Do agents collude with deadbeat tenants?

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    Do agents collude with deadbeat tenants?

    This question has formed in my mind recently regarding my property in Jersey. Back in 2007 I had a lot of trouble finding tenants and tried three agents. The third agent, who I still have, has found me two tenants who have both turned out to be deadbeats. The first tenants were a man, his partner and his sister. I thought they'd be ideal, but very soon the neighbours reported they were subletting rooms to itinerant workers. I put a stop to that, but then of course the rent started being paid short.

    You'd think I'd have learnt my lesson with this agent, but I thought perhaps we were just unlucky. The 2nd tenant who moved in in 2011 gave my agent some story about her husband having bad credit, so the tenancy had to be in her name. Two months later he was in the local papers in court for embezzling £40k from his employer, and was sent to prison for 3 years.

    Since then, despite paying a reduced rent, my tenant has been very demanding about repairing damage that she herself has done, and my agent seems to bend over backwards for her. I'm beginning to wonder if she deliberately picks chavvy tenants so that she gets commission on the repairs required.

    Any thoughts?

    #2
    I guess there are some good agents, but in general the answer must be yes.

    I don't think the "gets commission on the repairs required" is the major motivator though. More the consequence of the growing disaster caused by government incentives that are shifting the whole sector into corporate ownership. Agents would far rather put non-deadbeats into their OWN properties. Most agents do not see their role as one of achieving the best for their client.

    Comment


      #3
      it always makes me wonder why the contract with an agent shouldnt set their fee at a percentage of the rent received and NOT at a percentage of the rent expected, especially wherever the agent has actually found and vetted the tenant !!!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by MisterB View Post
        it always makes me wonder why the contract with an agent shouldnt set their fee at a percentage of the rent received and NOT at a percentage of the rent expected, especially wherever the agent has actually found and vetted the tenant !!!
        Thanks for replying. Not sure I understand. I always pay a percentage of the rent received. Do you think I should pay a percentage of the rent expected?

        (I'm just imagining my agent would put my two bedroom flat in Reading up for £2000 pcm.)

        Comment


          #5
          I think its standard to pay a percentage of the rent expected. my suggestion was that could there be an alternative where the agents don't benefit from non payment of rent? It just doesn't make sense that agents get fees for sourcing tenants but no penalty if those that they source don't pay !

          if you already ONLY pay the agent a percentage of rent received, I assume you don't pay them anything when the tenants don't pay?

          in some cases agents wont care who they put in to a property - I could be cynical and suggest its in their best interests for tenants not to pay rent and therefore be evicted and then for them to source a new tenant. who of course would be a much better tenant .......


          as for the Reading flat, or anywhere, YOU should be setting the rent not the agents,

          Comment


            #6
            Oh, okay, I see what you mean.

            Funnily enough I agreed with my agent that I would not pay commission when rent was not forthcoming.

            Comment


              #7
              Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I haven’t been on here for a while.

              My contract states precisely that I get paid on rent received. It’s one of my main selling points to new clients. I will work hard for you to make sure your tenant pays in full and on time because I don’t get paid if you don’t.

              I am lucky insofar as rent arrears across my portfolio are almost non-existent, but (and without wishing to blow my own trumpet too loudly) I genuinely believe that to be down to careful tenant selection.

              I also don’t charge set up fees, check out fees, etc. So it’s not beneficial for me to have properties turning over (because it’s not beneficial for the landlord, usually).

              My standard management fee may be a little higher than most, but my clients seem to be comfortable with this.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by HantsAgent View Post
                I am lucky insofar as rent arrears across my portfolio are almost non-existent, but (and without wishing to blow my own trumpet too loudly) I genuinely believe that to be down to careful tenant selection.
                This is something I have come to appreciate over time, and should be the major decision point in agreeing to trade with an agent.

                We "met" my current agent while attempting to help support a relative who wanted to rent from them, but wasn't able to meet their tenant checks (she was on benefits). The difficulty we had in getting accepted as a credible guarantor, the amount of information they wanted and the checking that they did on eveything they were told, sold me on the idea that they were very thorough about taking on a tenant.

                Which gave me a lot of comfort as a landlord customer of theirs. But I probably still underestimated the value of it.

                Other agents we spoke to were much more focussed on the rents they would get, the lists of people wanting properties they had, and the idea that we could "just leave it up to them" and "enjoy" the money coming in.

                I'd advise any landlord to ask how many tenants the agent had served notice on in the last couple of years, how many are in arrears and how long each tenancy typically lasts. And how they make sure the tenants are the ones you want.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment

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