Many Edinburgh landlords who are unhappy with the service provided by their letting agent are reluctant to switch to a new letting agent because they think it will be too disruptive or too expensive. In most cases, neither is true - in fact, there can be considerable positive financial implications.
Moving to a letting agent who better aligns with your own standards and property management goals can make owning an Edinburgh buy-to-let a far less stressful experience, and chances are your tenants will be happier too. This can have a knock-on effect on the ongoing costs of owning a rental property. Happy tenants are likely to stay longer, which saves on the expense of frequent transitions between tenancies, such as redecorating or advertising for a new tenant.
Won’t the expenses of switching letting agents wipe out the benefits?
There is a misconception about the costs involved in making a change, and often landlords sit tight because they think the process will be too much hassle or that the expenses will outweigh the benefits. Sometimes it simply becomes too confusing to review and compare property management services because the approach to costs can vary from agent to agent.
As well as the management fee itself, there’s often a marketing fee, property maintenance charges, fees for repairs, and charges for safety certificates and other documents. With some agents, charges will be grouped together, while others may cost things individually. The agent should provide a menu of costs so you can clearly see what services they will provide on your behalf and what the cost will be. You can find out more about what we provide for landlords here.
Paying more at the start could save money in the longer term, so it’s important to have a full picture and decide what’s important to you.
Pricing up the move
For most landlords, there won’t be a direct cost associated with moving to a new letting agent, but it depends on the terms of the existing contract. Letting agents usually have a notice period written into the agreement, typically around three months, so if you want to leave, you’ll need to give official notice at the correct time.
However, the initial contract will usually be for a year and exiting before this could incur a charge. This is to ensure the letting agent isn’t out of pocket from drawing up your tenancy agreement and carrying out checks and inspections on your property.
Make sure you carefully review your contract and know your responsibilities and commitments before making a decision – at Clan Gordon, we offer all new landlords £250 to offset charges so you can start benefitting from excellent customer service as soon as possible.
New agent, new fees
All letting agents have different pricing structures for the services they provide, so when looking to switch, make sure you’re comparing like-for-like. It may be that you’re willing to pay a bit more for a better service or want to include things that aren’t part of your current contract.
Whatever the reason for switching, make sure you have a clear idea of the services being offered and the prices being charged by the new agents you are considering. There’s nothing worse than switching only to find you’re getting a lesser service at a higher price. Taking time to weigh up all your options will pay dividends.
At Clan Gordon, we only work with landlords who share our high standards and want to provide exceptional service to their tenants. Good communication and fast response times are top of our list, and our excellent Google reviews prove that we deliver what we promise. Checking agents’ websites and searching out reviews is a good way to find out what current clients think of an agent’s service.
Financial benefits of switching letting agents
Saving money might not be your motivation for switching letting agents, but it can often be a happy consequence, even if it’s in the longer term rather than immediately.
A letting agent who carries out regular detailed property inspections will pick up problems at the earliest opportunity, which makes sorting them out faster and less expensive. For example, a leaking tap that’s quickly fixed is unlikely to cause major damage. But one that’s left to drip onto a work surface for a long period can result in something far more costly than simply replacing a washer or cartridge.
At Clan Gordon, we have a bank of reputable and reliable local tradespeople who carry out work of the highest standard on our rental properties. This can save the landlord money in the long term, as a shoddy quick fix will need another repair further down the line.
Tenants who are happy in your property and feel looked after by their letting agent will be more likely to stay, which means you won’t experience ‘dead time’ when no money is coming in. Rent increases are also likely to be better received if tenants feel they’re getting good customer service.
Does your current letting agent have your best interests at heart?
When making a case to transfer to a new agent, it’s important to weigh up the issues you’re experiencing with your current agent and decide what’s most important. Do rent payments always arrive on time? Are you confident that your agent’s team of property managers have your best interests at heart? Does the service you receive give you peace of mind?
If rent payments are often late, it can have serious financial implications for your own mortgage payments, which could put your investment at risk. A letting agent who will take good care of your property and whose staff will look after your obligations diligently is a sound reason to switch. The impact of good property management cannot be underestimated, and a letting agent who takes the hassle of having a buy-to-let property off your hands and puts your mind at rest is invaluable.
Expert knowledge of the local lettings market can help you make the right decision, so for advice and information about switching letting agent, schedule a no-obligation call with one of our trained and qualified property managers.