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Advice on working with letting agent - what should I expect of them?


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Hello,

I've had my first property for over a year now and it's fully managed and so far has been hassle free. I'm just wondering if others who use letting agents can explain some things for me about what I should expect or not expect from the letting agent. The property is far from where I live.

They've just recently charged me for a new Gas Safety certificate, I just checked and realised that the old one expired 3 months ago. Is this something you would put in your diary to remind the letting agent of when the time is coming near, or would you leave it in their hands?

If your property is fully managed and there is some general maintenance that needs to be done to keep the property in good condition, such as exterior painting, or brickwork, would you ask the letting agent to arrange that or would I need to arrange it myself?

If the tenants move out and the property needs redecoration and some maintenance before it can be let again, will the letting agent arrange this or do I need to?

And finally, when a letting agent is finding tenants for you, how much information do you expect them to give you on the tenants before you give your approval? For example should they give you their references to read, information about where they lived before, how old they are, and so on?

 

 

 

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Gas safety - this is appalling and they should be told so. However it happens often in my experience and as the buck stops with you you need to keep an eye on it.

Arranging general maintenance depends on your contract with them, but given your distance I would expect them to arrange it if you ask them to.

Between lets - they should be able to arrange it if you want them to but I always go into the property between tenants to check its condition. It also costs much less to do these jobs yourself.

I don't expect much information about tenants - data protection comes into play - as long as they pass the credit test & references they're fine by me. 

If you are expecting your agent to arrange work on your behalf be sure you know whether they are charging a fee and that they also check after the work is done that it is up to standard. I know you are not close, but leaving everything to the agent leaves you liable p being ripped off in my book.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree any safety checks should be flagged up on the letting agents data base although I have a spreadsheet myself.   I find they charge a higher rate for work but I get 24-7 call line so don’t get called out at 2 in the morning for a dripping tap.   We have an agreement that any maintenance is run through us first as I do quite a bit myself.  It’s a great way to keep an eye on the property.  I don’t let them know who I am.  Just the handy man.  
The letting agent tells us a little about each person wanting to rent and we have the final choice on who moves in.  As said before data protection is quite a big thing now.    I have found a great letting agent who also inform us when some come up for sale.  8-10 % is quite normal for fees I find in our area.      Good look    

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On 5/4/2021 at 12:08 PM, julia urquhart said:

Gas safety - this is appalling and they should be told so. However it happens often in my experience and as the buck stops with you you need to keep an eye on it.

Arranging general maintenance depends on your contract with them, but given your distance I would expect them to arrange it if you ask them to.

Between lets - they should be able to arrange it if you want them to but I always go into the property between tenants to check its condition. It also costs much less to do these jobs yourself.

I don't expect much information about tenants - data protection comes into play - as long as they pass the credit test & references they're fine by me. 

If you are expecting your agent to arrange work on your behalf be sure you know whether they are charging a fee and that they also check after the work is done that it is up to standard. I know you are not close, but leaving everything to the agent leaves you liable p being ripped off in my book.

Thanks Julia, that's really helpful. I told them it was bad. They also haven't done an inspection, because of the "pandemic". This is a dreadful excuse, as my work has taken me into other people's homes for the past year, there have been no legal restrictions on entering other people's houses for this.

 

If I was to arrange some general maintenance myself for the property, would I need to go through the agent to get access or in this case would I arrange access with the tenants? I suppose I could just ask the agent which they prefer.

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On 5/14/2021 at 8:23 PM, Stephen clay said:

I agree any safety checks should be flagged up on the letting agents data base although I have a spreadsheet myself.   I find they charge a higher rate for work but I get 24-7 call line so don’t get called out at 2 in the morning for a dripping tap.   We have an agreement that any maintenance is run through us first as I do quite a bit myself.  It’s a great way to keep an eye on the property.  I don’t let them know who I am.  Just the handy man.  
The letting agent tells us a little about each person wanting to rent and we have the final choice on who moves in.  As said before data protection is quite a big thing now.    I have found a great letting agent who also inform us when some come up for sale.  8-10 % is quite normal for fees I find in our area.      Good look    

You mean you go to do maintenance at your property but don't let them know you're the landlord? Sounds like a good idea :) I'm sure they will be more relaxed that way. Only 8-10% for frees? I'm paying 12% and in another northern city where I'm buying and looking for letting agents, it seems to be higher still.

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20 hours ago, Cathie said:

If I was to arrange some general maintenance myself for the property, would I need to go through the agent to get access or in this case would I arrange access with the tenants? I suppose I could just ask the agent which they prefer.

You can certainly arrange this direct with the tenant - just beware that once they have your phone number they may use it! Particularly if you are more responsive than the agent!

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