Well it’s been a month since the inception of the new Ezytrac team and firstly let me say a big thank you to all the landlords that I have spoken to and who have welcomed me and the new members of the team. I thought as a way of saying hi I would give you a heads up of the changes we have already put in place and the added benefits that are soon to be implemented.
1) Office move to Lincoln For those of you that haven’t realised we are now based in Lincoln, Brett says we have done this so as wages are cheaper up here and therefore we can have extra resources within the team (and I thought it was because he wanted to hire me 🙂 in any case you can use the numbers below to contact us in Lincoln.
2) More frequent rental payments We have hired a rents clerk who has taken responsibility for accounts. now we have this extra resource it means that we can pay you within a couple of days of receiving the rental payments, the day that the payment is sent to you we will send a statement, I am aware that this has been a common cause of issues to a lot of landlords and we hope that this will all be running smoothly very soon. We have struggled with the it side of the new software but it seems to be under control now. If you are not receiving statements please email us and provide dates that you require and we’ll shoot them back to you.
3) Standardised pricing, terms and conditions and national coverage We now manage over 500 properties for almost 200 landlords and adding around 50 properties per month which places us in the position of being a large lettings agency, so we have been using this bulk purchasing power to get you a better deal. We are in talks with several national letting agents up and down the country to get the prices for a tenant find service down. we are also negotiating this to include move out inspections, full and comprehensive tenancy agreements including “prescribed information” this is the information that the tenant must be given to inform them where their deposit will be held, the best place to put anything like that is in the tenancy agreement, as tenants must read and sign this document, therefore if a tenant said that we had not informed them of where the deposit is held we can say with confidence that there were told and they signed to agree this!
4) Section 21 notices as standard We want to issue section 21’s (notice to quit) at the start of the tenancy, this last one is to offer a bit more security to you as a landlord, as the majority of issues occur within the first few months, there has been some discussion as to whether or not we are able to issue section 21’s at the start of the tenancy, before the deposit is lodged with the DPS, however if we decide against issuing it with the tenancy agreement we will then just issue with the welcome letter that is sent to all tenants within a week or so of the commencement of the tenancy. Also we are bartering to have inventories included for you. we aim to keep you informed of all charges that you will incur however if we are unable to reach you then I, as head of lettings, will make the decision on your behalf, I will always “watch your wallet” as this is in mine and Ezytrac’s best interest – I will never expect you to pay for something that I would not be happy to pay for myself!
5) Regular rent increases We are aiming to implement section 13’s (rent increases) once a year, the new lettings software is able to inform us when a tenant is due for a rental increase, we will discuss this with you and your tenants and find a satisfactory outcome for all parties – we do not want to push your tenants out so sometimes we may advise to meet your tenants in the middle.
6) Previous issues that you have had Since coming onboard I have been dealing with a number of issues from tenants not paying rents, statements not being received, rents being received with no references, as well as the odd information recorded wrongly and other irritating errors. I have worked non-stop to sort out each and every one of these problems and I am happy to say that whilst some issues are ongoing (tenants unfortunately are a necessary evil to property investment) I now have all the issues, in hand, that I am aware of. Please, if you have any issues, problems, or suggestions on how we can make things better or things that just need fixing can you please email me so I can sort them out/discuss them with you.
7) Complimentary key holding for every property This is one of Brett’s requests of me, in the past we’ve had problems with tenants and local agents losing keys and of course everyone denies it was them, in one case this meant that we had to replace locks so Brett has decided that as part of the service we will arrange to get a copy of keys for each property to be made and given to us to keep in the Lincoln office, so whatever happens we will have a copy for you. This is a massive and expensive task and will take some time to fully implement but we are committed to doing this.
8) Debit and credit card machine We now have a debit and credit card machine for getting rent payments from tenants who maybe don’t have the cash, this has already proved successful. It seems tenants who have spent all their money are still prepared to send on a credit card. I am currently exploring the use of direct debits for rent payments (which we control) as opposed to standing orders (where tenants control it). I’ll update you further on this down the track.
9) General market update I thought I would also give you a bit of an update every so often what’s happening in the world of lettings and property management. The first thing is that we are noticing that more tenants are falling behind, normally this would be around 1-3% but it up to around 3-5% now. the good news is that void period are much less as rental demand is up so we are finding tenants very quickly, often in under 2 weeks, obviously this depends on the property, the area, and I suppose luck (although Brett will kill me for saying it). Secondly, we are noticing that more tenants are just simply ignoring their responsibilities and unfortunately the law isn’t in your favour so they can effectively run off with your rent and the courts views them as ‘poor tenants being abused by the rich landlord’ the truth in my experience in far from this. Sure they are left with a bad credit rating but it costs you a lot of money. Again this is still a very small minority of tenants (normally no more than 1% of our properties are in this situation) to combat this we are using the government service which automates the process, in certain circumstances this does not work so we have teamed up with landlord advice who can see the proceedings through to bailiff and potentially garnishing the tenants wages. Let’s hope that you never have to experience this type of tenant but if you every do I have a wealth of experience in dealing with this. We still have a lot of work ahead of us but together we will ensure that your investment is in the best hands!