Who does the letting agent work for in the UK?

This might seem like an obvious question - surely the agent works for both the landlord and the tenant? however, it may surprise you to find out that letting agents in the U.K consider the landlord and not the tenant to be their client. Letting agents have a 'duty of care' to their tenants but this is not the same as considering them to be a client.

A landlord pays the letting agents fees - even more so since the Tenant Fees Ban came into force (more of this in another blog coming soon) and will have a contract with the agent  confirming what level of service will be provided.

Letting agents can have various levels of involvement during a tenacy depending on which service the landlord has chosen. If the landlord does not wish to be involved at all the agent can fully manage a property on their behalf meaning that all contact would be between you and the agent, this would be the case for the reporting of any maintenance issues, renewing your tenancy, queries over rental payments etc. Your rent would also be paid to the agent and not to the landlord.

Should the landlord be happy to manage their own property they may employ the agent to 'find a tenant' only, this means that once the tenancy has begun the agent has no further responsibility for the property or the tenancy. All contact would be directly with the landlord, the rent would also be paid directly to them.

Ultimately, the agent should still be 'on hand' to answer questions you might have about your tenancy regardless of the level of service they have agreed to provide to the landlord.

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