What is the difference between lettings and property management?
While there may not appear to be a distinction between lettings and property management, the difference between the two is important to understand. For landlords whether you are managing or have a managing agent involves legal responsibilities. For tenants searching for a new property this can make what should be a straightforward process far more confusing. So you always know where you stand, we explain the differences below.
What is lettings management?
Lettings Management is when a letting agent is paid by the owner of a property to find suitable tenants on their behalf. Their responsibility is to advertise the property and filter applicants, with the landlord making the final decision on who can move in.
Once the successful tenant is living in the property, the letting agent will no longer be involved. If the tenant requires help with repairs or maintenance, they must contact the landlord directly. This is also true when it comes to renewing the tenancy at the end of the first contract.
What is property management?
When it comes to property management, the initial process mentioned above is followed. However, the crucial difference is the agent remains engaged with the tenant during the period of their tenancy. This means they are responsible for dealing with repairs, maintenance, tenancy renewals, the rent collection and issuing of monthly rent statements and any other issues you may have.
When contacting the agent about any issues related to the property or tenancy, always put it in writing to ensure you have a record. They will then contact the landlord and the agent should come back to you with a response once they have been instructed.
It is important to remember that if you are not satisfied with the service being offered by the agent then you can contact the landlord directly – even if the agent says you are not allowed to. All standard tenancy agreements state that tenants must be made aware of who their landlord is and be provided with a method of contacting them, if needed. By law, the agent must provide these details within 21 days of your request.
Landlords are always in control
From a tenants point of view It is important to remember that the contract you have signed is not between the agent and yourself, but the landlord and yourself.
By their very definition, agents are paid to act on behalf of someone else; which in this case is the landlord. If the landlord wants the agent to manage the property during the tenancy, it is a service they will be paying for.
Agents are representatives of the property owner. It is their job to protect the landlord’s interests which means everything they do and say is designed to maintain their working relationship.
Who is legally responsible during the tenancy?
Because the contract is between the landlord and yourself, the landlord is ultimately responsible for ensuring their legal duties related to the property are upheld during the tenancy. The agent is simply employed to carry out these duties on their behalf. This includes things such as:
- Providing adequate deposit protection
- Maintaining the property to a liveable standard
- Dealing with safety requirements such as annual Gas Safety Checks, meeting fire safety standards and installing carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms
- Following the terms stated in the contract when you are set to leave the property
All of the landlord’s responsibilities should be stated in the tenancy agreement. Always be sure to read them in full and ask any questions before signing.
If you are a landlord in North West London and would like to learn more about our lettings or property management services, please contact our expert lettings team today on 02084592530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to use Dulux’s Colour of the Year 2024
November 29, 2023
If you are looking to redecorate, why not consider Sweet Embrace™? Here are some ideas of how to use the current Dulux Colour of the Year.
New electrical check guidance for landlords
November 20, 2023
The safety of tenants has become of paramount importance in the private rental sector, and rightly so. One of the areas that has been improved immeasurably is electrical safety and now new guidelines have been issued to provide greater consistency when it comes to checks.
Leasehold reform formally confirmed as a Bill
November 13, 2023
On 7th November 2023, the King’s Speech marked the opening of a new session of Parliament. In his first address of this nature, King Charles III announced the Government’s key priorities for the year ahead and with a General Election expected within the next 12 months, the contents were hotly anticipated.