News from - Homenet Property Group

Landlord and agent must agree

As competition in the property market increases, more and more homeowners are opting to rent out their properties and wait for the market to improve rather than sell below their required price.

And at the same time as they are becoming landlords, many estate agencies are beefing up or starting rental divisions to cater for the demand for property administration, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the giant Homenet agency group.

“Agencies with established rental divisions are now employing more rental agents while agencies new to property administration find themselves on a steep learning curve. And while it is commendable that agencies are reacting to market demand, it does create a potential situation where landlord and agent are both inexperienced parties in an arrangement that should be based on trust and co-operation.”

To circumvent possible conflict between the landlord and agent, a clear and written agreement stipulating the role the agent is expected to fulfil, should be drawn up and signed by both parties, he says.

“Issues that should be addressed include services such as advertising the property, collecting rent, checking potential tenants’ credit histories, managing routine maintenance work and regular inspection of the property.

“In cases where properties are leased fully or partly furnished, the agreement should also state whether or not the agent is expected to take an inventory when tenants move in or out.”

As for the agent’s commission, Schultheiss says, this should be commensurate with his or her duties and should also be included in the agreement to prevent any misunderstandings or future disputes.

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