landlord’s guide to
switching letting agents
Over the years, we’ve helped many landlords switch letting agents and cross over to use our services.
This guide is a culmination of all the experience and knowledge we have gained during our time looking after hundreds of landlords.
We understand that being a landlord can be a challenging role – despite what many of the general public may think.
We also understand that a good working relationship between between letting agent and landlord can make ALL the difference in how successful and smooth rental investments can be.
Changing your letting agent can be a big decision to make. The good news is that it isn’t as complicated or time-consuming a move as you may think it is. For example, switching banks or utility companies is a much more stress-inducing task.
There are many reasons why landlords decide to change letting agents.
Check the contract you have with your current letting agents. Confirm how long the contract is for. How much notice do you need to give them? Are there any early exit fees involved? (Remember, this contract is usually separate from any tenancy agreement signed between you and your tenant.)
Once you’re happy with the with the legalities of leaving, send a written notice that you wish to terminate the contract. Sending by recorded delivery is a good way to ensure receipt of your notice. Many agents will accept notice via email. Always ask for written confirmation that your notice has been received.
Create a paper trail/email threads of written communication between you and the letting agent. This will be invaluable if there are any misunderstandings or disputes.
Make sure you have copies of all paperwork linked to the property. This includes Gas Safety certificates, warranties, tenancy agreements, tenant identification, EPCs, deposit details, and several other items we can advise you on. Most good agents are happy to pass these straight over to the new agent. We are always happy to contact the outgoing agent on behalf of our landlords to access any paperwork required.
Let your tenant know you are switching agents. They needn’t know why, and the outgoing agent should also make them aware of your decision. The new agent will contact them to discuss rental payments, maintenance reporting, and periodic inspection advice.
Give your new agent an update on which stage of the switching process you are at. A good letting agent will help you throughout this process. This is something we do as standard.
Once the notice period is over, collect the property keys, the original tenancy agreement, any other documents, and reset any alarm codes if necessary. This is something we are happy to do on behalf of our landlords.
Finally, seek written confirmation from your outgoing agent that all fees have been paid and that your working relationship with them has ended with no outstanding matters.
Your FAQ's answered
No. If you have done your research and chosen an agent that can deliver better service, the move should benefit the tenant Changing agents does not affect their tenancy agreement.
A good letting agent will have a complaints procedure in place. You should start by making a formal complaint to the agent in writing. Then, if you’re still unhappy, escalate it as high as possible within the agent before finally using an independent redress scheme.
The new agent must transfer the deposit to their deposit scheme. This can be easy if agents use the same deposit service. The new agent should be able to arrange for a transfer with the outgoing agent. The tenant’s permission will be required to move their deposit.
If you choose us to be your new letting agents, we take care of pretty much all of this on your behalf. We have processes in place to ensure everything is done correctly. We can liaise with the outgoing letting agent and conduct an initial inspection. This is when everything is finalised and we take over the property’s management.
It’s totally up to you. But if you are really unhappy and the contract still has several months to run, it may be worth looking into. Most letting agents require three months’ notice in writing. Agency agreements and their termination clauses vary from agent to agent, so check your contract for clarity around the details.
Yes. You may be frustrated or even angry with your current agents, but don’t do anything rash as you have legal obligations to fulfil. As mentioned earlier in the guide, check how long your contract is for and what the notice period is. Most letting agency contracts have a ‘break clause’ in them so that even if your contract is for 12 months, you can give notice at a certain point during that time.
As long as you’ve acted within your contractual obligations, you shouldn’t have to pay anything extra. Unless, of course, the contract contains terms that include early exit fees. If you are leaving due to the agent failing to uphold their terms of business, you may be able to negotiate a waiver of these fees.
Once you are sure you want to change letting agents and have total clarity around the contracts, inform your tenant as soon as possible. Keeping your tenant updated goes a long way to building a good relationship.
Knightsbridge Estate Agents & Valuers – Company Number: 03895928
Knightsbridge Professional Lettings – Company Number: 09983885
Registered Address: 72 Queens Road | Clarendon Park | Leicester | LE2 1TU