I want to get out of a management contract but keep my tenant, can I do this?

Question

I have an existing tenant who is under a management agent, but I would now prefer to self-manage. How easy is it to get out of a contract?

Answer

Most management contracts will come to an end at the end of a tenancy agreement, so when your fixed term contract with your tenant is up for renewal, this would be an ideal time to cut the ties with your management agent.

If you choose to go down this route, you would be able to regain control of the management of your tenancy, however, don’t forget that there are a number of requirements that you would have to fulfill in order to be legally compliant.

To make sure that you are fulfilling your legal requirements, make sure you carry out the following as soon as you part company with your management company:

  • Ask your management agent for copies of your most recent documents: inventory, EPC etc
  • Transfer your tenant’s deposit
  • Re-register the deposit and provide your tenant with all of the Prescribed Information relating to the new scheme
  • Provide a new Tenancy Agreement which include your details as the point of contact for your tenant

Your management company will have been handling all of this for you, so make sure that you have everything in hand, so that neither you nor your tenant are left unprotected.

However, before you make the change there are things to consider…

If you are looking to part company with your management company before the end of your tenancy agreement, it is worth considering that you entered into a legal agreement and therefore you will have to play by the rules in order to ensure a pain free split. Unless the management company has breached the rules of your agreement, you will not be able to just walk away from your agreement unless it has reached a natural end.

If you choose to leave before the agreement has come to an end, you may be subject to penalty fees – in this circumstance it is possibly worth considering whether or not it is financially wise to sit it out for the duration of the tenancy and not be subject to the fees, or if they are a small price to pay.

Also, consider how your tenant might feel about you taking over the management of the property. If your management company has sourced the tenant, and they have built up a relationship with them over time, they may be wary of dealing with you directly. Be aware that such a significant change in circumstances could ‘spook’ your tenant, so be sure to explain the changes fully, and be on hand to answer any questions that they may have during the changeover period.

For many landlords, handling the management of their own tenancies is a great way of making sure that they are able to connect with their tenants, and feel that they have a real understanding of what is going on with their business.

There is plenty of legislation involved with being a private landlord today, however it is definitely manageable, so if you are looking to take it on yourself, make sure you are fully briefed in the most up-to-date regulations, notify your tenants and take control of your property!

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