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Appointing a property agent

You can appoint a real estate agent or residential letting agent to manage your rental property. Always ask to see an agent’s licence before appointing them as your property manager.

Maintain regular contact with your agent and alert them to any issues.

In most cases, you will make a continuing appointment with your agent. This is a type of appointment that has no defined end date. This is in contrast to the type of appointment you might make with an agent to sell your property.

Choosing an agent

When choosing your agent:

You should also ask about their procedures for:

  • carrying out maintenance or repairs (including quotes and receipts)
  • handling complaints
  • ending a tenancy, including evictions (find out how long rent can go unpaid).

The appointment form

You can only appoint a real estate agent by filling in a property agent appointment form.

This form sets out:

  • how much the agent will charge for their services
  • what costs they may incur on your behalf (such as advertising)
  • what services the agent will provide, and how they will provide them.

Make sure you read the form thoroughly to make sure you’re happy with the arrangement. The agent needs this written appointment before they can do anything on your behalf.

Their responsibilities

A property manager must:

  • respond quickly to requests for maintenance or repairs
  • act in your best interests, such as when getting quotes
  • make sure any repairers (such as builders, carpenters or electricians) have relevant licences
  • have a procedure for handling complaints (and comply with it)
  • carry out inspection reports and inventories
  • guide prospective tenants on their inspections (unless you tell them otherwise in writing).

Ending an appointment

You will not need to state an end date for a continuing appointment. However, either you or the agent can end an agreement by giving written notice to the other party.

You must give them a minimum notice of:

  • 30 days
  • shorter than 30 days, but only if both parties agree.

It is possible to enter into a new agreement with a new agent before your previous appointment ends, however the new agent must provide you with a written statement that you may be liable to pay commission under both appointments or pay damages for breach of contract.