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Switching Letting Agents – All You Need To Get It Right

Is it time to switch letting agents? As a landlord, your rental property is likely one of your biggest financial assets. It’s crucial that it’s let and managed well.


If your letting agent is falling short of your expectations and you’re considering a switch, but don’t know where to start. This handy guide contains all you need to know to make the transition as smooth as possible.


As a landlord, there’s a great deal of trust involved, when you use a letting agent to help you find a tenant. Particularly if you opt for a ‘fully managed’ service, where the letting agent looks after both the tenant and the property on your behalf during the tenancy.

You rely on your letting agent to:
  • Find a ‘good’ tenant who can and will pay the rent in full each month, and who will treat your property well
  • Ensure both the tenancy and the property comply with all relevant legislation
  • Communicate well with you about the let and keep you updated on any legal changes that might affect you
  • Manage inspections, maintenance and repairs, and fix any problems quickly and cost-effectively on your behalf
  • Handle any change of tenancy so that void periods are minimised and the property continues to be let at a fair market rate
  • Advise you when rent increases might be possible and if/when upgrades or changes might be worthwhile. (For ideas, check out our blog, ‘How to present your rental property to attract the perfect tenant’) [April 2021]


A kitchen table at a rental property for which Currans Homes is the letting agent. On the table is coffee and cake. Sunflower's sit on the windowsill.


Your rental property may be one of your biggest financial assets, and it’s important that it’s let and managed well. Your agent should be working to ensure constant and consistent rental income, so that your costs are covered and, ideally, you’re left with some profit on top.  They should also be making sure that the property itself is kept in good condition. Ensuring your tenant has a safe and comfortable home, and the capital value is protected.

If any of that isn’t happening, and your agent is falling short of your expectations, you might be thinking about switching. But what’s the best way to do that?

Here’s our handy guide to making the transition from one letting agent to another as smooth as possible.


1). Check the terms of your agreement with the agent

If you’re only using the agent to find a tenant, giving them notice should be fairly straightforward. But if you have a fully managed service, there will often be an initial tie-in period, and you might not be able to switch immediately. Unless the agent has breached their obligations in some way – however, see point 3! The agreement will also state how it can be terminated either by you or your agent and the notice you need to give.

Note – A common clause found in this type of agreement, states you’re obliged to keep paying fees to the agent for as long as the tenant they introduced is living in your property. Discuss this with your new agent, to make sure switching doesn’t mean you end up paying two sets of management fees!


A book on a wooden dining table in a property for which Currans Homes is the letting agent. In the background a well stocked book shelf and a purple plant.


2). Find a new agent – before you give notice!

Unlike switching estate agents, where it might not matter too much if it takes a few weeks to find a new agent to sell your home. If you have a tenant in your property, you need to make sure they remain properly managed.

There are a lot of systems and processes involved in successfully managing a tenancy, as well as a good understanding of lettings legalities. So, if you can make sure you have a new agent ready to take over, they should be able to manage the handover so that nothing gets missed.

Key considerations when choosing a new agent: 
  • Do they have Client Money Protection insurance? (Required by law)
  • Do they have membership of a redress scheme? (Required by law)
  • Do they belong to a professional industry body that has a Code of Conduct? (e.g. Propertymark or Safeagent)
  • How do they stay up to date with legal changes?
  • What are their fees, particularly tenancy renewal costs?
  • Are they successfully letting and managing properties like yours?
  • Do they have an attractive website and good-quality marketing?
  • What’s their average time to let a property and average annual void period?
  • If possible, speak to one or two of their current landlords.


A bedroom in a property for which Currans Homes is the letting agent. On the bedside table a lamp and potted orchid.


These considerations should give you a good idea of how professional the company is. And how well they would manage your property/tenant. After this, the final point on your checklist is: do you like them? These are the people who you and your tenants will be dealing with for the foreseeable future – possibly years – so it’s important that you like their approach.

Once you’ve found the agent you’d like to move to, it’s time to give your current agent notice.


A bedroom in a property for which Currans Homes is the letting agent. On the bedside table a gold alarm clock and a cream feature lamp.


3). Explain to your agent why you want to leave them

The best resolutions tend to come from open and amicable discussions. So make sure you’re clear about your reasons for wanting to switch – it’s often helpful to make a list ahead of having the conversation with your agent. If they agree that things haven’t worked out, they may be prepared to negotiate over any contractual tie-in you might have. For example, if their tenant is still in the property. You could try to reach an agreement to pay them a one-off ‘introduction’ fee. Rather than having to keep paying them every month until the tenant leaves.

Importantly – check the old agent is happy to pass on the tenancy file to your new agent. This includes information like tenant referencing information, deposit protection details and gas check certificates. And confirm that they will contact the tenant to ensure a smooth handover with rent payments etc.


A kitchen in a property for which Currans Homes is the letting agent. On the kitchen table, a plate of croissants, orange juice and a bouquet of flowers.


Whatever you agree with your agent, make sure it’s confirmed in writing.

Remember, it’s a legal requirement for every letting agent to be a member of either The Property Ombudsman or The Property Redress Scheme. Both offer independent third-party dispute resolution. So if you’ve already spoken to your agent about why you want to leave – and put it in writing. And they don’t resolve things to your satisfaction, you can take the matter to whichever redress scheme they belong to.


A bedroom in a Currans Homes rental property. On the wooden bedside table a stack of books, a candle and a vase of white flowers.


The Final Step

The final step is to engage your new agent. Be honest about why you’re making the move to them, and be clear on your expectations of their service. In our experience, a successful relationship between a landlord and their agent depends on good communication. Start as you mean to go on!

If you’re thinking of switching from your current agent, we’d love to hear from you. We can discuss the levels of service we offer and help you find the right letting and management solution that fits your aims as a landlord. Call us today on 01244 316338 or get in touch via our contact form and we’ll be happy to arrange a discreet and confidential chat.