We are all accustomed to regularly checking that we are getting the best deal with our fuel suppliers, investments, and insurance and if we find a better deal we know it’s time to switch. But as a landlord, when was the last time you sat down and gave thought as to whether or not you are working with the best agent? This does not mean finding a cheaper agent, it means finding the best agent to work with you so that your life as a landlord is made as easy as possible. Being a landlord is not without risk, but a good agent can help to reduce the risks by finding great tenants, ensuring your property is well maintained, advising on rents and of course making sure that you receive money that is owed to you without delay each month. A good agent will also communicate with their landlords regularly, informing them of the results of property inspections, the resolution of maintenance issues and of course advise on upcoming changes to legislation, so that landlords can avoid the hefty fines that can be a consequence of non-compliance.
If you have been with the same agent for a long period of time and rarely hear from them, or you are discontented with the service that is being provided to you, then it may be time to arrange a meeting so that you can voice your concerns. Providing your current agent with a chance to understand your views and make any necessary improvements is always a good first step, particularly if you have worked with the agent for some time. Communication is a two-way street, and landlords should feel that they are able to discuss matters freely with their agent, but if after doing so you think that concerns have not been addressed and your portfolio could be managed more effectively, don’t hesitate to switch. Fortunately, changing agents is not a complicated procedure – in fact your new agent will do the majority of the work for you. Here are five easy steps to help you make the switch…
- Research your local area to find a new agent that you would like to work with. Visit the office, talk to the agent, meet the team and discuss all the matters that concern you so that you get a feel as to whether this is a company you can work with. Belvoir has offices nationwide and offers a complete management service with quarterly property inspections and exceedingly high standards of customer service, particularly with regards to legal compliance.
- Check the terms and conditions of your current contract so that you know what the notice period is. If you find it difficult to locate where the notice period is within the contract you can always take your paperwork in to your local Belvoir office for them to check this for you. Once you have confirmed what the notice period is, make sure you write to your current agent informing them that you intend to give notice.
- Once you have found the right agent to work for you, you should instruct them to manage your properties on your behalf. You will then need to complete all the necessary paperwork and provide the documentation that your new agent will require.
- Once you are signed up with the new agent, they will liaise with your previous agent and deal with everything on your behalf. This removes the need for you having to embark on any potentially awkward conversations. Your new agent will also arrange for the collection of keys and paperwork, as well as checking the important safety certificates to ensure that your property is totally compliant with existing regulations.
- If you already have a tenant in situ, Belvoir recommends that you give the new agent at least a month to make the switch so that they have sufficient time to communicate with the tenant, explaining that they are now acting on your behalf and providing them with all the information they will need, including new contact details for reporting maintenance issues or any other problems during the tenancy.
For more information on switching agents visit: https://www.belvoir.co.uk/switch/