A while ago we wrote several blogs on renting your property with the emphasis being on the pros and cons of renting followed up by a guide to the different tenancies available.
Although the blog did explain how important the relationship with your agent is and what they can do for you, it didn’t focus on the practical benefits of having an agent. It’s something that came to us this weekend when we were reflecting on both the niggles of managing a deposit return while dealing with the start of a new tenancy.
Why would you need MIH?
We will set the scene for you, my most recent client is an overseas landlord with several properties to rent which they have managed successfully for many years themselves. They had, as good landlords, done all the right things. They had built up relationships with various letting agents, cleaning companies, inventory companies and most importantly have their own preferred builders to deal with repairs too.
You may ask, as we did when approached, why do they need MIH?
When a deposit return goes wrong
Well firstly, after years of doing everything themselves and creating good relationships with tenants, they have had their first deposit return go wrong. Their tenant after living in their property for approximately three years decided that as they were leaving they no longer needed to adhere to the terms of the tenancy. It seems that they felt that as long as they paid for the cleaning of the property and provided receipts for this, the deposit would be refunded to them in full.
We must admit having seen the cleaning receipts we would have agreed that they had fulfilled their obligations.
However, what we could not know, until attending the property, was that no amount of cleaning could eradicate years of ingrained dirt from lack of cleaning and care throughout the tenancy. Nor did it seem that there was any comprehension on the need to replace light bulbs or items that had either been broken or damaged as a result of their occupancy.
Although this may seem like minor issues, and not a reason for paying an agent to deal with your property, especially when you are so well set up yourself, you can’t imagine how debilitating a bad deposit return can be until it happens.
A refusal to pay
After building up a relationship with a tenant, it is difficult to comprehend that they will refuse to pay, deny all culpability for the damage and are dismissive of all the hard work you have put into maintaining the property and your relationship.
It is very difficult to accept that suddenly issues that arose during the tenancy that you thought had been dealt with successfully are now being resurrected as a reason why you should accept the property being left in an un-lettable state.
Having met this client initially, our first instinct, as is always the case with MIH was to be honest and advise that we really didn’t think we could help them as they had everything set up and we would not be enhancing their investment.
The practical approach of MIH
However, what we didn’t envisage was the benefit of our hands on and practical approach in dealing with the deposit return. The result of which meant the landlord did not have to face dealing with an unpleasant and ungrateful tenant again. Nor did we appreciate that our professional approach removed much of the antagonism and that this method will ensure that our client receives a fair proportion of the deposit back rather than the derisory sum already offered.
Assisting with new tenants too
In addition to providing this assistance, we have also realised how having a managing agent for your rental property can assist with new tenants particularly when they move in over a weekend and your preferred builder is away.
Again, the practical approach taken by MIH in getting the flat “tenant ready” in the space of five working days, even took our breath away. With removals and storage being organised despite the need for a parking suspension that usually takes 7 days to come through, the cleaning thereafter and finally the inventory clerk to suit the tenant move in.
Despite all of this groundwork, nothing could have prepared us for the failing inlet valve, as a result of the toilet not having been used for so long or a tenant who wants a full induction as to how to turn the heating/hot water on even though there are diagrams above the installations!
We must admit to some bemusement when being asked whether there was any danger in leaving the fridge on for 24 hours when no one was in the property?!?! You can imagine we weren’t best pleased to be dealing with this on a weekend.
All’s well that ends well
However, in the immortal words of Shakespeare “All's well that ends well” with the tenant now happily ensconced in his new home, an undisturbed client and MIH having the satisfaction of a job done well and of proving that to even a well-established Landlord that our service is a worthwhile having. We would even go so far as to saying that we felt like the fifth emergency service!