Q. I am really unhappy with the management company I have looking after my rental property, they seem to be charging extortionate fees to do little to nothing and they are not even looking after the property the way they should either, I can’t remember the last time they carried out a routine visit and I know contractually they are meant to be doing this every six months. Is it possible for me to sack this agency and hire someone that comes highly recommended even though my tenants have just renewed for another year?
A. It makes me sad to see that there are still agents operating that do not take their roles seriously and deliver the service they are paid to do. Of course, it will be possible to change agency, but I doubt it will come without some cost financially to you especially given the tenants have just renewed for another year. The first thing you need to do is check the terms of business you sighed with them to see what notice is required to terminate the contract you have with them, usually if its being managed its around three months so this will not be an instant fix it will take a while to transition across. Secondly check your position surrounding fees as there is a good chance that given the current tenant was introduced via the presiding agent that they are entitled to the fees for the period of the contract, so it could be for the remaining term. The new incoming agent will also want fees too from when they take over the management of the tenancy, so you could find yourself paying double fees. I guess you need to decide how urgent it is to oust the agent in making your decision, as if things are really bad you may feel like its worth losing now to gain later. To transfer things across to a new managing agent you will need to hire them immediately and ask them to do the necessary. This will take a while and they will need the assistance of the other agent to get things in place. They will need to draw up a brand-new contract as well as get the tenants to bring in their ID to satisfy the anti-money laundering regulations as well as the right to rent act. They will also need to arrange for the tenant’s security deposit to be transferred across and get copies of the inventory check in so there will be a fair amount to do, nothing for you to be concerned about if you hire a competent agent they will do this on your behalf with little fuss if the other agent is cooperative. Alternatively, you could serve notice on the current tenant as soon as you are able to contractually which would naturally bring your relationship with the offending agent to a close wish and start afresh with the new agent getting them to find you brand new tenants.