19:44 PM, 7th November 2011, About 10 years ago
I know there’s been a lot of mud thrown at lettings agents over the years mainly due to their high charges, limited ability and the fact that most landlords think “anyone can do it”. However, I always gave them the benefit of the doubt as, alongside being a Dartford Tunnel toll booth attendant, medical practitioner and primary school teaching assistant, it is the career I would be most loathe to follow.
(Having reviewed the list I realise they’re all professions dealing with people – I’m in the wrong job!)
I’m the kind of person who won’t give a job to someone if I can do it better myself (e.g. making curtains, most domestic tasks, gardening and managing my HMOs) but I was happy to pass on the task of letting my terraced houses out to an agent due to a combination of distant location and, as stated, it’s not my dream job. Having to take irate calls from tenants about maintenance issues, review the severity of the problem and report to the landlord only to be told “It can wait till it gets much worse”, then going back to the tenant with the landlord’s refusal only to face the tenant’s anger/disappointment; being a go-between would want to make me bang my head against the proverbial brick wall with frustration.
In this vein, if any of my agents call me with a problem I’m the ideal landlord: rarely question the validity of the request and willingly trust the agent to know what they’re doing, carry out the task and bill me a figure within £10 of the original quote.
Two things have happened this weekend which make me want to take my agent out, line him up against a brick wall, generously let him say some last words then do whatever it takes to prevent him from getting up the noses of any more landlords – all at risk of having to do the job myself or find someone else to do it.
Perhaps I’m over-reacting but I thought that I was the client and, as much as I would hate to do the job of a Lettings Agent, I expect the person I employ to do it with a certain amount of diligence and courtesy! (Apologies if I sound like Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.)
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