When you're a landlord, choosing a top quality local letting agent is essential to your ongoing peace of mind and overall financial success. And here we’re going to tell you the reason why.
Take this situation for example
Recently, a landlord by the name of Saul Shevlin took action against a letting agent after a tenant moved into his property, causing a level of commotion and disruption that was deemed completely unacceptable.
Shevlin raised the issue based on professional negligence as well as a breach of contract over the choice of the tenant and the management of the tenancy in the rental property that once had been his home.
After taking a course of legal action, the landlord won his battle at Colchester County Court for negligence back in the summer of 2016. Despite winning the case based on professional negligence, the court didn't find the property manager guilty of breach of contract.
The landlord had been paying the letting agent a 12.5% monthly management fee to look after his former home.
When said problem tenant was in the throes of her application, Shevlin was essentially refused a copy of the referencing report; he requested it around 20 times.
Allegedly, the problem tenant in question immediately fell behind with her rent. Not long after all-night parties started: windows were smashed, contents were vandalised, graffiti appeared on walls, bills were left unpaid and bailiffs frequented the property.
After finally gaining access to the tenant referencing report, Shevlin saw that some potential risks were raised, mainly as the problem tenant has used a number of aliases in the past.
This discovery was just one in a list of additional discrepancies noted in the tenant's paper trail.
Local isn’t always local
Among the mire of pitfalls highlighted during the case, one of the most glaring ones was the fact that the management of the property was being conducted by a branch 70 miles away from the home Shevlin was letting out, rather than the local branch. It is doubtful that Mr Shelvin would have appointed this agent if they had declared from the beginning that the management would be carried out by another branch this far away.
The problem is that some of the big estate agents or letting chains are looking for a quick buck, and rather than displaying a sense of pride, urgency and local expertise, they will outsource the work to an office in a galaxy far, far away.
The kind of big chains that manage your property from a distance are often the kind that hire just about anyone, paying them the minimum possible amount to essentially open the front door and wave their arms in the direction of various rooms within it. This is not what shines your property in the best light and it’s not what will provide you with the kind of tenants you deserve.
Landlords, to avoid the type of calamity mentioned above you should always check a potential property managers’ credentials and how (or where) they operate.
Check that you're getting the best service for your money and always ensure that you feel like you can spark up a meaningful professional relationship with your letting agent before you sign on the dotted line.
In the future, the successful agents will be genuinely local: the kind of which that are wholeheartedly invested in their communities. Regional and corporate agents carry too many costs with them and have allowed fees that dip too low.
The best thing to do is to choose independent. Smaller yet incredibly effective local property managers are usually the ones you can trust most to help maintain your property, fill it with quality tenants and get the return on investment you deserve.
In conclusion, when it comes to managing your property, you should always make sure the local means local. You might regret it if you don't.
If you’re a North Staffordshire landlord and looking for a property manager you can trust, our service is out of this world. Find out more about us and what we can do for landlords like you by visiting our dedicated residential lettings page.