Advice on using property management agents

I’m a private house owner renting out my house because I have found a good job 200 miles away from my property. I don’t make any money from the rental; in fact, I have spent out more in repairs than I have received in rent. It has currently been rented out for 2 years.

I currently use an estate agent local to the house to manage the rental and the tenancy.

The first set of tenants left the house in a bad state and it cost me £700 to put it right. The estate agents were not very proactive in getting this money back for me (the tenants had put down a deposit) and I only received £250.

The second set of tenants were much better, but now they too are leaving. The estate agent seems to be slow in finding tenants, and there also appears to be some confusion as to who is doing what. They said the current tenants didn’t want any physical visits due to pandemic, but when I contacted them, they said they had agreed to physical visits.

I need to have new tenants in place by 14thSeptember

I would really appreciate some advice. Do I look for another estate agent, or property agent? Or do I just need to be more assertive?

Probably both. They are so lazy. How dare they not bother to find you new tenants.
We have the same problem, being so far away.
Have tried three different agents, two small independents and one a high street affair.
All appalling. Looking for another now.

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I have only used 1 agency on my first rental purchase. After the 1st tenant who left the house like pig sty they sent in their cleaners but my feet stuck to the floor and windows and doors were dirty so ended doing it myself after they finished. We also had to take full bins of stinking bottles etc to the tip which stunk out our car. Never again and I’ve had no problems since. You cannot do that of course due to distance. Do you not have a friend or relative in that area who can do the inspections and organise cleaning and signing out on moving for a monthly retainer. They would also need to be confident meeting possible tenants. Otherwise yes definitely use another agency and let them know why you are changing agency. At least they will know to be on top of their game. I use Open rent now for the purposes of getting a tenant but I am not sure if they now do any meetings with them. They can handle all the paperwork. Maybe give them a ring and see what they offer.

Thank you Christine, very helpful. I found the house I’m renting in Berkshire on Open Rent and was very impressed with them.