Want to change present Letting Agent

by Readers Question

12:29 PM, 12th June 2014
About 4 years ago

Want to change present Letting Agent

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Want to change present Letting Agent

My name is Neville. I am a new landlord for a Buy to Let property in South Yorkshire, my letting agent is based in Redhill which is 250 miles away from where the property is based. The property is coming up to two years old. I have found a letting agent that is within a mile of the property. Their full management agreement states that they will visit the property every three months as this will help to keep good relations with the tenant. My present agent has got in their terms and conditions that suggest visits to the property and being as they are more than 250 miles away they would not be able to visit the property on a regular basis. I want to sign up with the new letting agent in south Yorkshire because their terms and conditions are much better and there is no extra charge for visiting the property. Want to change present Letting Agent

What do you think I should do? I really want to dump the present agent. Already, they are saying that repairs to property are required such as toilet not flushing, faulty locks and bath water not draining out of the bath, which they claim was the report received from the tenant. The builder is registered with the NHBC and the property is still under warranty. I have written to the builders to which I have sent them a copy of the invoice. The invoice is made out in the agent’s name but I have to pay the charges which the agent deducted from the rent, plus the fact that when certain questions are asked they reply with indirect answers avoiding the questions asked! I am not too happy with them at all.

My regards,

Neville



Comments

Mark Alexander

12:37 PM, 12th June 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Neville

I can fully understand your reasons for not wanting to work with a letting agent 250 miles away. How did that come about in the first instance as a matter of interest?

Before you change though I strongly recommend that you have a detailed re-read of the Terms and Conditions you signed with your existing agents. There may well be an exit penalty.

With regards to the maintenance issues you have mention, these sound more likely to be general maintenance issues that anything that would be covered by an NHBC certificate. Can you be a bit more specific please? If the water wasn't draining from the bath because the plug was blocked with hair that's very different to having a sewerage backup due to faulty pipework as I'm sure you will appreciate.

Who has arranged the work and presented you with a bill? This is not clear.

It is unclear whether you have already employed the new agent or not. If not, how does the new agent know about these issues and on what basis are they working for you.

Sorry to ask so many questions but the position is unclear from your questions above.
.

Neville Moffatt

23:35 PM, 12th June 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "12/06/2014 - 12:37":

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your comments. You ask the question of who has arranged the work and presented you with a bill. The present Letting Agent emailed me to tell me that the tenant had a problem with the toilet not flushing and water was not draining from the bath. The agent asked if they should send a plumber to the property. I agree but requested that an invoice should be sent to me. They agreed, but the invoice they sent to me was made out to the agent themselves. When I asked the question of why the plumber was not VAT registered. Here's a copy of the Agents email I received: (" The plumber i used was a local contractor who was recommended to me and has done work previously in the development. He is not VAT registered therefore this is why there is no VAT chargeable, £120.00 is the total amount it cost to carry out the repair on the flush to the toilet, the invoice he sent through was paid out via cheque so therefore no account details were required. B2854 is the invoice number we use for our records with our accounts team") Previously they told me that the door lock was faulty and the key just keep on turning but the tenant couldn't get the door to open to get into the apartment! Again that invoice was made out to the agent. This time the cost was 230 plus VAT The present agent does not even visit to the property! Yes, I did contact another agent in the vicinity of property. I have all the details they sent me. In their terms and conditions for full management it is stated that they would visit the property 4 times per year for 10% so that there is good relations with the tenant where as the present agency terms and conditions doesn't any visits even though they are offering full management at a cost of 13.5% of a year's rent which they take from the first two months rent for a whole year and at no refund.

When I got involved with my present agent I was a first time buyer. They sold the property to me, That was how I got myself involved. But lately I began to mistrust them further to that I can never get a direct answer to questions I asked.

Regards,

Neville

Mark Alexander

7:42 AM, 13th June 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neville Moffatt" at "12/06/2014 - 23:35":

Hi Neville

£230 plus VAT for a new lock is ludicrous. I've never paid more than half that amount, even to an emergency locksmith at 4am on a Sunday morning when a tenant lost his keys in a nightclub!

Nevertheless, have you read the T&C's of your original agent> How much is it going to cost you to cancel your contract?

What professional bodies does you new agent belong to?

Cheaper isn't always better and promises are not always kept.

How much do you know about the new agent? Has somebody you know and trust recommended them?
.


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