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A Guide to Changing Your Letting Agent Mid-Tenancy

Embarking on a property investment journey often involves partnering with a letting agent to help you manage your properties. However, what happens when your current letting agent lets you down? Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence, but many landlords are reluctant to change agents when it does happen due to the perceived hassle involved. We are here to tell you that it can be simple if the proper steps are taken. Dive into our blog to learn how to say goodbye to your current letting agent and say hello to a property management company that better suits your needs.

  • Can I Change My Letting Agent?
  • Reasons For Landlords Changing Letting Agents
  • Finding a New Property Management Company
  • How to Change Your Letting Agent Mid-Tenancy
  • Switching Letting Agents FAQs

Can I Change My Letting Agent?

It is possible to change your letting agent mid-tenancy if you are no longer happy with their service. As a landlord, you have the right to decide if your current letting agent is not meeting your property needs. Switching letting agents is standard practice. Many factors come into play when changing, but if your agent gives you is failing to meet your requirements, don’t hesitate to do so.

Reasons For Landlords Changing Letting Agents

Due to the perceived hassle of changing letting agents, especially mid-tenancy, many landlords will stick with their agents even if they are unhappy with their service. This, unfortunately, means that some agents become complacent as they are not worried about losing their clients. 

 

Changing your letting agent is a significant decision that should be taken seriously. Before finalising any changes, assessing your reasons for wanting a change is essential. Understanding your motivations can help you make a well-informed decision.

5 Common Reasons Landlords Switch Their Letting Agents

 

  • Vacant Periods: When your property is vacant for a lengthy period, it can have costly repercussions. If your letting agent cannot find a suitable tenant for your property, or if the tenants they select terminate their contract early, it can prove very stressful. Your property must be occupied to reduce the likelihood of paying the mortgage out of your own pocket.
  • Poor Service Quality: Poor service is one of the leading causes of landlords changing their letting agent. Poor service covers many issues, from inadequate property maintenance to delayed rent collection. If your property management agent consistently fails to meet your expectations, it may be time for a change.
  • Lack of Communication: Effective communication is the backbone of any letting agent relationship. If you are experiencing difficulties communicating with your letting agent, chances are your tenants are too. Poor communication with tenants could lead to the termination of tenancy agreements, leaving your property empty.
  • Personal Compatibility: Your letting agent must offer a reliable partnership and a relationship in which you feel comfortable expressing any concerns, knowing they will be met with compassion and rectified as soon as possible. A lack of personal compatibility with your agent can cause friction and frustration, making your needs fall short.
  • Expensive Fees: It is vital to determine whether what you pay in letting agent fees provides you with a valuable service. Paying costly fees can be disheartening when there is little to show for it, especially after investing in a letting agent that promises good results.

Finding a New Property Management Company

Understanding the reasons behind wanting a change highlights your non-negotiables in a letting agent. Conducting thorough research is essential to choosing the right agent for your property. 

 

Our step-by-step guide to researching potential property management companies will help your transition run smoothly:

 

  • Determine Your Needs: Identify your specific needs and goals and decide the level of service you want from a letting agent. From let-only packages to complete property management services, there are a range of options; therefore, understanding what you are looking for is essential.
  • Ask for Recommendations: Your fellow property owners or real estate professionals will have various experiences with letting agents and should be able to provide valuable insights, enabling you to narrow down your options.
  • Conduct a Local Search: For most landlords, hiring a letting agent located close to their rental property is beneficial. This ensures that they are nearby if any issues arise at the property. 
  • Read Reviews and Testimonials: Look for online reviews and testimonials of your short-listed companies to gain insights into the service that landlords and tenants have previously received.
  • Contact Potential Agents: Arrange a meeting with potential agents to better understand their services and communication methods. Assessing their responsiveness during initial interactions is essential, as effective communication is critical to successful property management.
  • Compare Fees: If pricing is a significant factor in changing letting agents, then comparing fees and expenses associated with each agent is essential. Before selecting an agent, you must feel comfortable with the prices for their services.

How to Change Your Letting Agent Mid-Tenancy

Once you have made the executive decision to change your letting agent mid-tenancy, then follow our guide for a seamless transition for both you and your tenants:

Check your Contract

The first step is to analyse the contract between the letting agent and yourself. Similarly to most tenancy agreements, there will be an initial fixed period, meaning you cannot change agents without paying a substantial penalty. Following this period, there will be a rolling period in which you can change agents after providing notice. 

 

Check your contract to determine if you are in a position to switch and whether there will be a termination fee. If your letting agents’ performance has fallen below expectations, you may be able to terminate your agreement on this basis.

Notify Your Current Letting Agent

You may need to provide written notice to terminate your agreement per your contract. At this point, the letting agent may try to change your mind. However, if you have given your decision much consideration, you must remember your reasons for leaving and follow through with the termination process.

Appoint a New Letting Agent

Once you have terminated your agreement with your previous letting agent, it is time to appoint the new agent you have chosen after extensive research. Most agents can help you switch, making the transition as smooth as possible for you and your tenants.

Inform Your Tenants

Fortunately for your tenants, changing the letting agent mid-tenancy will not significantly impact them. At this point, you should have appointed a new letting agent, so you must provide tenants with their contact details immediately. The previous letting agent created the original tenancy agreement, so the contract should be amended accordingly. Your new letting agent will be able to do this.

Legal Compliance

Ensure all legal and regulatory requirements are met throughout the transition process. This involves finalising lease agreements, complying with local laws, and addressing outstanding issues. Document every stage and obtain copies of documents that your previous agent would have possessed, such as gas certificates and financial records.

Transfer the Deposit

If your letting agent uses a Tenancy Deposit Scheme, you must transfer the deposit to your new agent or yourself as soon as possible.

Switching Letting Agents FAQs

Can I change my letting agent at any time?

Yes, as the landlord, you have the right to change your letting agent at any time. However, it is advisable to review your current contract to determine whether you need to pay a termination fee or submit a notice. 

What should I expect from a trusted letting agent?

Your letting agent is responsible for managing your rental property to the best of their abilities to satisfy you and your tenants. As a landlord, you should expect:

  • Open communication and transparency in all dealings
  • Regular property inspections
  • Prompt maintenance and repairs carried out when necessary
  • Accurate and timely rent collection

How much notice do I have to give my current letting agent?

Typically, letting agents require a 3-month notice period. This must be written as a formal notice that tells the letting agent that you are terminating your agreement.

Place Your Rental Property in Trusted Hands with LevelUp

Changing your letting agent mid-tenancy is a significant decision. However, the right strategy can be a transformative step towards more effective property management that will maximise your investment. By assessing your reasons for change and determining your non-negotiables in a new letting agent, you are setting yourself up for success in your new partnership. At LevelUp, our team is committed to providing all landlords with a transparent, stress-free property management service. Contact us today to start the process of changing to a reliable letting agent.

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