One of the most important interactions we have on any given day, is with our valued landlord clients. The service we offer them is more important to us than anything else we do. They put their property, and more importantly their trust in us and we take that very seriously indeed!
Putting these clients first is what we are all about, and everything we do, is viewed through the lens of ‘is this in our clients best interests?’
We work on behalf of our 150+ landlord clients, who reside all over the UK. It is our landlords that we are in a contractual relationship with, and although we always endeavour to look after our tenants, we often cannot serve the interests of both parties, and often have to act on our landlord clients instructions.
The interests of both these groups can often be opposed, and as a professional managing agent, we simply cannot work for both parties.
We represent the interest of our landlord clients in all matters relating to their property, and see ourselves as little more than an extension of the landlords wishes. We act on their instructions, even if decisions can sometimes seem harsh on the other party, namely a tenant.
Obviously, both landlords and tenants make use of our services, and we’re pleased to say most of them are very happy. On occasion, we do run into difficulties with managing tenants expectations, and on occasions have to deal firmly with them, for example when their rent falls behind, and ultimately we may have to evict them through the courts. Thankfully, these instances are few and far between.
Some of the ways in which we do look after our tenants include:
1. Transparency on Pre-Tenancy Administration Fees
2. Immediate Protection of their tenancy deposit with the DPS Service (www.depositprotection.com)
2. No Tenancy Renewal/Extension Fees
3. Periodic Property Inspections to keep on top of maintenance/repairs
4. A Fair Arrears Management Process
In our opinion, our tenants get a good service and many stay on for long term tenancies ranging from 2-7 years. We take our ‘Duty of Care’ to our tenants very seriously, and always try to speed up repairs being actioned by our contractors, again within our landlord’s timeframes and budgets.
So what does an agents responsibility to a tenant involve? You’ll be surprised to hear that they are few, most obligations relating to the tenant specifically relate to the agents responsibility to the state i.e. supplying of annual gas certificates, clear charging structures, not taking part in unlawful evictions, protection of the tenancy deposit and serving of the prescribed documentation.
Letting agents are responsible for securing the tenancy deposit within 30 days, even when they are instructed on a ‘Tenant Introduction Only’ basis, and must let their landlords know this important fact!
Agents should make tenants aware that their loyalties lie firmly with their landlord clients, and at the same time, seek to educate their landlords of their responsibilities, particularly when repairs are going unattended to, as these repairs may have serious health risks to their tenants i.e damp/mould, no heating/hot water.
Often, as the managing letting agent, we get caught between a ‘rock and a hard place’ and can endure irate phone calls or letters from disgruntled tenants, who feel we are not taking their complaints seriously or handling repairs speedily enough.
I would like to assure our tenants that the second repairs are notified, we make the relevant calls to have them dealt with, but we often rely on our landlords making decisions, or for the funding required to become available.
Sometimes external contractors can cause short delays but we always ask for your patience, as all issues can be sorted out satisfactorily and amicably.
We hope this helps and if you are a landlord or tenant and have any questions, why not call our office on 01706 828229.
For your information, ALL repairs must be reported in writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org