What can I request my Managing Agent to do?

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    What can I request my Managing Agent to do?

    I let out my flat in London with Winkworth for around £1,000 a month. Winworth take their 17.5% cut.

    I am working and living overseas in the USA, so most correspondance is via email.

    Recently, there have been minor fixes and repairs costing between £100 and £200 that I have been billed for.

    I have requested that (1) Winkworth get my permission before spending this money and (2) get at least 2 quotes for each job.

    I've been told that out of 300 landlords they work for, I am the only person to make this request. Their argument is that it wastes time to check with me first.

    Am I being unreasonable or is Winkworth being unhelpful?

    Thanks

    #2
    Originally posted by onmyd View Post
    I let out my flat in London with Winkworth for around £1,000 a month. Winworth take their 17.5% cut.

    I am working and living overseas in the USA, so most correspondance is via email.

    Recently, there have been minor fixes and repairs costing between £100 and £200 that I have been billed for.

    I have requested that (1) Winkworth get my permission before spending this money and (2) get at least 2 quotes for each job.

    I've been told that out of 300 landlords they work for, I am the only person to make this request. Their argument is that it wastes time to check with me first.

    Am I being unreasonable or is Winkworth being unhelpful?

    Thanks
    You are being perfectly reasonable. Your agents are being entirely unhelpful.

    They seem to be forgetting that you are employing them to do a job. He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

    And it is not as though you are doing a Victorian-style foray into the unchartered jungles at the far reaches of the Empire, for goodness' sake. These days being abroad does not mean that you are incommunicado. Has your agent not heard of email?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      #3
      A Letting Agent is merely your sub-contractor. As they say (but Letting Agents don't), "The customer is always right."
      If they refuse to comply, take your business away. Letting Agents will only toe the client's line if all clients insist and don't weakly cave-in.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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        #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        A Letting Agent is merely your sub-contractor. As they say (but Letting Agents don't), "the customer is always right."
        If they refuse to comply, take your business away. Letting Agents will only toe the client's line if all clients insist and don't weakly cave-in.
        I agree (although a weekly in-cave does sound quite fun).
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          #5
          You can request that your managing agent does anything you like. As stated previously they work for you. We will tailor services to whatever a client wants us to do. With regards to any work being carried out our standard way of working is to check with the landlord for anything that needs to be done unless otherwise instructed. If, using logic and common sense (opening myself up for loads of verbal slurs re: letting agents and common sense which shouldnt be in the same sentence) then if I deem a tenants request necessary, not an emergency but necessary and I try to contact the landlord a number of times without success then I will make a decision on the LL's behalf, obviously taking into consideration the tenant, the LL and their property.

          Go back to your agents and request that they deal with your property however you would like it to be dealt with and if they refuse then find another agent that will.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by fristonsmalllettings View Post
            If, using logic and common sense (opening myself up for loads of verbal slurs re: letting agents and common sense which shouldnt be in the same sentence) .
            Out of the mouths of babes...
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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              #7
              Well....anyone knows that its silly to open your mouth on this forum if your an agent but it annoys me when you hear some of the complaints of bad service, especially when some of us try to provide a decent service to the few landlords who feel that for whatever reason, time, other commitments etc, they are unable to look after their own property.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by onmyd View Post
                Am I being unreasonable or is Winkworth being unhelpful?
                No and yes.

                Not to disagree with what others have said (including the part about taking your business elsewhere); but isn't this stuff written into your agreement with them, as in what cost threshold the agents can go ahead without recourse to you, and how many quotes they need to get etc? I mean - what happens if your roof blows off one day - are they just going to pay £10K to the first builder they find, without even asking you? No (well hopefully not).

                Another point is that presumably you're locked into your agreement with the agent for the duration of the current tenancy and it would be difficult to extricate yourself before a change of tenant, if you wanted to (check your contract wording).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by fristonsmalllettings View Post
                  Well....anyone knows that its silly to open your mouth on this forum if your an agent .

                  That opinion might carry more weight were it not for the fact that you have chosen a user name which openly advertises your lettings business.

                  Not so silly after all?
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                    That opinion might carry more weight were it not for the fact that you have chosen a user name which openly advertises your lettings business.

                    Not so silly after all?
                    Force of habit Im afraid, more than happy to change it, if it was to effect any responses or replies to any posts I was to make in the future

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by fristonsmalllettings View Post
                      Force of habit Im afraid, more than happy to change it, if it was to effect any responses or replies to any posts I was to make in the future
                      Well, as you say, it may cause a few bristles to stiffen! The principle is that members are not supposed to advertise free on this site. (Topic experts are excepted). It may appear to some that you have used a rather crafty way of getting round that ban.

                      And, given the ever-increasing deluge of complaints on this site about the incompetence and perceived greed of letting agents generally, I would be disinclined to admit I was one in any case. We have a few letting agents who do a sterling job advising people on this forum, which makes me believe they are not all useless, but as you note, they do not, as a breed, enjoy a great reputation with either LLs or Ts. Perhaps they need to ask themselves why.

                      Your username cannot effect (?) a response; it might however affect how neutral it is perceived to be, I suppose.
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                        Well, as you say, it may cause a few bristles to stiffen! The principle is that members are not supposed to advertise free on this site. (Topic experts are excepted). It may appear to some that you have used a rather crafty way of getting round that ban.

                        And, given the ever-increasing deluge of complaints on this site about the incompetence and perceived greed of letting agents generally, I would be disinclined to admit I was one in any case. We have a few letting agents who do a sterling job advising people on this forum, which makes me believe they are not all useless, but as you note, they do not, as a breed, enjoy a great reputation with either LLs or Ts. Perhaps they need to ask themselves why.

                        Your username cannot effect (?) a response; it might however affect how neutral it is perceived to be, I suppose.
                        Duly noted as an agent that tries to offer good service and to hear and act on sound advice of others

                        Comment


                          #13
                          As the rest have said, although I offer landlords the chance to stipulate an amount that they're happy to have automatically authorised, usually under £100.

                          17.5% sounds rather high too, although i'm in the north so not sure if that's the norm down there.
                          <a href="http://www.manchesterpropertygroup.co.uk/" target="_blank">Manchester letting agents</a>

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