Why should I pay renewal fees, my other agent doesn’t charge them at all?
Put simply, the other agent that this client is referring to most likely does not offer the same service as we offer ours. Our fees are for the Tenant that we find, rather than the initial tenancy that we put together, which means that we charge for the whole period of time that a tenant is in situ.
This does not mean that we over-charge, in fact, quite the opposite actually is true. Many agents find tenants for 6 or 12 months and then charge landlords the higher rate of fee year in year out. We recognise the importance of retaining a good tenant and keeping them in your property for a long period of time. We effectively accomplish this and have many, many tenants on our books that have lived in a property for years. Just this month, a tenant moved out of our property who had moved in when I first started working at Sewell & Gardner 10 years ago! The property had been kept well maintained, whilst the rent was paid every month on time… a landlords dream!
So, what do we do differently? Well a free property inspection for non managed properties is offered as part of the renewal process. This offers landlords, who may not have been inside the property for years a chance to see how their property is being looked after. It also gives tenants an opportunity to discuss any issues that they have – many of which, if resolved, would benefit the landlord too.
We all keep hearing about how the economy is bad and unemployment is high, so before a renewal of tenancy is finalised, I write to tenants employees to check they are still employed by the same company and their salary is as previously reported. Should this have changed, then it is important that landlords are aware of this as they well not wish to renew a tenancy whereby there is a good chance the rent could be defaulted on. From a tenant’s point of view, if we are not informed of changes of circumstances and they stop paying the rent, this could adversely affect their credit rating for years to come and as many tenants wish to buy at some point, this could seriously harm their ability to do this.
The vast majority of agents at renewal draw up no further paperwork (and still charge renewal fees!) whilst many others may just print out a single paged Memorandum of Agreement. What we do is draw up a brand new, legally updated fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy at every renewal. This benefits all parties as legislation is continually changing and if you have a tenant living in your property for 4+ years, with out updating it, you could have serious implications if there was ever a problem.
Unlike most agents, we have a dedicated member of staff, whose job is solely to make sure the renewal of your tenancy runs smoothly. And even better news…that member of staff is me! We are here for advise, or a cup of tea if you are in Rickmansworth anytime to discuss any aspect of your tenancy for the full time that you are letting out your property.