19 min

GL #5: When things go wrong with letting agents Good Landlording

    • Investing

In this week's episode, Richard Jackson and Suzanne Smith discuss what landlords can do when things go wrong with letting agents, and how to make a complaint. It's the third in a series of three episodes on what landlords need to know about letting agents.







While the vast majority of interactions with letting agents are positive, it’s important for landlords to know what options they have when things go wrong. Richard and Suzanne discuss how to make complaints to the letting agents and the redress schemes, and the additional protection that choosing Propertymark members provides landlords. The podcast episode also touches on complaints to Trading Standards and taking legal action in the small claims court.







This episode follows GL#3: Guide to selecting good letting agents and GL#4: Tips for signing up with letting agents.







What we talk about in Episode 5 on problems with letting agentsWhat are the most common complaints about letting agents?Keeping good recordsDifferent ways to make complaints about letting agentsInformal complaint to letting agentsFormal complaint to letting agentsRefer complaint to redress schemePropertymark members - extra recourseComplaint to Trading StandardsLegal actionGolden nuggetsCredits















>> Submit a question: Click here for question form







What are the most common complaints about letting agents?







According to the Property Redress Scheme 2023 Annual Report, the top three categories of complaints about letting agents are holding deposits (presumably by tenants), poor service and management, and tenancy payments and rent collection.







Here are other common causes for complaint by landlords:









Poor communication and failure to provide information







Inspections: failing to carry them out or not preparing a report after they do an inspection







Signing up poor quality tenants







Not arranging gas safety certificates in time when it’s not due to the tenant failing to give access.







Repairs: not carrying out repairs promptly or properly, or overcharging







Rent arrears: not chasing late payments properly and not keeping the landlord informed about rent arrears







Failing to forward rent onto the landlord









Keeping good records







It’s important for landlords to keep good records of conversations with letting agents so it’s clear what has been agreed and what feedback has been given. Richard keeps his notes in the Alphaletz property management software so there is a record in the event of a dispute.







Contemporaneous notes that are made at the time can provide excellent evidence if a complaint escalates into legal action, where “recollections may differ”.







Different ways to make complaints about letting agents







Landlords have three different routes to making complaints. The first is to make a complaint to the agent, which is then escalated to the redress scheme if the landlord isn’t happy with the outcome of the complaint. The second is to complaint to Trading Standards. The third is legal action. It is possible to combine one or more of these routes.







>> Blog post: The Independent Landlord guide to resolving problems with letting agents







Informal complaint to letting agents







The first step is to make an informal complaint to the branch by speaking to the branch manager, and making clear where their service falls short and what action you expect. They might not know you’re unhappy and it might be a simple thing that ca...

In this week's episode, Richard Jackson and Suzanne Smith discuss what landlords can do when things go wrong with letting agents, and how to make a complaint. It's the third in a series of three episodes on what landlords need to know about letting agents.







While the vast majority of interactions with letting agents are positive, it’s important for landlords to know what options they have when things go wrong. Richard and Suzanne discuss how to make complaints to the letting agents and the redress schemes, and the additional protection that choosing Propertymark members provides landlords. The podcast episode also touches on complaints to Trading Standards and taking legal action in the small claims court.







This episode follows GL#3: Guide to selecting good letting agents and GL#4: Tips for signing up with letting agents.







What we talk about in Episode 5 on problems with letting agentsWhat are the most common complaints about letting agents?Keeping good recordsDifferent ways to make complaints about letting agentsInformal complaint to letting agentsFormal complaint to letting agentsRefer complaint to redress schemePropertymark members - extra recourseComplaint to Trading StandardsLegal actionGolden nuggetsCredits















>> Submit a question: Click here for question form







What are the most common complaints about letting agents?







According to the Property Redress Scheme 2023 Annual Report, the top three categories of complaints about letting agents are holding deposits (presumably by tenants), poor service and management, and tenancy payments and rent collection.







Here are other common causes for complaint by landlords:









Poor communication and failure to provide information







Inspections: failing to carry them out or not preparing a report after they do an inspection







Signing up poor quality tenants







Not arranging gas safety certificates in time when it’s not due to the tenant failing to give access.







Repairs: not carrying out repairs promptly or properly, or overcharging







Rent arrears: not chasing late payments properly and not keeping the landlord informed about rent arrears







Failing to forward rent onto the landlord









Keeping good records







It’s important for landlords to keep good records of conversations with letting agents so it’s clear what has been agreed and what feedback has been given. Richard keeps his notes in the Alphaletz property management software so there is a record in the event of a dispute.







Contemporaneous notes that are made at the time can provide excellent evidence if a complaint escalates into legal action, where “recollections may differ”.







Different ways to make complaints about letting agents







Landlords have three different routes to making complaints. The first is to make a complaint to the agent, which is then escalated to the redress scheme if the landlord isn’t happy with the outcome of the complaint. The second is to complaint to Trading Standards. The third is legal action. It is possible to combine one or more of these routes.







>> Blog post: The Independent Landlord guide to resolving problems with letting agents







Informal complaint to letting agents







The first step is to make an informal complaint to the branch by speaking to the branch manager, and making clear where their service falls short and what action you expect. They might not know you’re unhappy and it might be a simple thing that ca...

19 min