I've met a lot of landlords who are unhappy with the service they're getting from their agent, yet a surprising number think it's in their best interests to stay where they are!
Thanks to a busy April it's been a long time since my last blog!
Among the landlords that I've met have been an increasing number who are unhappy with the service they're getting from their current agents. The reasons for this unhappiness have been quite varied, with the most common complaints being:
- Lack of continuity, unable to speak to the same agent twice.
- Suspiciously high maintenance charges
- Late rent payments with no explanation
- Poor communication and poor service
- Unexpected fees
Yet when I ask 'Have you thought of changing agents?' I invariably get the same response that they're waiting until the tenant hands in their notice.
This always seems strange to me. As an agent, when a tenant hands me their notice the first thing I do is look to start advertising for a new tenant, and I've yet to have a landlord say 'Wait a couple of weeks please, as I may change agent'. Hopefully, that's because they're happy with our service but assuming they did want to change it would still be an odd approach given the increased risk of a void period.
Now apart from the fact that it's pretty inconvenient for a leaving tenant to have two sets of agents regularly showing viewers around their home, it can also be very difficult for the new agent to gain access. So chances are your current agent will find a tenant first, if that's the case will you then ask them to wait again for the new agent to find someone else? Probably not and so you here you are again, tied to an agent that you do not want to work with.
If you want to break that cycle then you can do one of two things, wait for the property to become empty and then instruct someone new or change agent mid-tenancy. I recommend the latter but many people think it's too difficult and expensive.
On the next page I'll show you how you can change agents relatively easily without incurring additional expenses.