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Interview with Jack Barnett, Director, Rent North East. By Chris Walkey, Estate Agent Networking

Do you feel that more should be done to regulate the lettings industry and help improve the reputation of it? Many suffer from a few rogue traders it would seem.

Absolutely. Landlords and tenants don’t feel that they have a clear idea of what they should be entitled to.

Is your agent constantly trying to maximise your income?

A good property manager should always be on the lookout for legitimate savings and income opportunities to make your investment work better for you.

At Rent North East, we regularly renew our tenant’s contracts, and increase income for our landlords.

Does it matter if my tenant likes me?

The landlord-tenant relationship is a tricky business to manage. On the one hand, you (the landlord) may feel under pressure to give your tenant what they want, so that they are happy and therefore cooperative. On the other hand, you are running a business, and unnecessary overheads must be avoided.

In theory, your relationship should be simple. You and your tenant have a business relationship, and there are terms to be adhered to.  As your agent, our job is to ensure that the terms of the AST are upheld. Simply put, if a tenant requests a new wheelie bin, our job is to turn around and to explain that this is not the landlord's responsibility.  

Unfortunately, tenants may have expectations bourne from any number of factors, be it a previous landlord granting a particular request, or a tenant being told by misinformed friends that “their landlord should really be doing it themselves”, or from a previously badly managed landlord-tenant relationship with the roles being unclearly defined.

So, to answer the question...

Choosing an agent to manage your property can be very confusing. A quick search on Google for “property management company in Gateshead” brings up 7 company websites (Rent North East leading in top place), and numerous other directories and adverts.

 

Here are a few steps you can take to bring your list of agents down to a manageable shortlist of two or three great agents.

Why should I use an agency to let my property? I can find a tenant myself on Gumtree…!

Landlords have long tried to maximise the yield of their investment by keeping costs down, indeed that is what we offer landlords; to keep their costs at a minimum.

There is a fine line where landlords risk losses by cutting legitimate costs.

Imagine that your boiler at home had stopped working. Whilst it may be attractive to try repair it yourself, in most cases you would be better off employing a qualified professional to resolve the issue. This is of course subject to circumstances; there will sometimes be cases where you would save significant sums by choosing to carry out the repair yourself.

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