Using Dual Agents to Let Property - bit of a rant!

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    Using Dual Agents to Let Property - bit of a rant!

    Hi All I am new to this forum and relatively new the being a LL as well.

    Currently my OH and I are living in Aus' due to a work relocation, and have a house back in Staffordshire, which has been let since we left.

    The tenants have been pretty good and we have been lucky, but after 18 months they have given notice and will vacate by 31 July.

    Over the period of time, we have been less than impressed by the performance of our letting agents, the property being fully managed and us paying 10% + VAT every month. Communication is incredibly poor, not responding to emails or even acknowledging receipt. I know we are only one of many properties they manage, but...

    Last October I received an email asking for a set of management keys so they could carryout an inspection. This got me fuming! We had given them three sets of keys November 2011 when we moved out and handed over the management to them. Two sets for the tenants and a set for management purposes!

    The tenant mentioned a loose tile in the bathroom which was letting in water. We gave them instructions in October 2012 when they told us about it to fix it, it took a complaint and until February 2013 to get this sorted out.

    There are a few other things as well, but I wont bore you anymore!

    It might only seem little things, but lots of 'little' things add up to a big thing! I could go on!!

    To the present day.

    Tenants gave notice, and they have re-marketed the property, all well and good, apart from the fact that the search details on Rightmove etc, were totally wrong! The house is a 3 bed detached, they had put it on as a 3 bed terraced! I pointed out the error, they said they'd change it, they did, to a 4 bed terrace!

    I thought it was nice of my tenant's to build a 4th bedroom, but I very much doubt it. So once again pointed this out. No response to my comments, neither was it changed. Therefore the house was being advertised for at least a week with the wrong description.

    It took a formal complaint to the so called 'director' of the business for this to start to be sorted. He sent somebody out to take some photos, I had virtually suggested what the advert should say (they had failed to point out the transport links, house on a desirable estate/location in the town etc.). It took nearly another week, so yes I appreciate that the house was been marketed via their office but was off the internet for at least two weeks!

    There were three viewings booked, but I again had to chase them for feed back as well. Which was eventually forthcoming after I complained again.

    They have now found a potential tenant, but it new seems to be taking them days to sort out the referencing, which sets the alarm bells ringing a little bit to me.

    I have their contract, which states that the minimum sole agency is for 4 weeks, which looks like this period expires at the end of next week. So from what I can see, we can then appoint a second agent without incurring their fees.

    I suppose the question is, is it wise to appoint two agents to advertise your rental property?

    We haven't been that impressed with the current agent, but then again I'm not entirely convinced by them all, but it's finding the best of a bad bunch!

    I would have thought as the tenant has given notice we are not under any obligation to continue to use their services, as effectively the contract has come to an end, and could if we wanted 'sack' them at the end of the sole agency period and just appoint another agent?

    Any advice or experience to share would be useful. It is obviously a little more challenging as we are so far away and don't have any relatives in the area that are capable of acting on our behalf in this matter.

    Thank you.

    #2
    Presumably you agreed/signed a Contract (terms of business) with current LA, so you need to read carefully and understand what you agreed.
    It seems you have agreed to current LA re-marketing your UK property, so even if you part company you will liable for at least their re-marketing costs.

    Most LAs either find only (inc full referencing) or full management.
    find only may cost you equiv of 1 month rent. Full management LA's may absorb some/all of this cost in their full management commission.
    eg (Zoopla, Rightmove) to advertise their rentals.
    The internet allows you to search for rentals/agents in the locality but I would want to speak to pot LAs before deciding which to appoint.
    You should vet any LA as close as any pot T.
    When are you likely to return to UK? Ivf so you may wish to consider including s1/2 clause in your next AST to assist quicker repo.

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      #3
      I appoint 4 agents to market my flat. Competition is healthy and terms are better with some than others. However it is usually the more expensive agent that gets my flat let straight away ay the asking price. Longest void has been 1 week. As I use multiple agents, I do not start marketing until 1 week before the flat is vacant. If the flat is untidy or unclean, I wait until the tenancy is over.

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