How can I change my Letting Agent?
Is your Letting Agent performing?
Every Letting Agent would like to suggest they provide an excellent service and give good value for money; the reality unfortunately is that there is great variation between agents in terms of how they perform and what they charge. Often once it becomes apparent that an agent isn’t up to scratch, it seems to be too late, as a contract or agency agreement is in place and a tenant is occupying your property.
At this point the impending hassle envisaged of trying to change agent mid-tenancy prevents landlords taking the sound step of making a move.
There are few simple things that should provide confidence when choosing and working with an Agent:
- They must be a member of an approved Redress Scheme e.g. TPOS
- They must be signed up to an approved Client Money Protection Scheme (CMP)
- They should be members of a professional accreditation body such as NALS or ARLA
- They should have experienced and trained staff.
- They should be able to provide support and advice to ensure you are always fully compliant with a Landlord’s obligations.
- They should have access to legal and other support on behalf of both Landlord and Tenant.
- They should commit to pay rent monthly within 5 to 10 days of receipt and provide clear and accurate statements of account.
- They should not subject you to hidden charges or surprises.
- They should look after your tenant and property matters efficiently and effectively.
- They should deal with things proactively and make sound recommendations or decisions.
- They must understand the importance of accurate, sound administration and have robust and up to date procedures.
Where an agent engaged on behalf of a landlord is not delivering on all of the above consistently then it is time to question them. Landlords are entitled to ask ‘What am I getting for my money?’ and if the agent cannot readily demonstrate a robust response then it may be time to seek a change.
At Award Property Management Ltd, we view the above list as a minimum that should be expected and we go beyond this in everything that we do. We are committed to providing the very best standards of service in an open and transparent way that builds long term trust and confidence in our ability to deliver.
We often receive enquiries from Landlords frustrated at the service they are receiving and asking how they can change mid contract. We can help you through this process by taking on most of the work required. Whilst doing so we promise an excellent level of support and attention to both you and your tenant throughout the transfer and beyond.
How can I change Letting Agent?
It is generally easy to change agent at the point that your property becomes vacant. Whilst most agents will have notice periods and terms regarding ending their service (you should always check the agreement you have signed), you can of course take your property back when it is not occupied.
The process of switching is slightly different if your property is occupied and already under a management arrangement with another agent. It is often the case that it is not the tenant causing any difficulty and you would therefore not wish to lose them, you can change the agent without making the tenants vacate the property. There are some steps to follow and we can help make the process as smooth as possible.
Giving your current Agent notice.
It is important to check the agency agreement you signed with your current agent. Most will have specific terms in respect of giving notice (typically up to three months) or may seek financial penalties in lieu of notice periods. If you do not have a copy of your agency agreement ask your agent to provide one and if the requirements are unclear, talk to us and we can clarify for you.
Once you are clear on the terms, you should give your agent notice in writing. It is easier if the notice period coincides with the rent period so that the change can be made without affecting your tenant’s rent day.
Obtain you tenant details and Paperwork.
Ask your agent to provide you with contact details of your tenant (they are required to provide this) and also ask them to provide you with copies of the signed inventory and deposit protection scheme details under which any tenancy deposit was taken and registered.
Talk to Award Property Management Ltd
We will take you through our terms and charges and make sure you are happy to engage our services. We will ask you to provide the contact details for your tenants and any paperwork relating to your property and tenancy.
We are happy to liaise with your tenant over the changing arrangements and will reassure them of the process and support that we can provide. We will meet with them and confirm the following:
- Who we are and our contact details.
- When the change will take place.
- The paperwork that will need to be completed.
- How we will transfer and protect their deposit.
- Who their new point of contact will be.
We would normally provide a new Tenancy Agreement for signature by you and your tenant, this is because most agreements will refer in places to ‘The Agent’ and it is important going forward that this reflects our role.
Setting up financial arrangements.
Once we have spoken to your tenant and prepared everything for the changeover, we will set up new rent payment arrangements with them. We will also arrange for the transfer of their tenancy deposit so that we can register it into the TDS deposit protection scheme and provide the tenant with the relevant Certification and Prescribed Information. At the same time we will set up your account so that rent can be transferred to you after the changeover has been completed.
Completing the handover.
At the point of handover we will speak to the outgoing agent and arrange to collect any paperwork relating to the property (current gas certificate, EPC, warranty documents etc.) and will collect any management keys which we will then hold securely on your behalf.