Q. I’m a Landlord of Multiple properties and I’m currently having huge problems with my managing agents that look after the properties for me. I really don’t think I can tolerate them much longer but feel like I have my hands tired as most of the tenancies have at least six months still left on their contract, they have me over a barrel but I honestly cannot wait that long to get things sorted. Can I fire them and hire a new agent?
A. It’s always disappointing to hear an Agent is letting you down and although changing over to a more desirable company can be challenging it can of course be done. The easiest route by far is to serve notice on all the tenants now if your contracts allow you to and get them out so you can hand the properties over to your new agent with vacant possession where they can start the re-letting process and pick up the management once they secure tenants. However given your tolerance for the situation has completely run dry there are other more rapid options but they could also be costly so you will need to consider how desperate you are to break loose from the current agent before you proceed. Most importantly before you do anything make sure you source a new agent properly; recommendations are usually the best way forward. Ask fellow investors or even your conveyancing solicitor if they have a personal recommendation for someone suitable, and always ensure they are regulated members of ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings). Once you have sourced a new agent set up meeting with them to discuss the transfer of the management across to them. You will then need to serve notice on your current agent to terminate your contract with them, check the small print prior to doing so to ensure you serve the correct length of notice. Your current agent is unlikely to refund any fees given you have served notice on them, and the new agent will want their fee too to take over the operation for you. Your new agent will then collect copies of all the documentation required for the transfer. The tenant will then be notified by both agents of the change of management and your new agent will ensure that the rental payments are set to go to them going forward. Finally, the deposit will also need to be dealt with according to which scheme it’s currently registered with, again, leave this for your agents to organise.