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Our responsibilities to our Landlord & Tenant Clients

30th April 2020 Simon Holland

One of the most important interactions our team has on any given working day is with any of our 150+ valued property owner and landlord clients. The service we offer them is more important to us than anything else we do. They put their property, their investment and more importantly, their trust in us, and we take that very seriously indeed!

Putting those clients first is what our team at Jacob’s Ladder are all about, and everything we do is viewed through the lens of ‘is this in our clients best interests?’ We are and always will be, a business with people very much at the forefront of ALL we do.

We work on behalf of our 150+ landlord clients, some of whom live overseas but many of whom reside all over the UK. It is our property owners and 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 we often have to act on the instructions of our landlord clients, albeit in a fair, sensitive and courteous manner.

The interests of both these groups can often be opposed, and over the past 10 years as professional managing agents, we have developed a finely tuned sense of whats right and wrong, whats fair, and unfair.

Our team represents the interest of our property owner and landlord clients in all matters relating to their investment property, and we see ourselves as little more than an extension of the landlords wishes. We must act on their instructions, even if decisions can sometimes seem harsh on the other party, namely our tenants.

Obviously, both landlords and tenants make use of our services, and we’re pleased to say most of them are very happy indeed. 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, those instances are few and far between, and our experienced team go to great lengths to mediate, communicate and try and avoid that outcome at all costs.

Some of the ways in which we do look after our tenants include:

1. ZERO Pre-Tenancy or In-Tenancy Administration Fees

2. Immediate Protection of their tenancy deposit with the DPS Service (www.depositprotection.com)

3. No Tenancy Renewal/Extension Fees

4. Periodic Property and Mandatory Safety Inspections to keep on top of maintenance/repairs

5. A Fair Arrears Management Process

In our opinion, our tenants get an excellent 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 we always try to speed up repairs being actioned by our trusted team of external contractors, again within our landlord’s timeframes and budgets.

So what does a letting agent responsibility to a tenant involve? You’ll be surprised to hear that they are few, as most obligations relating to the tenant specifically relate to the agents statutory responsibility to the state i.e. supplying of annual gas certificates, clear charging structures, not taking part in unlawful evictions, protection of their tenancy deposit and serving of the prescribed pre-tenancy documentation.

Letting agents are responsible for securing the 5 weeks tenancy deposit within 30 days, even when they are instructed on a ‘Tenant Introduction Only’ basis, and we must let those landlords know this important fact, however we do this BEFORE our tenants even sign on the day their tenancy begins.

Letting agents should make their 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 must field irate phone calls or letters from our disgruntled tenants, who feel we are not taking their complaints seriously or handling the repairs they report to our maintenance team speedily enough.

I would like to assure all of our valued tenants that as and when repairs are notified, we immediately make the relevant calls to have them dealt with by our experienced and professional team of external contractors, but we often rely on our property owners and landlords making the final decisions, or for the funding required to become available at their end.

Sometimes our external contractors can cause short delays but we always ask for patience, as we believe that all our tenants repairs or maintenance issues can be sorted out satisfactorily and amicably, even if not immediately.

We hope this short blog post helps, and if you are a property owner, landlord or tenant and have any property related questions, why not call our office and speak with Simon or Jane on 01706 828229.

For your information, ALL repairs must be reported in writing to: repairs@jacobsladderproperty.com