The La-La Land of the Letting Agent

I must comment on the way managing the rental of a property can sometimes have a certain, what, unreality about it?

A tenant had to be evicted from a property this week; this was a sad end to a troublesome experience, where a lady with a large family of kids, living without her husband who had been pressed into being the guarantor for her and his kids, had to leave under Court Order having at one point run up arrears and substantial court costs totalling well over £5000.

Now, the husband/guarantor regards this as legitimate grounds to say the agency staff “lack morals”. Specifically he suggests: “No morals at all , had to move a whole Family , children in school and had friends Although the rent could of been Upto date long while Ago which I said it would be , just spent 1500 on storage and van hire U have no interest at all ,in people or the situation ,,, only to make money”.

We are advised to expect a “formal complaint”.

The renting of a property to a family who did, the agency are happy to assert, look after the place magnificently is a compact between a willing landlord and a decent tenant. That seems absolutely proper. But no part of that arrangement permits the family to decide not to pay rent when the guarantor is perfectly able to do so (just opted not to), who paid up speedily when the Court threat was looming, then immediately afterwards failed again to pay the rent properly, and yet to say in the face of the agency manager that she is “inhuman”.

Abuse is all too often part and parcel of the day-to-day cut and thrust of being a letting agent – and let’s be clear, no-one is happy as a result of this unhappy case. But you might reasonably say that these were rather self-inflicted wounds on the part of this tenant and her husband. And the local councils obviously thought so too, as they would not provide re-housing for tenants so substantially in arrears. If conducted properly a tenancy can and should be a benign experience; we don’t evict lightly, but an abusive manner from a tenant will pretty quickly lead to remedial action by a good agent.

I ought to add that the property owner, on Northwood’s Guaranteed Rent Scheme, is completely unaffected, quite probably unaware, and not out of pocket to a single penny. Now that really is unreal!

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