Dolphin Square, SW1

Dolphin Square, SW1

By
Dolphin Square Operators Limited
Ranked 11th out of 11 in Central London
3.30 (14 reviews) 3.30 (14 reviews)
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Transparency Rating: Poor
This development has a low number of verified resident reviews written in the last 12 months.
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Category Scores

3.64
Facilities
3.79
Design
4.50
Location
3.14
Value
3.21
Management

Dolphin Square was built in 1936 and is located in Pimlico – an up and coming area, home of Westminster Abbey, the Tate Britain and the Victoria Apollo Theatre. As well as this, SW1 offers a diverse range of boutique shops, bakeries, galleries and street markets, which residents at Dolphin Square can peruse at their convenience.

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Reviews

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Great location, bad management

Review Date Mar 2021

I stayed here previously with my boyfriend. Beware of the renewals each year. They do not tell you in advance about their very strict inflexible renewal terms.

An automtatic price increase is applied no matter what … even if it makes your rent higher than market rates. If you don’t agree to their unfair terms they will evict you with a s21 notice. They insist on you signing up on their non negotiable terms every 12 months – take it or leave it. Then after you leave you will see your flat is rented out at a lower rent than what you were paying due to the unreasonable annual increases.

There is no flexibility to negotiate anything like you would do with a normal Landlord. For instance no flexibility on the length of the contract, no breakclause, unreasonable rent increases are all dictated. Even something minor like extending or reducing the 12 months by one or two months is not possible … nothing is possible except everything on their terms. No one tells you this when you sign on. Their lettings team are all very nice at the start, but you deal with different people upon renewal.

You don’t find out any of this until it is time to renew. Notice the positive reviews on here are only from people who have just signed up or who have not had to renew yet. There are also the lucky long standing option B tenants who are protected by their own long standing contracts.

Management are extremely unpleasant to deal with. One in particular is very rude, unprofessional, nasty and condescending. We were told these unfair and inflexble policies were only put in place when she arrived by her.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Pimlico is a lovely area with great transport links.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

How inflexible the lettings team are and how unreasonable the price increases are each year.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

We could not get any face to face meetings with them. They issued a s21 notice and evicted us but we were looking to leave anyway but they did not allow us to leave early. The landlord is extremely inflexible and uncaring.

3
Facilities
4
Design
5
Location
2
Value
1
Management
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Used to be good, but not any more.

Review Date Aug 2021

This is the third time I have lived in Dolphin Square and it will definitely be the last! The first time was under the old management and then, it was amazing and I couldn’t believe my luck. The management team were lovely, helpful, organised and they encouraged an inclusive and friendly neighbourhood. The second time was a few years back when we were between properties and then it was OK but management not great.

This time has been nothing short of miserable for me right from the beginning. The process of getting contracts sorted etc, was chaotic and inefficient. Since living here, I have had to complain about noise so often I am now keeping a spreadsheet as seriously considering legal action. My first two times here, I never had a problem with noise at all, so not sure why this time is so different. But to put it into perspective, I spent most of this last weekend in my bedroom because the neighbour downstairs had a party one night and his music on a loop the next. I can’t say it was loud-loud, but it was loud enough that I couldn’t listen to the TV without turning the volume up really high, in which case I would have been annoying neighbours around me. I called security to ask them to call him (there’s an internal phone system) and ask him to keep it down, but they did nothing to help – and yet it’s their job to do this! In the end, I gave up and went to bed at 8pm on a Friday night!

Workmen turn up as and when they please, drilling and banging for hours at a time. Under tenancy agreements, you are supposed to be given notice of any works going on in flats around you, but the management team show no courtesy and do not let you know in advance work is going to be happening. I’m not unreasonable and l know work has to be done in a development this size, but why a little bit of consideration cannot be shown to residents is beyond me. I was on a video conference today when interrupted by drilling on the other side of the wall. How is this acceptable?? Had I been told, I could have made arrangements to go to the office or a friends house, but wasn’t given the chance to sort anything.

I can honestly say, there is barely a day goes by that I’m not disturbed by someone.

The building is actually lovely to look and the gardens are beautifully maintained. Someone else on this site reviewed DS as modern but it is not – a lot of the fabric and workings of the building are not fit for purpose. For example, the water tanks in one of the buildings broke down a couple of months ago – we had weeks of tankers arriving at all hours – once at 2.30am in the morning – pumping water into the basement for 1-2 hours at a time. There are supposed to be 2 working lifts per building, but in at least one of the buildings, the lift hasn’t been working for almost a year, so you have circa 100 flats sharing one lift!

These days, Dolphin Square is overpriced for what it is and the management team frankly need to sort themselves out.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Pimlico is lovely – is fairly quiet, even with the Academy across the road and not too much traffic once you’re off Grosvenor Road. Plenty of small restaurants (Tapas place over the way is amazing!) You’ve got a local Tesco and a large Sainsbury’s within walking distance and post office. Parking is fine – I’ve never had a problem finding a space and permits are reasonable from Westminster Council. There’s also a decent bus service and the tube is very close. I can’t fault Pimlico – it is lovely, convenient location and has everything you need.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I’d definitely recommend not to take a flat around the outside of the building, and only take a flat overlooking the garden as the noise from lorries, vans and cars is pretty constant, plus you have rubbish trucks arriving to empty the bins every morning which are quite loud. The best side in my opinion would be the West Side, overlooking the gardens, which would avoid so much noise and also, as the flats do turn into saunas when the sun comes out, you would avoid overheating too.

And live on as high a floor as you can get.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

I’m afraid it’s all words and no action. They make promises to deal with things but don’t – it is either left to drag on and you’re chasing for weeks or you are ignored completely. I went into the tenancy office a couple of months ago to enquire about something, only to receive a sarcastic response.

3
Facilities
2
Design
5
Location
1
Value
1
Management
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Rude staff, unreliable facilities, and overpriced… the one place in Pimlico to avoid!

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Dec 2020

If you are considering living in Pimlico, do not live in Dolphin Square.

It is incredibly overpriced, and facilities frequently break down. I lost hot (and sometimes cold) water and/or heating on a number of days last year, often in winter. There has been a concerning dripping sound in the pipes in the wall of my bedroom for months; it keeps me awake at night, but, despite several requests, they are yet to send a maintenance person to come and look into it.

The lift in my building has been broken for six months, and they claim it will take another three months to fix. I only found this out after chasing them by email for weeks for status updates. It simply does not take this long to fix a lift. There are almost never any engineers in the lift shaft, so I don’t know what they are doing.

Staff are rude—one told me to go away when I complained about bad smells from the floor below, and claimed I was a timewaster. The lettings team will lie to you outright: they deliberately misrepresented their position when we asked for a small reduction in our rent due to the pandemic, claiming all the flats were full and that they had a long waiting list, so I would be evicted (yes, they said evicted) if I did not agree to an enormous rent increase by the end of the week. Needless to say, I have subsequently found out that this is not true, and they have hundreds of empty flats, probably because of the reasons I have outlined in this review.

On top of that, it is worth noting that management are heartless bullies: I asked to end my lease a few months early because I couldn’t bear the constant loss of hot water, the nonstop dripping, or the strange smells that would often linger for days… and, instead of agreeing to discuss this possibility with me, I instead received a cease and desist letter from the solicitors that represent Dolphin Square. I long suspected none of them ever really cared about customer service, given how hard it is to get through to them (even pre-covid), but was not expecting to be bulldozed by a lawyer when I brought up legitimate complaints and politely enquired if it might be possible to leave a few months early after having been a paying tenant for nearly five years.

So, in short, it’s not worth the money, or the hassle. It sounds attractive, and the website makes it look idyllic, but I can promise you, as someone who has lived there for nearly some time now, it is truly dreadful.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Pimlico is a lovely quiet area with good shops and transport links.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I wish I had known how bad the facilities were, or how nasty the staff can be. It’s just not a pleasant experience living here. There are plenty of lovely places to live in and around Pimlico for less money, and probably with landlords who actually care about you. Please avoid this place and go to one of them instead!

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

All the complaints I have raised have been ignored, even after multiple follow-ups.

1
Facilities
3
Design
3
Location
1
Value
1
Management
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Poor quality of accommodation and tenant experience

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Nov 2020

I wouldn’t recommend living in Dolphin Square, due to the numerous issues we’ve had while living here. We’ve had lots of disruption to our hot and cold water supply, including two stretches of five and six days respectively with no hot water. Our flat is not in a great condition, with a brown stain forming on the ceiling in the main bedroom, the windowsills flaking and falling apart and a very loud clicking/dripping noise from the pipework keeping us awake at night. The aging water infrastructure is a common theme in the issues at Dolphin Square, with cases of Legionnaires’ disease also having been reported within the last couple of years.

The lifts in our building have been intermittently out of service for months, sometimes leaving us having to walk up or down seven flights of stairs.

I have raised our complaints with the management, asking for a rent reduction or early surrender based on these issues, but was sent a strongly worded letter from a solicitor telling me that my complaints were “misconceived” and a refusal to discuss the matter any further.

We can’t wait to be able to move out when our lease is over and would strongly advise anyone looking for accommodation in Pimlico to look elsewhere.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Pimlico is a great area to live in. There are a number of cafés, delis and restaurants, and it’s well connected to many other parts of London. There are a few big parks within walking distance, including Battersea Park and St James’ Park.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I would totally modernise the water infrastructure – the hot water supply, the sinks, the creaky pipework.

What is the best feature of your home:

The location is the best thing about the flat – we have enjoyed exploring the area and it was convenient for getting to the office before lockdown hit in early 2020.

1
Facilities
1
Design
4
Location
1
Value
1
Management
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The development itself has many facilities within it, its shopping arcade, relaxing spots in its garden, and even just the constant maintenance.

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2019

The development itself has many facilities within it, its shopping arcade, relaxing spots in its garden, and even just the constant maintenance. It does not require occupants to even leave Dolphin Square. I would have maybe make mild changes in the cleaning services because as a student I feel like it is quite expensive for just an hour of cleaning.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Quite peaceful, isolated rom the fast and loud wild life in London. Feels quite safe in the evenings as well.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

Honestly everything has been great as expected so there really has not been anything I have been disappointed with.

If there is one thing you would change about your flat or property what would it be:

The kictken space is too small could be bigger but not to bad

5
Facilities
4
Design
5
Location
5
Value
5
Management
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Interesting

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2019

Although the building is very old it is still in excellent condition. Also in my opinion the building quality is of an exceptional standard. The facilities offered by the building are very modern and also in my view it is very rare to find such a large garden space in London.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

What i like about the area us that it is close to central London so the transport links make it very convenient. One thing i dont like about the area is that it does not have big supermarkets.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

One thing i wish i had known before i moved in was that they dont have a dishwasher in the kitchen.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

The building management has responded quite well to any of my issues raised.

5
Facilities
5
Design
5
Location
4
Value
4
Management
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Interesting

Review Date Sep 2019

What i really like about the building is that it has lots of sunlight and in general is very clean and modern. The outside area and the water foundation is very soothing and refreshing. Although, the bedroom and living room is very big the kitchen is very small.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

This area has great transport links and in general is very safe. One thing i dislike about this area is the bad supermarkets and the lack of selection of cafes and restaurants.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I dont wish i needed to know anything before i moved in.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

The building management responded effectively and promptly to my issues raised.

4
Facilities
3
Design
4
Location
3
Value
4
Management
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Quite, clean, friendly and close to everything

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2019

Personally, I am from New York so London is very different, I really enjoy the quite neighbourhood, the transportation service is very easy I mean Victoria station is literally a 10 minute walk from here, also it is important to mention that there is a gym, dry cleaners almost everything one would wish for in a property site.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Like moved from manhattan, the neighbourhood is quite which is good, dislike the distance from city.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

To be honest everything has been perfectly dealt with as expected.

What is the best feature of your home:

I really like the gardens downstairs and the flats very spacious.

5
Facilities
5
Design
5
Location
4
Value
4
Management
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A lovely place to live

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2019

As a student currently on placement this is the ideal place to live. The amenities of the complex are unrivalled. The location is so central but lacks the overwhelming feel or congested central London and has beautiful gardens, a fabulous gym and a lovely eateries!

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

A lovely and well connected area and there’s nothing I dislike

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

How quiet and family orientated the area is, it makes it a wonderful place to live

What is the best feature of your home:

The views
The gym near
The garden
Close to work

5
Facilities
5
Design
5
Location
4
Value
5
Management
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Informative

Review Date Sep 2019

Overall the security is wonderful and the other residents of the building are equally kind and very thoughtful. Also the garden provides a great vibe to the whole building complex. One thing i would fault about the complex is the use of virgin media as opposed to sky which does not work as well.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

This area is excellent with a wide range of shops, restaurants and transport links within close proximity.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I dont believe i needed to know anything before i moved in.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

The service is world class with everything you could possibly need in the building.

5
Facilities
5
Design
5
Location
5
Value
5
Management
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3.30

Average rating based on 14 reviews

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