bad.

    Reply

  • Charles Darwin
    avatar

    Hi Everyone ,

    Dynamics lettings on portswood road are the worst…STAY AWAY FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT . they don’t give a crap about anyone , we moved into a house that wasn’t clean it was filthy and the house still has problems, they take £120 admin fee and if something goes wrong , it takes them 2 months to sort it out or they don’t sort it out . BEWARE STAY AWAY , it’s run by Jet singh and his dogs and his main dog Sonny singh

    Reply

  • X
    avatar

    Where’s Property Vibe? They are fucking shit

    Reply

  • marcin flont
    avatar

    Homelife Propery,
    keep away from this company. They will cheat you. Contracts are unclear, in line with it you have no rights only obligations. A few times Sam, the Landord has entered to property using own keys without any notice. He was unlucky twice because one of us was inside.
    If you want to avoid troubles choose any one diffrent letting company

    Reply

  • HappyTenant
    avatar

    Can add to the positive note on iStudenlets…Very good landlord/landlady to deal with. I feel lucky to have gone with them having now read some of the comments on here!!

    Reply

  • Emily
    avatar

    HARPS SINGH is the worst ‘landlord’ out there, i think he is possibly connected to Punia as he is a compulsive liar, neglects his properties and harasses/intimidates tenants on a regular basis. He is responsible for a large number of properties in Portswood, around the main road. We didn’t have a working fire alarm for the entire tenancy, severe plumbing issues and found out half way through the tenancy that another one of his properties was tapped into our water and electricity and we were being tricked into paying their bills. I have been told he operates under a few different names and he and his brother are joint landlords, there is something extremely dodgy about the pair of them. BEWARE.

    Reply

  • K
    avatar

    Posh Pads are possibly the biggest mistake I have ever made. They are bullies and try to back you into a corner to convince you not to take action or ask for advice. To be honest they are con artists and people need to know that by going with them they are basically signing away any rights they have. The house was a health hazard which was reported and had to have council intervention. They provide no support and are rude. They give their maintenance MEN the key to your bedroom so they are able to just let themselves in whenever they please, which is not appropriate. They make you feel uncomfortable and unsafe in your own home! I would strongly advise against the idea of ever going with posh pads, I plan on taking this matter further as they are breaking all kinds of laws!!

    Reply

  • Mike
    avatar

    Posh Pads are now going by the name of Simply Student lettings!
    Property Vibe Lettings are formally C2 that went bust!
    Tenant Direct are, well Tenant Direct – ripoffs!
    Elliotts are formally South Lettings.

    Thank me later.

    Reply

  • Rowan
    avatar

    I noticed one large one not mentioned here is the student quarter, who own quite a lot of houses, particularly in the portwood area, and i have had a very good experience with. They always help us out with any problems we have and sort anything out that is going on with the house very quickly and to a great standard!

    Reply

  • Name
    avatar

    I am currently letting with Posh Pads and I have to say that it has been the biggest let down so far with other properties I have let. I have been living there since July last year, when we moved in there the flat was still extremely dirty – dust everywhere, mouldly food in the fridge. The biggest problem is our boiler has been broken for over 3 months, and they have yet to fix it.
    I would highly advise that no one ever rent with Posh Pads – absolute nightmare and complete waste of my money.

    Reply

  • Rae
    avatar

    Below is a list of problems we had when having Elliot’s in charge of our property. Please do not use them.

    1) We moved into a filthy property, when we tried to clean it the hoover we had inherited expelled more dirt all over the house. When we complained Elliot’s staff (who upon viewing had promised to clean the property) they laughed in our face.

    2) We moved into a property with a broken washing machine, when we attempted to wash our clothes we got oil all over them and they came out sopping wet. In all it took Elliots 6 weeks to get a new washing machine for us, and that was with us going into the office near enough everyday to enquire when something was going to be done about it. When I told Elliots I had taken to returning home to do my laundry because I had no clean clothes all of the staff laughed in my face again. Humiliating. When the hysteria stopped they fobbed us off saying the landlord was ‘uncontactable’. Tripe.

    2) Our shower ran either boiling hot or freezing cold, and exhurted the pressure of a feather duster – not the best when trying to keep clean. After once again nagging Elliots for weeks because once again the land lord was ‘uncontactable’ we got a new shower. Excellent news except it was installed incorrectly and only gave us cold water. Brilliant. However as a house we managed to resolve this cryptic problem and manage to coax hot water out of it when you put it on to the coldest setting. When we informed Elliots of this, they just laughed in our faces again. I fail to see what is so funny about being repeatedly humiliated.

    3) Our property has an outside toilet facility that a previous tenant (Scott Brown) had left a festering turd in, we discovered this because out kitchen started to really stink like a farm yard and no amount of cleaning or frebreeze would help the situation. It took a two weeks for the director Callum to come over just to look at it, having assured us he ‘used to be a plumber’ and could ‘sort it’. Callum arrived in a suit, hardly the attire to be battling toilets with and 20 minutes later we found him slumped against a door away attempting to use his tie as a shield against the smell. He left having achieved nothing and after a further week of enduring the stench the toilet was removed.

    4) We informed Elliots of the mould that we had in the bathroom upon moving into the property, this was due to the extractor fan not working. That was in September 2012, in February 2013, a man came who painted emulation the mould and claimed it was sorted. The mould has aggravated our asthma so much that we now sometimes feel tight chested walking to university.To make matters worse they would come to show people around and laugh openly about the mouldy conditions, Callums right hand man said that he ‘like[d] what we’ve done to the place’ referring to the mould and gave us a wink! I would just like to reiterate that the mould was there prior to us moving in.

    5) Elliots will tell you there is nothing wrong with your central heating even when you can see ice forming on the inside of your windows.

    6) Elliots will hang up on you when you call them to tell them there is water leaking through the light fitting in the kitchen ceiling.

    7) Callum will break into your house, show people around the entire house without your knowledge and regardless of whether you are in the bath/on the toilet.

    8) Callum will not say sorry for this.

    9) Callum will not say sorry for anything.

    10) Callum avoids phone calls, emails or any kind of work at all by spending his time either at Greggs on Portswood Highstreet or the ice-cream shop Sprinkles. If you have any problems you should probably try those two locations prior to Elliots.

    11) If you challenge Callum about these working practices he will deny them. However, one of the properties he let overlooked Greggs, Sprinkles and Elliots office. As a group his outings became a joke, so much so we had a Facebook group to report sightings of Callum not doing any work.

    12) If you have problems with plumbing Elliots write to you about a fictional character, a plumber called called ‘Mr Floody’ and try and claim that he visited your property and inspect the issue in hand. When you push for details you’ll discover that you were home on that date and once more that the fictional ‘Mr Floody” never turned up because he doesn’t exist.

    13) Elliots/Callum delete posts complaint about their/his company off their Facebook page
    Ultimately Elliots/Callum took our money, and made us watch him spend it on pasties and ice-cream. They also forced us to live in inhumane conditions, when I call them up they hang up on me. They will also ignore all emails even when you explicitly express the desire for a response. When you go into the office they laugh in your face.

    They are the cowboys of letting agents.. If rouge traders did that area they would have been featured multiple times by now.

    Reply

    Jeremy
    avatar

    Hi Rae, did you move into Hanover Buildings? I am very worried now that I am reading all this… =(

    Reply

  • Billie
    avatar

    Lionel thipthorpe owner of student properties is an absolutise nightmare of a landlord. He is rude and constantly bothering tenants not allowing anyone to live freely.. The house was old and disgusting and we have been blamed for damp and made to look stupid if we had bought up any issues about the house. The house we lived in had been broken into twice where first belongings were taken and then the second time the front door had been smashed and automatically accused tenants. When there was a false alarm concerning a burglary the girls who voiced there concerns were told they were being stupid . It is a relief to leave and I warn others to stay clear. It has been horrible living at his ordnance road student property and I hope no one else will have to experience this.

    Reply

  • Maya
    avatar

    Don’t go for House by Naresh Kumar or Seema Chugh .. Worst landlord ever we came across .
    Saw there post on Sassh .. But yeah don’t trust them .
    They proimised to repair the house before we will move but the house was shit as hell for whole year , We were tired of saying them but they did nothing.

    So guys be careful with there properties !

    Reply

  • Charlotte
    avatar

    If you want to live with rats, HUGE rats, in your kitchen and terrorising you then go with Kal Kang. Ohh and if you love being surrounded by mould on most rooms, have no working drawers even when you’re promised new ones, broken taps, holes in walls, and best of all you’re paying for all of this, then yeah he is fantastic….. or probably not.

    Reply

  • Joe
    avatar

    I was with 2 landlords over my years at university:

    Studentnofee – not to bad, had a good maintenance team which you could hold of easily and they would get things dine efficiently. Had to clean the property when we moved in although they said it had been cleaned. We also did a big clean before we handed in the key but they took money off our deposit for a “light” clean.

    Elliots – really bad agency, they ignore emails once you have taken the house. The landlord we had seemed to employ a bad maintenance firm first to fix something on the cheap then every time had to call a better one to actually get it fixed. The landlord/agency also would avoid calls/emails about getting the deposit back however, after threatening court got a full deposit back.

    Reply