We’ve never had a year where we’ve taken on as many agent-switching property owners as we have this year.
Why so many switchers in 2022?
The majority of agent switchers have been driven by changes of ownership of their previous letting agency. There’s been some big takeovers in our sector this year and many landlords are not enjoying life under the new management forced upon them.
Other agent switchers have experienced their quality of service drop as many letting agencies have struggled to respond to the challenges presented by COVID followed by the extreme market conditions in the private rented sector (PRS) this year and have called time on their previous agency relationships.
Why do owners (landlords) switch letting agencies?
The reasons for switching are nearly always because the owner has had a bad experience with another letting agency. It’s normally the culmination of a series of issues until enough is enough. Occasionally a landlord will switch to Umega because they already have another property managed by us and they’ve reached the point they would like to have them managed under one roof.
What’s involved in switching letting agency?
The main thing to be aware of is that a tenancy agreement is a contract between the property owner and the tenant. The letting agency has no rights in the tenancy agreement meaning that even with a change of letting agency (or managing agent as it’s sometimes referred to), the tenancy agreement between the owner (landlord) and the tenant is unaffected and will remain in place after a change of agency.
Can a letting agency force a landlord to stay?
No. The circumstances relating to the change of arrangement can vary depending on what is in the terms of business between the property owner and the letting agency. Most letting agencies will release unhappy landlords on request, especially where a history of poor service has led to the exit. Occasionally, letting agencies will ignore the poor service record and broken relationship and try to hold owners against their will for an extended notice period or for them to pay excessive exit fees. This is rare and there are big question-marks around the fairness, ethics and legality of holding property owners under contract where their agency has let them down.
How does an owner change their letting agency?
It’s a very straightforward process and there is little required from the property owner other than to notify the previous agency of the change of arrangement.
If you’re an owner considering switching agent, talk to us first. We can explain the process in more detail and also help navigate any potential hurdles your previous agency might put in the way.