The main reason why property owners don’t change letting agents is because they believe it will be a major hassle.
Consequently, some landlords appoint a letting agent and stay with them for years – even if they receive a poor service. Others simply don’t realise that it IS possible to change letting agency mid tenancy.
Unfortunately, this mean some agents become complacent (especially once a tenancy starts) because they’re not worried about losing their client.
In our experience, there are 5 main reasons why a landlord might consider changing letting agency mid tenancy:
Unhappy with service provided
Property empty for long periods between tenancies
Expensive maintenance charges
Found a cheaper deal elsewhere
Lack of communication
Regardless of the reason why things are not working out, changing letting agent during or at the end of a tenancy is actually a fairly hassle-free process - both for the landlord and their tenant.
4 simple steps to help you switch letting agent
There’s a common misconception that landlords must wait until the end of a tenancy to change letting agent. However, this is not the case – you’re free to do so at any time.
This is because the ‘Tenancy Agreement’ is a contract between the tenant and landlord – not the agent. The letting agent simply works on behalf of the landlord and a change in agent will NOT affect the rights or obligations of the landlord (or their tenant).
At Garness Jones, we often receive enquiries from property owners who are frustrated by the service they receive from their current agent. In our experience, it’s actually easier to change letting agent mid tenancy - because the fact we don’t need to find a new tenant simplifies the handover process.
If you’re ready to switch agents, here are a few simple steps to take…
STEP 1 - KNOW YOUR NOTICE PERIOD
Check your Terms of Business document as this will detail your agreement with the letting agent and tell you how much notice you must give to lawfully end the contract.
In most cases, you’ll be committed to an initial fixed-term period as this protects the agent from the risk of a landlord leaving almost immediately after a new tenant has been secured. At Garness Jones, we have a notice period of three months.
STEP 2 - ISSUE YOUR NOTICE
Once you’re clear about the terms of your contract, issue your notice to the agent in writing (via letter or email) and request confirmation that they’ve received it.
This does not have to coincide with the end of a current tenancy agreement, but it’s worth scheduling your notice period to correspond with the rent period as this allows the change to be made without altering your tenant’s rent day.
STEP 3 - GET YOUR TENANT’S DETAILS
It might sound simple, but it’s important to make sure you’ve got the most up to date contact details for your tenant. Don’t forget to make sure that you’ve got the right bank details for them too - or that all-important rent may arrive later than expected!
STEP 4 - INSTRUCT A NEW AGENT
Appointing a new letting agent as soon as possible is the best way to ensure a seamless switchover. Before making your final decision, carefully review their Terms of Business and ask how they’d deal with the issues which led you to look for a new agent. If they’d do things differently, you probably won’t find yourself in a similarly frustrating position in future.
At Garness Jones, we’re vastly experienced at taking over the management of properties and portfolios from other letting agents. We try to make the process stress free and straightforward by handling all aspects on behalf of our clients – including:
Contacting your tenant – to let them know we’ll be managing the property if they have any issues or emergencies.
Obtaining tenancy documents - including Tenancy Agreement, references, deposit details etc.
Securing property documents - including warranties, compliance and safety certificates.
Collecting all sets of keys held by previous letting agent.
Arranging a property inspection and inventory check list.
Don’t settle for less than the best
Most reputable letting agents are committed to providing the very best standards of service to both landlords and their tenants. Unfortunately, some landlords do experience problems with their agent which are irreconcilable.
At Garness Jones, we’re open and honest with our clients because we feel it’s the best way to build trust and develop a successful long-term relationship.
If you’re thinking about switching letting agents and this sounds like an approach that could work for you, don’t go it alone - call 01482 564564 for more details