What happens if you aren’t getting along with your agent and feel a change is needed?
At Taylor & Co we don’t like to dwell on the negatives but still felt this was an important article for us to discuss. We’re extremely lucky in that this is a problem that we rarely have to encounter but we would be lying if we said it isn’t something which can happen for any landlord or any agent. Although terms are agreed at the beginning of a new working relationship, sometimes one parties’ expectations may be different to the other’s which invariably causes friction. This can be exacerbated if a landlord can see an agency taking their cut of the rent and not living up to expectations. As with all legal contracts, this can be a minefield to navigate when trying to find out exactly what you can and can’t do.
The first step we would always recommend is discussing your concerns with your agent. It may be something a little communication can rectify if there has been a misunderstanding between the two parties. If you find this isn’t working and, as a landlord, you’re still dissatisfied with the service you’re receiving then we would always recommend sourcing an alternative agent before giving formal notice. It is a good idea to discuss your concerns with your new agent to check you won’t fall into the same problem again. Your new agent will often work with your current agent directly to help facilitate the move across and arrange directly for things like deposits to be transferred.
The next step would be to check your notice terms within your landlord’s contract. These should be clearly set out so you can see exactly when you would need to give notice to dis-instruct your agent. If this isn’t clearly outlined then you may have to bite the bullet and contact them directly to ask. Sometimes there is a financial penalty for leaving during the term of the contract but sometimes new agencies will discount their initial fees to swallow this payment up (Yes, Taylor & Co offer this!).
There is also often a loophole in the contract whereby it automatically comes to an end when a tenant leaves so you are able to leave the agency when your current tenant vacates, so it could be worth hanging on if you know a tenant is under notice!
Finally, make sure you always give notice in writing or by email so you have a hard copy to refer back to, should you need it. It is also good practice to state the date your notice will expire, ask your agent to acknowledge your notice and ask for them to outline next steps.