Ask a Letting Agent anything

Ask a Letting Agent anything

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superlightr

Original Poster:

12,663 posts

252 months

Wednesday 22nd March
quotequote all
GiantCardboardPlato said:
Isn’t it a lovely bright space?
you can ask an easy or hard or pointed question if you wish? I dont understand you comments as they are.



Edited by superlightr on Wednesday 22 March 09:55


Edited by superlightr on Wednesday 22 March 09:56

GiantCardboardPlato

1,743 posts

10 months

Wednesday 22nd March
quotequote all
superlightr said:
GiantCardboardPlato said:
Isn’t it a lovely bright space?
you can ask an easy or hard or pointed question if you wish? I dont understand you comments as they are.
Sorry they were just supposed to be a joke about the cliches used when advertising places, that's all. I would be interested to know the thought process that goes into the adverts, they are sort of their very own genre of writing.

The thread is very interesting and it's clear you've worked hard to achieve a very professional approach to being a letting agent. It's actually, I would say, going some way to rehabilitating my opinion of that industry. At least now I know there are at least some who have placed thought and care behind what they do, and whose goal is to do a good job. My experiences (long ago now) of letting agents as a renter in the UK were not good, except for one that sticks in the mind (I had been for run in the morning, left my keys at home, arrived home an my partner had gone to work, locked the house. It was 8:45am. I had a telephone job interview at 9:30... I ran to the letting agent, waited for them to open, they were able to confirm who I was to their satisfaction and they gave me some spare keys!). I've also rented in Germany and I much preferred the whole process there, actually.

anyway sorry, carry on.

superlightr

Original Poster:

12,663 posts

252 months

Wednesday 22nd March
quotequote all
GiantCardboardPlato said:
superlightr said:
GiantCardboardPlato said:
Isn’t it a lovely bright space?
you can ask an easy or hard or pointed question if you wish? I dont understand you comments as they are.
Sorry they were just supposed to be a joke about the cliches used when advertising places, that's all. I would be interested to know the thought process that goes into the adverts, they are sort of their very own genre of writing.

The thread is very interesting and it's clear you've worked hard to achieve a very professional approach to being a letting agent. It's actually, I would say, going some way to rehabilitating my opinion of that industry. At least now I know there are at least some who have placed thought and care behind what they do, and whose goal is to do a good job. My experiences (long ago now) of letting agents as a renter in the UK were not good, except for one that sticks in the mind (I had been for run in the morning, left my keys at home, arrived home an my partner had gone to work, locked the house. It was 8:45am. I had a telephone job interview at 9:30... I ran to the letting agent, waited for them to open, they were able to confirm who I was to their satisfaction and they gave me some spare keys!). I've also rented in Germany and I much preferred the whole process there, actually.

anyway sorry, carry on.
interesting to hear you experiences.

Writing property descriptions can be a double edge sword as we have to be careful (as im sure you can imagine) not to misrepresent and then get into trouble. Hence we had rules on the type of words staff could put ie: we can't put things like "Quiet location" but rural location was fine. My descriptions when I did them were all much the same its either modern, neutral, centrally located, rural, good views, etc anything descriptive without incurring a legal liability. Pictures were the best advert. We started with videos as well during covid.

We had one unhappy tenant complain about a flat he rented was single glazed and he wasn't told this - thus his bills were too high and a wc took too long to fix the flush. He even instructed solicitors for some reason. he asserted we told him it was double glazed and wouldn't have taken it otherwise etc and wanted compensation for the delay in repairs to the wc.

As mentioned earlier and also for DIY LL the issue is not in letting but in compliance but more than that in proving compliance.

Anyway we were able to "prove" the original adverts made no mention of the windows, Prove his original emails making no reference to windows, Prove the adverts had the EPC attached for viewing which confirmed the single windows and anticipated heating costs, prove the EPC being given to him before renting and so on.
Prove the time line for the wc fix etc. All of our work was date/time stamped so when he asserted we didn't arrange for wc fix quickly we can prove he was incorrect.

So the whole business was based upon legal liability and compliance to protect the LL and us as agents and then to Let properties to T and to help them have a good and successful letting. As ex-lawyers the compliance side is vital and why we are moving on as its becoming too costly to do or will I believe very soon for small agents.

superlightr

Original Poster:

12,663 posts

252 months

Wednesday 22nd March
quotequote all
yes with being locked out we would have that often.
2 types:

Ive locked myself out can I collect spare keys to let myself in - Yes no problem come to the office etc.

or

Ive locked myself out can you drive over to my location to unlock the house for me? - Which we wouldn't do. Bear in mind that the tenant pays no fees to the agent and is illegal save for limited)for us to make such a charge.

Tenants moving in;
Company rules was that we close at 5.30pm (5pm fridays) no weekend work. tenants moving in/collecting keys must do so before 5.30pm sometimes you would get tenants saying im going to be delayed can you wait 20 mins longer etc. From experience it doenst work, tenants keep delaying etc so we tell staff this and recommend they go home at 5.30 - if they want to stay they can but dont. We are explicit with tenants in prior communications that they MUST be here before 5.30pm and to make suitable travel arrangements.

Anyway new staff wanted to be extra helpful as the new tenants were going to be about 30mins late - he waited. long story short he waited until after 8pm for them to arrive. These tenants were then a real paid during the tenancy. He didnt do that again.

We are very clear with tenants and LL as to what we expect and try to be very explicit in our communications so there are no misunderstandings on issues. Ie we will be closed at 5.30pm you will not beable to collect keys after this time etc.

Before 2019 TF Act we would be a bit more flexible with tenant but since then and the increasing costs to us it was very much red/yellow/green traffic light system for doing things.




Edited by superlightr on Wednesday 22 March 11:08

LFB531

1,212 posts

147 months

Wednesday 22nd March
quotequote all
rambo19 said:
What powers do you have to get emergency repairs done?

IE, boilers has packed up, you send a plumber round and he says boiler is toast, can you get boiler replaced straight away?

What if landlord says they don't have the money for a new boiler?
Without wishing to interfere with the OP's thread, I've just had exactly this situation.

Combi packed up Saturday morning. Pressure was down, snowflake tenant too scared to try and re-pressurise, maintenance popped in Saturday afternoon but unit would not hold pressure. Gas engineer in Monday morning, leaking heat exchanger and boiler rather dated so condemned it. Owners on a cruise somewhere and can't be reached.

Fortunately, I know them well enough to give go-ahead for new unit on their behalf. We get 28 day terms so hopefully I won't be putting my hand in my pocket and new boiler going in tomorrow.

It hasn't stopped the tenant complaining to Trading Standards that we didn't act fast enough of course, to their credit they told her to go away.

This is where the Indie scores over the Corporate. We can get this sorted, the Corporate would most likely have to wait until the LL made contact and then there really would be a world of pain!

BoRED S2upid

18,583 posts

229 months

Wednesday 22nd March
quotequote all
Stevemr said:
Very interesting thread, thank you OP.
Assuming a labour government gets in with a large majority, what new rules/ legislation do you think they will impose on us?
Check out Wales fir the answer to that. Labour have been in charge forever there and have implemented a few changes for landlords.

superlightr

Original Poster:

12,663 posts

252 months

Wednesday 22nd March
quotequote all
LFB531 said:
rambo19 said:
What powers do you have to get emergency repairs done?

IE, boilers has packed up, you send a plumber round and he says boiler is toast, can you get boiler replaced straight away?

What if landlord says they don't have the money for a new boiler?
Without wishing to interfere with the OP's thread, I've just had exactly this situation.

Combi packed up Saturday morning. Pressure was down, snowflake tenant too scared to try and re-pressurise, maintenance popped in Saturday afternoon but unit would not hold pressure. Gas engineer in Monday morning, leaking heat exchanger and boiler rather dated so condemned it. Owners on a cruise somewhere and can't be reached.

Fortunately, I know them well enough to give go-ahead for new unit on their behalf. We get 28 day terms so hopefully I won't be putting my hand in my pocket and new boiler going in tomorrow.

It hasn't stopped the tenant complaining to Trading Standards that we didn't act fast enough of course, to their credit they told her to go away.

This is where the Indie scores over the Corporate. We can get this sorted, the Corporate would most likely have to wait until the LL made contact and then there really would be a world of pain!
Yes most works can go-ahead quickly with either the Agent or LL agreeing if it is to do with heating etc Some corporates would do the work immediately some wouldn't based upon exactly what you said as they are covered by the agency terms. But that issue can be the contractor can't do the work quickly or the parts dont arrive for a week or two or three etc. So no difference to an owner living there having the same delay.