It is the first time I’ve use a letting agent to manage my buy-to-let. What should I expect from them? BB
Are you using a lettings agent to help manage your buy-to-let property?
MailOnline Property expert Myra Butterworth says: The terms and conditions of your relationship with your letting agent will be outlined in a contract. It is key that you read this before you sign it, and are familiar with it.
The day-to-day nitty gritty of your relationship with your letting agent may be more difficult to navigate. It sounds like this may be what you need help with understanding.
It can take time to establish any relationship between a landlord and a letting agent, and how each one operates.
For example, you might be the type of landlord who wants minimum contact with the letting agent, while there are others who might want to know every detail about how their buy-to-let business is being managed.
It may be helpful to do an online video meeting with the letting agent to help build that relationship – normally you may have opted to pop into the branch, but this can be easily done instead on something like Zoom instead amid the pandemic.
Ideally, the relationship should be working within three months. And certainly within six months. If that’s not the case, you may want to consider looking elsewhere if after that you feel that things don’t click and the management contract isn’t working for you, but watch out for any lock-in clauses.
Communication is key as each landlord is different in their expectations
Lettings agent Joel Osbourne at Jones Robinson said: There’s a whole raft of issues to take into account when managing the relationship between us and landlords.
But three to highlight include landlords understanding of minimum spend, landlords understanding that we work with a panel of trusted contractors, and ensuring a good level of communication with our landlords and tenants.
The level of spend comes up a lot. We have to work to gain the trust that comes with spending someone else’s money.
While our contract with the landlord states that we reserve the right to spend a certain amount, we tend to check with them first. It is important we handle a client’s money correctly.
Landlords also need to understand that we work with a panel of trusted contractors. But we do review contractors and invite them for a chat if needed – probably via Zoom in the current environment – to find out what any issues have been.
As a matter of course, we would not go outside of our panel, although this is possible if we exhaust those on our panel of contractors. But landlords must understand that we can’t be held liable for the work of contractors not on our panel.
Communication is key. Every landlord is different in their expectations. Some landlords are happy for us to get on with things without much interaction, while others want to know all the details.
It takes time to get up to speed with each relationship. We would expect things to reach that point within three months of us working with a new landlord. We don’t get it right all of the time but we strive to.
We offer three different management services ranging from eight to 13 per cent of the monthly rental price.