Countrywide Mobility

Ok, putting this here, but feel free to move to somewhere more suitable...

The exam question is: What are peoples' experiences of/with Countrywide Mobility in finding a suitable place to reside in London? Have the places that have been offered been suitable for the money, or do they try and foist second-rate gash accommodation on you, where your kitchen is a microwave and your sofa is your bed?

As I rent my own house out elsewhere in the country, I will be living there 7 days a week, and not weekending, so require somewhere habitable.

I am fully aware of the situation regarding property market in London, and know what to expect for the money, however any useful tips in dealing with this company, whose first concern is clearly their profit margin, would be much appreciated.
my experiences of CMP are that they find 3 largely unsuitable properties, then tell you that's your lot, pick one. however, you are perfectly entitled to source your own property and let them take care of the paperwork once you have.
I'm dealing with them now, only I made the mistake of sourcing my own flat, viewing it and then doing the paperwork so that CWM take it "on-board". The owner is away right now but wont like the CWM stipulation that their £25 monthly fee cannot be simply added to the rent (ie cost passed to me). So he stands to earn less than he wants unless I buckle. Which I won't! I guess they factor their fee into those properties already "on strength" with them.
OK, I have had 3 properties during my time in London. Countrywide are a very frustrating company to deal with, and I get the impression that their agents take the attitude "He isn't paying, how dare he be fussy?". Generally speaking the lower ranks (SO3 down to JR's) get the best deal, as they generally share so have more money in the pot. If you want somewhere decent, look further out (zone 2/3 minimum) as the prices are lower. Many people live in the Isle of Dogs in fantastic properties (about 35-40 mins commute). Some people insist on being in Pimlico/Victoria and other central areas, if that is you then remember that the property will not be as good as prices are higher there. You can always refuse property if none of it is suitable (but need genuine reasons), or opt to pay a personal contribution (tell them this before they start looking so they can source property accordingly). Feel free to PM me if you need any more help/info.
Sorry, not London but you may find this useful.

My boss required a 4 bedroom house and the CWM agent said "I've got a lovely bungalow for you", boss - "a bungalow?", agent "Oh! don't worry it's got an upstairs". Duh!

My experience wasn't too bad. I asked for a 2 bed apartment somewhere in the city next to a decent pub. I got shown 5 properties, 3 of which were 1 bed holes because that was the "entitlement", the other two were 2 bed but ground floor apartments (which are cheaper but a hell of a lot noisier - people hanging round the lift, banging doors and just the general chat in the foyer is really P***ing me off). The apartment's OK and it is 30 yards from a pub. I, like Crab, said that I would be prepared to pay extra to get a decent place and there was some negotiation with JSSAC (handled by the agent) over the rent but it was all sorted out after a letter from the CO - yes, the CO, but it was budgets....and it saved me £100 a month. Not so sure about this, but I think they would have been less accommodating with the rent if i had sourceed my own property after rejecting their offers.
Thanks for those responses - more or less what I thought.

It seems as if they pride themselves on being as inflexible and unhelpful as possible, delight in telling you what you are and are not allowed to do/have, etc. and get really annoyed when you get off your backside and find a place yourself and attempt to 'introduce' it to the scheme. All in all, an immensely frustrating time!

I have managed to find, via a recommended agent by CMP, a great place in Battersea, told the CPM agent about it, and she could not have been more negative or obstructive if she had tried. From initially telling me that it was "more than I was prepared to pay" with the additional contribution (my money, so I'll be the judge of that) to making a wholly unreasonable offer to the landlord. They don't seem to get the point that they should be finding the best place for the money, and not simply providing 'what you're entitled to' - i.e. a wholly unsuitable studio apartment.

The long and the short of it is that I am currently juggling this annoying woman from CMP and the really helpful estate agent in Battersea to try and resolve this in the customer's (that being me) favour!

If this doesn't go the right way, there may well be blood spilt on the carpets of CMP in Basingstoke!
My sympathies F_CGS, Maundy Thursday tomorrow, repotring for duty in 4 weeks and I'm none the wiser myself! I won't labour it with Countrywide in case I do "us" out of money long-term, but for the life of me, their £25 monthly fee stands out like a sore thumb as a cost for the military to pick up (as opposed to the landlord/owner, as is Countrywide's diktat). Happy Easter house-hunters everywhere!
maybe it's just the london agents who are assholes. in my part of the country, they are always extremely helpful when we get guys posted in. everybody is very happy with their house / flat at the moment.
Dealt with them (in another part of the country) in my last job. One woman seamed to be covering an area the size of a small african country and whilst she was extremely helpful was just run off her feet. I came across from NI to look at the 3 houses she had lined up, each of which was completely and utterly unsuitable (one had mould and rotting windows which my 6 month pregnant wife took exception to).

In the end I had to drive from one end of the country to the other (almost literaly) and back again in one day to look at a property that turned out to be fantastic and in which we were very happy. We then moved in 3 days later!! She still tried to screw us on the march out even though the landlord (with whom we had become goood friends) was more than happy.

Not a bad organisation but not as helpfull or well resourced as they could be.
Used them twice a few years ago for Abbey Wood jobs, and always found them very helpful, as did all my married colleagues (pre Bristil MQs days) and most of my single/un-accompanied colleagues. I think that it is down to the personality and competence of the people in post at the time ...
I have used this system twice.

1st time in Bristol (Abbey Wood) and I was shown the 3 properties closest to where the rep had woken up the night before (I think) and I had to take one!!! (Bradley Stoke)

Once bitten, twice shy - Posted to Larkhill, allowed to live out (SO2) - contacted Countrywide Mobility (used to be Countrywide Assured) and asked them which Letting Agents they dealt with in the Salisbury area. Great move!!

Got a list of the 9 Estate agents they work with in Salisbury and visited all. Got pictures and locations of all properties within my price range. Ended up with a flat of my choice in the centre of Salisbury - I look out of my window and there is the cathedral.

Go for it my friend!!!
My only tip would be to find your own place.

If you opt into their scheme, they will offer you 2 places (3 in London), of which you must take 1 or be thrown onto the open market.

Ask what your rank is entitled to and then search, COatELMPT's tip is spot on. Once you find a place, they will have to "bring it onto their books". Here is where you are reliant on how wilco the agent is and what is required to bring it up to their “standard”. I am lucky and have landed on my feet. Best of luck!
I have got a beautiful two bedroom flat for rent, right next to Tower Bridge and a very short commute to all London MoD buildings.

I cannot seem to get a hold of the local HCR agent (they have renamed themselves recently from Countrywide to HCR).

Can anyone give me the name and telephone number for the agent in the centre of London?

Does anyone need a stunning apartment in the centre of town?

Don't know if you are still looking for a London HCR contact?

There used to be a lady called Frances Danks, who certainly looked after the Docklands area. The last email I had for her was:

No idea if she is still working for them, however.

Good luck

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