A letting agent plays a crucial role for both the landlord and tenant – acting not only as matchmaker but an important go-between for the two parties during the course of a contract.
A good letting agent will ensure the relationship is healthy and things run smoothly but a poor one will lead to problems for both parties down the line.
So how, as either a landlord or tenant, do you know it’s time to end your relationship with your letting agent? Some factors are valid at both ends of the relationship, while some are particular to a landlord or a tenant.
Here are five signs that it’s time for a change…
This can be a problem for all concerned. If a letting agent does not convey issues raised by the tenant or landlord to the other party then it can leave everyone in the dark and cause confusion. A letting agent that is hardly ever available to talk on the phone and does not reply to letters or emails is one to move away from.
Landlords want to make the most from their investment in a property and that involves a cost effective management service from a letting agent. The agent must justify the amount they are paid. If fees eat too much into the money someone is able to make from their property then a change may well be required. The better agents will be able to offer landlords expert insight into an appropriate level of rent, too.
A poorly performing letting agent can allow issues to develop and fester. If a problem arises in a house, it is incumbent on the tenant to report it and then for the agent to team up with the owner to address it as quickly as possible. The agent plays a vital role in actually arranging for problems to be fixed – and if they allow these to drag on then it’s a good sign for both parties that they need to end their association. For their part, tenants will do well to avoid agents that insist on constant inspections but do nothing to help with anything actually raised during them. Both parties want an agent that delivers – not one that simply ticks boxes to try to justify their fees.
Not attracting interest/losing tenants
Without a tenant a landlord will fail to get a healthy return on their housing investment. An effective agent should be proactive and look to market homes in the right places. Once a tenant is secured, they must then manage the relationship with them professionally to encourage them to continue in the property. An agent that is unable to attract and retain tenants is one to avoid doing business with.
At every level, the housing market is highly competitive – and that’s the case with the choice of letting agent open to tenants and landlords too. Increasingly, the traditional high street agents are being challenged by new alternatives online. These web-based rivals offer a quicker and cheaper service and are worth exploring for anyone in the rental market.