We regularly have landlords coming to us after having experienced poor service at the hands of other letting agents, and in one case they had even suffered financial loss amounting to £9000 due to inaction and poor management by the agent. Why would we be seeing an increase in this type of scenario, and what can be done about it?
First of all, what they all have in common is that the landlords all took the cheapest deal available, from agents who promised to cut their management fees to the bone in order to win the business. The other thing that happened in each case was that the agent took the first applicant that walked through his door and placed them in the property within a matter of days, in some cases with just the most cursory of background checks. On the face of it, this was a win/win scenario for the landlord – a low cost deal and super fast service. Of course, by doing this, the agents did not provide such basic services as thorough applicant vetting & background checks, site inspections & property visits, or producing an accurate schedule of condition report before the tenancy began.
But the bargain deal was not as it seemed, because the cracks took virtually no time to appear......suddenly landlords had tenants who were smoking within the property, damage was being caused and not reported or repaired, and tenants not looking after the garden (remember the warm & wet start to the summer – ideal conditions for any garden to become a jungle within a matter of a few weeks). In one case, the property was subsequently (and illegally) sub-let to 12 other people! And where was the managing agent in all of this – nowhere to be seen, that’s where! They had taken on so much new (and cut price) business that they could not cope, and in fact were never fully equipped to cope in the first place – because they were an estate agent who had branched into lettings when the sales market quietened down during the credit crunch years, and now that buyers had returned in greater numbers, the first thing to suffer was lettings. Here is why – an estate agent makes the bulk of their income from all of the add-ons they can sell, such as mortgages, life insurance, buildings & contents insurance and conveyancing, and their attention is now turning back to this highly profitable market as volume starts to return.
Through the poor service offered by other agents, we now have landlords saying to us “I wish I had just used you to start with”. We tell them that they can come to our office at any time and meet the team who will be looking after one of their most expensive assets for them – we are here in person, we are not a remote call centre, and we offer what the big corporates cannot – a personal level of service, tailored to meet any landlords individual needs.
If the above sounds familiar to you, or you know someone going through the same scenario, why not call us now on 01908 562582 or pop along and speak to us in person at our offices in Stony Stratford – it won’t cost you anything but could save you a great deal.
Belvoir Lettings 01908 562582 firstname.lastname@example.org