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Is your property being managed efficiently and honestly?

Is your property being managed efficiently and honestly?

Ben Roberts

By Ben Roberts, Director

January is nearly at a close, so now it’s time to really get down to business.

For many of us, that means cracking on with projects we have been meaning to get around to. For you, it might mean upgrading some of the facilities in your properties, or just making some essential repairs.

However, many landlords are hit with a shock when they discover how much it could cost to deal with repairs.

The issue is, many lettings and property management businesses rocket up the prices of simple restorations and repairs to maximise their profits. Here at Keystone, we’re different.

Here’s three things we do to ensure that we get our landlords the best deals possible:

“Tell you what I’ll do…”

Our Managing Director recently spoke with an electrician who works for all of our competitors. He told us that he would give us a discounted price, so that we could put ‘10-20% on for ourselves’.

At Keystone, we pride ourselves on never marking up work that contractors do at any of our properties. Unfortunately for many landlords, it has become an accepted practise of almost every other letting agent.

We take the discounted price. However, unlike our competitors, we pass that saving directly onto our landlords. At the end of the day, we are managing their properties for them - we want to do it properly.

Insisting on fees?

One local agent actually insists on charging tenants a fee for renewing their six-month contract.

Imagine, that tenant is happy, and wants to stay where they are. Up until this point, any issues between tenant and agent have been resolved with little to no issue.

But now, this tenant has no choice. They have to pay this fee, otherwise they will get a notice!

Suddenly, they may not be as happy with the current arrangement with their letting agent…

What makes us different?

At Keystone, we actually like to manage your property for you.

Unlike competitors, that includes organising repairs with relevant contractors. We see no need to follow the now ‘accepted practise’ of marking up the prices of any work.

Too many landlords are unaware of this sneaky practise, and we want to make sure that you know we will be straight talking and honest with you.

Beyond this, we see absolutely no need to renew any assured shorthold tenancy agreement!

As a standard assured tenancy agreement rolls onto a periodic tenancy which in effect, is a rolling contract, the tenant has to provide one months’ notice from the payment day if they wish to leave. Also, the landlord has to give the tenant two months’ notice if they wish for the tenant to vacate.

As the assured tenancy agreement automatically changes to a rolling contract under the Housing Act 1988, Section 5, it seems defunct to charge a renewal fee. But some letting agents do include it in their tenancy agreement so be sure to check before you sign!

Ultimately, we want to keep you and your tenants as happy as possible and charging to renew such tenancy agreements is not the way to do it.

According to the 2017 Property Redress Scheme annual report, the number of letting complaints was up by 62% that year. (1) With the sneaky practises of other property management businesses, it’s not really a surprise.



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