Switch Agent?

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    Switch Agent?

    The owner of the lettings agency who manage my property sold the business on to a small independent chain 2 months ago, and the 2 staff who worked there apparently moved on for personal reasons, both on Friday.

    An employee from the chain has been drafted in to cover. 2 months ago my letting agents informed me they would be paying landlords fortnightly instead of monthly. My tenant (of just over 6 months) is on a rolling monthly tenancy. Last week, the owner of the chain sent out an email copying in all the landlords, (not blind copying, thus revealing personal email addresses), asking for our bank details so they could pay the fortnightly rent. He stated that the spreadsheet required for landlord payments was saved on the computer of an employee who had to leave the office for a family emergency and he had no access. I didn’t send my details as I was happy for payment to go in when normal service resumes. I don’t really understand the logic of 2 monthly payments.

    Over the weekend another email went out with everyone copied in again, regarding missed checks on a property which was evidently nothing to do with us, and several landlords replied to comment on the lack of professionalism since the change.

    The owner responded with an apology and stated that if anyone wanted to leave, he would do his best to ensure a smooth transition.

    I’m happy to keep things simple and remain with them, but it does concern me that my tenant might also be having misgivings about the dip in service, particularly with the absence of the 2 staff, and may even decide not to pay the rent in view of the haphazard occurrences lately. I think it’s really important to present a high standard of service to the tenant to give the best chance of an efficient relationship during the tenancy.

    Given the recent goings on, I’m wondering if you would be looking for another agent, and how disruptive to the tenant it would be to change? I don’t want to make matters worse.

    #2
    Look at service you are getting and you pay themn, id dread to think what service tenants getting if any and there has got to have been breaches of privacy that would worry me even more. Id be well gone by now find another agent

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      #3
      Thanks. Yes, I can see that.

      I’m going to switch to an agent I saw when I first acquired the property 2 years ago.

      The company who have taken over have a terrible reputation (I have checked several review sites) and that’s not good news for me OR my tenant – my tenant might stop paying because of the poor service delivered by my agents.

      However, I'm thinking I might wait until this months LL payment has been made on 20th before I give notice - they might be even harder to deal with once they know I'm dis instructing.

      Comment


        #4
        Change now! your new agent will shortly be asking you to sign a contract with them - once that it signed it will be harder to leave. If you leave now they have no hold on you because you did not sign a contract with them. It may be a pain - but better to get it over & done with now than when you & your tenant have been on the receiving end of more bad service.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpucng62 View Post
          Change now! your new agent will shortly be asking you to sign a contract with them - once that it signed it will be harder to leave. If you leave now they have no hold on you because you did not sign a contract with them.
          That’s an assumption.

          If the business was sold as a going concern, it’s likely that the contracts were part of what was purchased. If the purchaser bought Acme Agents shares completely, for example, Acme Agents still exists, it’s just got new owners running it, so the contract is stil in place.

          The new company might ask for a new contract, but the OP can’t assume any previous agreement has ended.

          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
            You're correct. It's been sold as a going concern, so nothing changes.

            To coincide with the chain taking over, payments were switched from monthly to fortnightly (I don't know if the tenant pays fortnightly too, or if they continue to pay monthly and the agent drip-feeds it to the LL).

            In any case, funds used to go into my account on 20th of each month, but the new fortnightly arrangement would see half the payment go on on the 5th. This hasn't happened and I have notified them of this but I think they are so pulled out with recent events they haven't looked into it and I'd be happy just to get the full amount in 2 days time. My concern is more that the reason funds haven't hit my account is because the tenant hasn't paid.

            I'm just looking to be up to date with payments before I give them notice as I think it will be harder to retrieve missing payments from the agents once I've left.

            Comment


              #7
              You don't want rent paid fortnightly.

              If the tenant is paying fortnightly that causes all kinds of complications with notice, particularly if it's not in line with the original tenancy agreement,

              If the tenant is paying monthly and the agent is sitting on half of it, that would concern me more. The agent can't do anything with the money, including interest, and would make me concerned it's being mixed into their own cashflow.
              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


                #8
                Get down to your agent asap and find out what they think they are playing at.

                Money should be paid to you when it is received.

                I share jpkeates' concerns on fortnightly rent payments and on agent behaviour.

                If you do not get satisfactory explanations, then terminate your agreement asap.

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