For landlords all over the country, falling out of love with their letting agent is an unhappy but honest reality.
It’s rare that a single event leads to the unexpected break-up of any blissful relationship. Normally, in the property lettings world, a breakup comes as a result of a slow process of disappointment and setbacks as the assigned letting agent fails, time and again, to fulfil the promises they have made.
Once the letting agent has sourced the tenant and drawn up the contract, it is all too common that they leave the landlord to their own devices, despite the tenancy only having just begun and numerous issues typically presenting themselves after the fact.
So, with February 14th fast approaching, and loving relationships being the focus of the season, if you’re a landlord it may be time to put your relationship with your letting agent under the microscope.
Common landlord complaints
Stirling Ackroyd understands the challenges of letting out a property better than anyone.
Being a landlord can be a full-time job involving lots of time and money. When you consider all the stages of the lettings process the landlord theoretically has to take care of – from sourcing a tenant right up to carrying out the check-out inspection at the end of their tenancy – it’s a thoroughly complex and time-consuming endeavour.
What’s more, it’s nearly impossible for just one person to stay on top of everything from start to finish without external assistance, and that’s where a supportive and knowledgeable letting agency comes in.
Letting agencies should provide real property expertise across tenant supply, contract negotiation, habitation compliance and maintenance – not to mention, offer additional resources in mortgage finance and surveying to name just two of the other services that you may need along the way.
Firstly, getting pin-point accuracy on your house valuation from your letting agent is essential. It’s how your property will slot into the UK rental market, aligning your residence with its market comparables.
But what happens when you disagree with the appraisal that’s been carried out on your property? How do you challenge it? It’s a serious problem in markets across the whole country.
Landlords love the support we offer, and the timely and relevant information and guidance we provide, so maybe now is a good time for you to visit the Stirling Ackroyd website and use our Rental Price Index.
Updates are released monthly, and we offer the latest property transaction figures and averages. You can access price changes, find out how many properties were let in your area, break statistics down by different property types, and benchmark the figures regionally and nationally.
What’s more, Stirling Ackroyd offers a completely free valuation of your home by a local property expert.
We’ll arrange to come to your home to meet you and analyse the whole house. That way, we can give you the most accurate estimate price possible, empowering you to find out how your residence compares to other properties in the same area.
Establishing the value of your house properly is fundamental. Let Stirling Ackroyd take care of it.
Offer negotiation and acceptance
Negotiating rental prices with a tenant, like any discussion, can be tough. It is important to remember that there is no magic formula regarding how much your property will earn you. For the most part, the market will dictate what tenants are prepared to pay.
However, even if the figure achieved is lower than desired, it’s important to ensure that the level of rent being offered is enough to cover everything that you need it to.
Technically, it’s the letting agent’s job to help negotiate, but often landlords are left disappointed.
At Stirling Ackroyd, you’ll be pleased to hear that we fully manage the negotiation process, looking out for your best interests and getting you the price that you need and deserve.
There are many responsibilities that fall upon a landlord when the tenant moves in. You’ll need to ensure that the new tenancy is being managed correctly, and it’s important to ensure the property is clean with no health and safety issues. Gas and energy certificates must be up to date, plumbing in full working order, and all the furniture must have been fire-tested.
These are the basics of making sure your incoming tenant is provided for. Having the correct documentation will save tears later.
You’ll also need a thorough inventory report, with a list of items within the property and their detailed condition. Having photographs included also helps with any negotiations about the return of the deposit after the tenancy has ended.
We always include smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tests in our Check-in and Check-out assessments – the safety of the tenant is paramount.
In addition, our team will issue a Welcome Pack to your tenants, supported by an additional call to both you and the tenants to confirm that the tenancy has successfully begun.
It’s an unfortunate reality of life that when we live for extended periods in a house, things go wrong. Pipes need fixing, boilers need repairing and draughty windows need sealing.
Normally, this is no-one’s fault and simply constitutes the wear and tear of a property being inhabited. But as the landlord, you’re the one responsible for getting all these issues resolved.
Obviously, this can be tough to manage if you’re not necessarily in the area all the time, or something breaks or leaks at 4am.
Stirling Ackroyd understands that some household maintenance emergencies simply can’t wait. Because of this, we allow tenants in our Fully Managed Plus properties to contact our property management team at any hour of the day, any day of the week.
Our goal is to offer both landlord and tenant complete peace of mind, meaning your property is always in safe hands.
Re-letting or renewing the property
Some landlords enjoy mutually beneficial relationships with their tenants for many years, and remain friends even after the tenant has vacated the property, while other relationships are more strained – only finding a peaceful resolution after the contract expires.
Either way, whether you allow the tenant to renew for another year, or whether you choose to re-let the property, there’s still a lot to do.
The benefit of choosing Stirling Ackroyd as a letting’s agent is that we’ll take care of everything on your plate, leaving you hassle-free.
When re-letting, our branch staff will re-market your property to our extensive applicant pool and start the lettings process again.
We’ll know in advance when your property is coming up for re-let so that we can get a head start on finding you a new tenant before the lease is up, therefore reducing void periods and loss of income.
If you want to renew and renegotiate, however, all the details of your property go to our Renewals and Re-lets team. It’s their job to then renegotiate the tenancy terms which both you and the tenant will find completely satisfactory.
We take the following factors into consideration. Does your current letting agent do all of this?
- Always negotiate new contracts at least three months in advance of the tenancy ending in order to prevent any void periods
- Conduct all final safety checks and make sure your tenants are aware of their check-out obligations
- Manage all legal documentation and issue the necessary information to your tenants
- Reissue an AST, renegotiate rent and protect tenancy deposits
- Complete all required compliance checks
Fall back in love with property letting by using Stirling Ackroyd
Landlords sometimes get a raw deal in the property letting business.
Often cited as the “bad guy”, looking to fill his or her pockets with more tenant money for the minimal effort invested, this is an unfair and lazy stereotype.
We know full well that being a landlord requires real effort. The balance between maintaining the human element on one side while conforming to the strict legalities on the other is a challenge.
So, why not use this February 14th as a date to start a new and long-lasting relationship? Drop in to one of our many branches across London and talk to a Stirling Ackroyd property expert today to find out how much we can help.