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problem with letting agent


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I have one property which was formerly my home. I live out of the country 11 months of the year so I have rented my property for the last 2 years through a letting agency. At first everything went well, then there were no payments to my account for over 3 months. I sent mails and phone calls to the agency and after an eternity they replied and admitted the problem lay with them and not the tenant. They paid me the overdue amount without commission and then for 4 months everything ran smoothly again. Now I haven`t had any payment for another 3 months. Same situation, phone calls, emails all to no avail. Eventually the agent called my father back (he was calling on my behalf) and again admitted full liability and said the money would be paid in full by the end of this week (no commission). I finally received an email today saying the agency will close in January 2007. The agency does not intend to enforce the 3 month termination period as it was their decision. I will be home in December for 5 months which gives me time to sort this out. I searched the forum and someone said they use a small letting agency rather than manage the property themselves. How do I find out about this option as self managing is not an option for me as I am out of the country so much?

Since reading all the info here I am a little better informed but I am still a relative newbie to this.

I would appreciate any help given.

Thanks in advance.


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Do a Google search for letting agents in your area. Good start to see how well they market. Email them all to see a. if they respond and how quickly b. level of service they offer . Feel free to ask them any relevant question you want such as how many do they manage, how many tenants are currently in arrears and their procedures, payment criteria, owner or staff run etc. All little indicators as to how good they are.

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Hi Percepto,

I think a small letting agency is better than a High Street estate agency because a) they will give you a more personal service, :( they will be keen to grow their business and will be hungrier to let your property and c) if they are small enough they will not be VAT registered ...... thereby saving you 17.5% in fees.

The agency I use is in Swindon ...... if they can help ... let me know ...... otherwise good luck with your search.

There are quite a few people who contribute to this forum who either run their own, or are just about to start up a, letting agency ... perhaps they can help you as well ?

Best wishes,


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