Fully managed agency service but did not inform the utility companies on change over

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    Fully managed agency service but did not inform the utility companies on change over

    Hi,

    I have an agreement for a fully managed service for a rental property of mine.

    When there was a change in tenancy, it appears that no party, informed the utility companies or the Council.

    I am aware that I need to review the finer print of the fully managed service to determine if the agent has a responsibility to inform the Council and or utility companies.

    My question is, as a landlord, is it a reasonable expectation on my part to expect the agent to undertake such a service as part and parcel of a fully managed service provision?

    Comments and guidance much appreciated.

    Thank you.

    #2
    Yes fully managed usually includes this facility but what does it say in your contract?



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    Comment


      #3
      I have a fully managed service from an agent.
      I call the utility companies and council on change over (in and out).

      I've never actually really thought about whether the agency should be doing it or not.
      It just seems like something I should do.
      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


        #4
        Many of my clients pay agents to fully manage their properties and I would expect this service to be included. For many of them it's impractical to travel to the property in question to read the meters and notify the relevant authority. At the very least I would expect the agents to read meters and relay the information to the Landlord - are meter readings not recorded on check out inspection notes anyway??
        [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

        Comment


          #5
          The check out notes do include the meter readings - that's where I get them from to tell the utility companies.
          Occasionally the water reading is missing (usually I'm the only one who knows if the property is metered or not and the meter's aren't easy to find) - so they agent has to go back.
          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


            #6
            Of course you should expect this to be part of a 'fully managed service'... the clue for most of us is in the name of the service being offered and paid for.

            However, as said, check what you've agreed and - hopefully - signed with the Letting Agent.

            When I've, briefly, considered using a Letting Agent for a fully managed service, I have always seen this on the list of things to be done... that's with three different Letting Agents.

            That said, I'd also expect a Tenant to do this... but knowing that I cannot depend on anyone, I always do it myself.

            Comment


              #7
              What does your contract with the LA say? Is this the first time this issue has arisen?

              pm
              Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

              Comment


                #8
                I am yet to review the finer print on the contract for services. This is the second tenant to move in. The first was after the property was freshly refubished and so I was responsible for the utilities and council tax. So I informed those parties. When that tenancy ended and the new one commenced I paid for the full check in and check out service with meter readings photographed etc. I assumed (fatal mistake) that the agents would have dealth with the meter readings and council tax as part of the change over. I now find myself with a debt collection agency acting for and on behalf of a Utility company claiming I owe £400+ for utility. I refuted the claim on the grounds that I was not the occupier so the debt is not mine. Easy enough to prove as letting agreements all in place however still a hassle to now deal with. Just find it bazzare that I have to deal with it after having an agent instructed and paid by me to act for and on my behalf of me on such matters. Or so I thought.

                Comment


                  #9
                  What does the contract or terms & conditions with agent say, please?
                  I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If I was paying for a 'fully managed service' I'd expect my property to be looked after as if I was completely uncontactable.
                    "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

                    What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Really the responsibility for all this lies with the tenants.

                      Tenant 1 should have told gas, electricity, water and council that he'd moved OUT, and sent readings where necessary.

                      Tenant 2 should have told gas, electricity, water and council that he'd moved IN, and sent readings where necessary.

                      Double checking by landlord or agent is just that - its double checking what the responsible adults should have done.

                      However, there may have been a void between T1 moving out, and T2 moving in, in which case it IS landlord's reponsibility.
                      Was there a void?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I suggest the LA 'confusion' arose with the first T, when OP decided to undertake the notifications himself.
                        If AST places resp on T for C Tax and utilities.
                        I expect a fully managed service to include check in/out inventory, yet OP suggests he paid extra for this, suggesting a 'find only+ first month' service with additional latercosts
                        It is always a good idea that LL checks with utilities etc that Ts have fulfilled their obligations.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by cybersmiles View Post
                          I am yet to review the finer print on the contract for services.
                          This isn't a "finer print" issue.

                          You have basically agreed to hand over money to a company without checking what you're paying them for.
                          And now it's not working as you expected you still haven't checked your agreement.

                          Utility providers have a unique (in my experience) way of entering into a contract with a customer in a residential property.
                          Simply by using the utility, the person using it enters into an enforceable contract with the company.
                          Nothing needs to be signed or otherwise agreed.

                          Tell the utility company the name and contact address of the actual customer.
                          Not having meter readings is an issue, but you could always tell them what you "believe" that they were.
                          Hard for a power company to complain about estimated readings 8-)
                          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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Wannadonnadoodah View Post
                            If I was paying for a 'fully managed service' I'd expect my property to be looked after as if I was completely uncontactable.
                            I agree with this; trouble is most agents do not define what their "fully managed" service involves, because they don't think about the wider picture when compiling a terms of business, and therefore by default, it implies doing everything a landlord would normally do when no agent is involved.
                            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.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              While that makes sense, I don't agree.
                              A landlord is running a business, and needs to be sure what a "fully managed" service involves, and can't assume it means whatever they imagine.

                              No landlord would simply accept what a tenant "assumed" was meant by maintenance and repairs.

                              If you go on an "all inclusive" holiday, there are limits - you can't simply assume that first class travel is "included".
                              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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