It’s common knowledge that relationships, whether personal or professional, need work, but if you start putting in more than you’re getting back things may start to turn sour.
Unfortunately for landlords, this can be a common occurrence, as letting agents start letting them down during the first tenancy.
Why are relationships with your letting agent so important?
Letting out properties in the UK can seem like a full-time job. Mandatory legal checks on all tenants, regular compliance changes and regulation amendments – the list goes on. Simply staying on the right side of the law can be stressful. On top of that, there are countless potential issues that can crop up at every stage of the tenancy.
Basically, if your letting agent is not pulling their weight, you’ll feel as though you’re sinking in a swamp of bureaucracy and to-do lists.
If we take into consideration five key areas of the lettings process, it’s easy to see how a good letting agent should be invested in your relationship.
Understanding the rental market
Knowing how much your property is worth in the rental market is fundamental. Landlord with Townends benefit from our Rental Price Index which updates month with the latest rental property transaction data.
With an inaccurate market appraisal, you could set your price too low and lose money on the rental income you could be earning. As a result, landlords of other comparable properties will earn more than you for the same amount of work.
Alternatively, set the price too high and your property will stand empty as prospective tenants will be put off by paying too much. Again, rival local landlords will benefit. Either way, there is a negative effect on your bottom line.
It is vital that your letting agent provides you with the best service possible and offers a realistic and appropriate valuation. This is where Townends can help.
Our experienced and qualified team can accurately assess rental potential and offer a market appraisal that helps landlords get the most from their single property or property portfolio.
As part of this process, Townends thinks beyond the bricks and mortar. We take factors into consideration that our competitors may not analyse. We draw up an in-depth assessment of the things that make your property unique – as well as factor in your personal circumstances.
Offer, negotiation and acceptance
In order to get the best possible rent, good negotiation is key. They say knowledge is power, so the best lettings negotiators try to establish as many facts from the tenant as possible.
Our experts will work out a prospective tenant’s appetite, including their initial reactions to the property when conducting the viewing. By judging body language and conversation – talking about where their furniture would fit helps – they will move a desirable tenant towards picturing the property with their own personal touch.
They may also uncover how many similar properties the tenant has seen in the same area to gauge the competition. And, if there are particular sticking points, they’ll ask what they are.
Equally, if an offer does come in, they will already have worked out the landlord’s red lines – and won’t budge in discussion.
Above all, they will be realistic. Achieving the highest rent is secondary to taking in the right tenant, as the wrong tenant can cost you a lot more over time.
Let us assist you with every step of your letting journey – taking care of all the negotiations carried out with applicants who want to rent out your property, as well as fully managing the offers that come in.
Moving-in-day can be stressful for everyone involved. The tenant is moving most of his or her worldly possessions into a residence they’ve never inhabited before, and the landlord’s obligation is to ensure that everything goes smoothly by making sure the property is ready.
Needless to say, without the assistance of a good letting agent, things can evidently go awry.
At Townends we know that the small details in a lettings relationship really do matter, so as well as issuing a Welcome Pack to tenants we always call both landlord and tenant on moving in day to make sure that the tenancy has successfully begun and that everyone is happy. Settling everyone into a new relationship matters, and by showing that we care, a positive partnership can begin.
No matter how happy a tenant is on arriving at their new home, boilers can pack up, water pipes can burst, and fuse boxes can blow on the coldest day of the year.
The last thing a landlord wants is a phone call at 2am from a dissatisfied tenant requesting that the roof tiles be reattached as the wind is whipping through the house.
Luckily, the Townends team has an answer to this particular conundrum. We have invested in Fixflo – a repair reporting tool that enables tenants to resolve any maintenance issues with the minimum disruption.
It’s a 24/7 service in 40 languages that helps to keep the tenants catered for, your property in good condition, and your mobile phone happily dormant night and day.
Re-lets and renewals
Much like some relationships, tenancies also come to an end. Either the tenant goes his or her own way and you re-let the property, or the tenant opts to extend the contract for another term.
Both scenarios require attention to detail. Should the tenant choose to vacate the property, the whole process of searching for another tenant begins again, involving background checks, negotiations, offers, and the drawing up of contracts.
For this reason, most landlords will, in all honesty, prefer to renew if they can.
The thing is, there are still procedures to follow. The tenant will likely see the end of one contract as an opportunity to renegotiate terms which they may have found inconvenient. Plus, this time, they hold the ace.
Why not let the experts deal with all these negotiations for you? The Townends team are experts in re-letting properties, as well as renewing tenancies. After all, we’ve been doing just that for more than 25 years across London and Surrey.
We always begin negotiating new contracts at least three months in advance of the tenancy ending in order to prevent any void periods. In the case of a re-let, we’ll conduct all the final safety checks to make sure your tenants are aware of their check-out obligations.
Fall in love with Townends this Valentine’s Day
If you suspect you may have fallen out of love with your letting agent, and the excitement of being a landlord has somewhat flatlined, maybe it’s time to talk to Townends.
Landlords who choose our unrivalled Fully Managed Plus letting service can take the stress out of property management and place it directly in our hands.