Access Issues and Poor Service from Letting Agent - Any Advice?

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    Access Issues and Poor Service from Letting Agent - Any Advice?

    Hi guys

    Hoping someone can help.

    Have a letting agent that manages all my properties. One property is about 40 minutes drive away which they manage also and take their full fee(!) despite my having to pay a local agent to go in and do the 6 month tenancy check.

    I had already a gas and electrical engineer company in place for this property before I instructed agent. However the tenant has complained that she didn't think they knew what they were doing. Also the company has been out and charged me a few times for leaks on the boiler. When I query this they tell me the leaks are in different places, which if fine, but still I am having a few doubts about them.

    Several weeks ago letting agent reported that the tenant had a few repairs needed to be done and they would send the agent a list. One of these was repairs to the gas fire and also the lounge radiator was not heating up. However letting agent had to keep chasing them for this list.

    Original contractor (mentioned above) went in and quoted. However I asked could they find another contractor to quote as it seemed high, and I'm feeling less confident about this company. They found someone who went in. Quote was more reasonable, so I gave them the go ahead. Weeks have since passed. Yesterday Agent tells me second contractor refuses to go in as he has been round 3 times and tenant is never there although the tenant says they are. They will therefore instruct the original contractor back in as tenant has been without a gas fire and it's very cold.

    I have replied saying can try chat with second contractor and try and smooth things over with him to go back in, but can they arrange the appointment between the tenant and contractor, so should one not honour the appointment we know who is at fault. They have come back and said he won't go back so they have gone ahead and instructed original contractor to do the work as it's so cold for the tenant. This contractor has also added another £200 to the bill as he has discovered additional problems!

    I replied i was not happy with the way this had been managed. They have come back very stroppy saying they have been trying to get hold of the second contractor for four weeks now but he won't respond so they believe the tenant is telling the truth (even though same letting agent has told me in the past the tenants have not answered the door to other contractors), and that other landlords are very happy with their service so why do I believe it's not been managed properly.

    I have gone back and said that I really felt they should have, knowing the tenant, arranged the appointment between tenant and contractor themselves, and that how come they have let this drag on for four weeks, given the nature of the repairs. If the tenant has had to put up with cold then it's their fault. That they have caused this as once this contractor was uncontactable after a week another course of action should have been taken.

    I would just instruct another contractor myself but I live abroad so can't. I am just amazed something so straightforward has become such an issue.

    Can anyone advise if they think the letting agent has been at fault here? I guess I have no option now but to go with the first contractor (he's been instructed by them anyhow - grrr). How can I stop this happening again - a formal letter of complaint?

    Given the fees they charge me, I don't feel I should be having to tell the agent how to do their job!

    Many thanks for any advice

    #2
    I think you need to sort out in your own mind the best was to move forward. If you think your current agent is not doing a decent job then tell them, or switch to another agent (ARLA Member?). If you do the latter make sure you have a written agency agreement and don't be shy in insisting certain clauses are deleted or others included dependent upon what you want the agent to do.

    Remember you are paying for a service so should have plenty of input in what you expect.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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