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Contracting Reeds Rains Property Management to manage my rental property was a mistake. Not only did I end up dealing with my own tenants, but I also had to chase Reeds Rains Property Management for the rent that the tenants had paid them.

A few years back I inherited a house, with my brother. I was fortunate enough to be able to get a second mortgage to buy him out.
I then spent a year and a bit bringing the house into the 21st century. The next thing to do was to find some tenants.
I had never intending making a mass of money out of the let, as a big chunk of it would just go in taxes. The plan was to make enough money to pay the mortgage, make repairs/improvements and a little bit of pocket money.

I decided to use Reeds Rains to undertake the letting, as I have always had a very close relationship with my local branch.
I would like to make it clear that the local branch has always been really helpful, knowledgeable and prepared to do what is required to get a solution that everyone wants.

The big mistake was to decide to go for Reeds Rains’ “Full Property Management Service” who, on their website, declare “This is the hassle free option if you wish us to take complete control of letting your residential property from beginning to end.”

I am very fortunate, my tenants sign 6 monthly contracts and pay the full six months in advance.
Out of that come Reads Rains’s 8% management fee, around £85. Yes it is a lot of money, but my rental is going to be “hassle free” and I can offset a chunk of it against my income tax liability, for the rent.

This starts the first part of my rant………
You would think that if your tenant pays all the rent in advance that that would be your money?
In the worst case you would think that Reeds Rains Property Management would pay you the collected rent, but retain 6 months worth of management fees.
I must confess that I find it a bit cheeky to take all the management fees up front, it is me that is paying the management fees, and not the tenant. The rent money is between me and the tenants; the management fee is between me and Reeds Rains.
However, I was happy to let that slide because it was the “easy option”, you could say it was the “hassle free” option.

So, the first chunk of rent was paid in advance by the tenants.
It would not be long and the money would be in my account………..
Some weeks later there was still no money.
I called Reeds Rains Property Management, asking where the rent was. I was informed that none had been paid by the tenants yet.
This prompts two questions:
1. If no rent has been paid, why did they let the house to new tenants?
2. I know the rent had been paid, so where was it?
I then spoke to the branch, who spoke to Reeds Rains Property Management.
I then called Reeds Rains Property Management and they confirmed they had the money and that it would be in my account in a couple of days.
Nearly two weeks later ONE month of rent, less one month management fees, was paid into my account.
Some of you maybe thinking, “but hang on, by now surely the second month’s rent is due?”. Yes, you are correct.
This becomes a recurring theme, in that on all three instances where there have been 6 month renewals, I have received the rent late. Somewhat ironic when you consider Reeds Rains Property Management is managing the property and collecting the rent, yet they could not even pay me the rent on time, that they had already collected!!

Anyways, to cut a long story short I decided to cancel my contract with them. The contract stated that I had to give three complete months notice, a quarter of a year, half the length of one of the tenancies. In anyone’s books that is an unnecessary length of time.
I guess I should have read the contract more closely.

I did get a reply from a representative of Reeds rains stating “Would you be happy to try for 1 further month if I personally will be yours and your tenants direct point of contact at the Management Centre.”
Let me get this right. I give 3 months notice and their response is to ask for an extra month to be mine and my tenants personal point of contact. What is going to happen for the next three months?
They also wrote “…..if your tenants are late with the rent we have a credit control department whom will deal with this efficiently….” Are they not aware that my tenants pay in advance at each renewal? Is it not in the notes that I have to chase the rent, from Reeds Rains Property Management, every renewal? Have I not constantly complained about the fact during my cancellation? Did they even listen?
Maybe I could get them to chase themselves to get me the rent on time 🙂
It does not do a lot to en-still an urge to stay with Reeds Rains Property Management.

I duly replied, and have still not had a reply from them.
I then chased, asking for an official notification that they had received my cancellation, and the end date for it.
I still have had no reply.

My tenants did renew, again paying six months rent in advance.
As usual, after chasing, I got paid one months rent, less management fees, 2 weeks after it the rent was due.
Yet again I chased, and was assured that it would be paid. I did remind them that I was in a notice period so only take three months management fees.

Yep, you guessed it. They did finally pay me all the rent owing, and they did take management fees for the entire rental period, including 2 months that they would not be managing the property.
I have emailed asking for an explanation, and again my email seems to have been ignored.
It is also somewhat ironic that the person that offered to be my single point of contact, and make everything better, is the very same person who I am awaiting to reply to my emails.

There are many other instances of their ineptitude, but some are quite minor and would only make me look like I am being petty.
However, when you add them all up they just add to the bigger picture.

To say I am annoyed is an understatement.
Again, I state that the local office has always been helpful and tried to do what they can, but unfortunately Reeds Rains Property Management hold the purse strings and are responsible for the rent payments.
There also seems to be no coherence in their management of the contract, with both my tenants and myself complaining about them, and their seemingly endless catalogue of errors.

Timeline:
20/11/2011 – Gave three months notice
23/11/2011 – Initial response with offer of management fee reduced by 1%
23/11/2011 – Replied with reason to terminate the contract.
24/11/2011 – “1 further month” offer.
28/11/2011 – Replied, and rejected offer to “1 further month” offer.
14/12/2011 – Requested confirmation of termination and a response to my last email, and refund of management fees taken in error.
21/12/2011 – Requested complaints procedure from local office, and started to write this blog.

13 Responses to “Reeds Rains – The Management Fiasco”

  1. Jin says:

    I have been with Reeds Rains for nearly 4 years and what bad decision.

    My life has been a nightmare since I asked them to fully manage my buy-to-let. As a seasoned landlord with a number of properties, I am able to compare one estate agent with another.

    Like the main rant above, you end up doing most of the work chasing up things and pay Reeds Rains for the trouble.

    What is the point of having a local branch who have to allocate various responsibilities across other towns. For instance, my let apartment is in Sheffield, 5 mins away from the local Reeds Rains branch, yet I have to speak to someone in Manchester to find out why the rent has not been paid. You have to speak to someone else if its a maintenance issue and yet another person if its… oh I give up. Would it not just make sense to speak the lettings department at the local branch rather than been passed around from post to post.

    I informed Reeds Rains that I had enough of fixing little maintenance issues myself. For example, tightening a light bulb into a socket which would have cost me £50.00 if Reeds Rains sent out their engineer.

    I inform Reeds Rains that I no longer want their so called ‘hassle free service’ and gave them 4 months notice. The first response was ‘whatever’, by an individual that was later fired. Then came the apologies and attempts to lure me back.

    I am so happy to be managing the property myself and will never ever recommend these dirt bags to anyone.

  2. Bmar says:

    This is very similar to my current situation. Do not use Reeds Rains Property Management. They will cost you time, effort, money, and hair.

    Regards

    BM

  3. RS says:

    My experiences have been the same, totally exasperating and worse they have new full management contracts which you cannot get out of without paying RR a full months rent! Avoid at all costs, I wish I had.

  4. Caroline says:

    As a current tenant of a private landlord [lives abroad] through Reed and it is no better from this end. When we booked the first viewing no one turned up – ‘they forgot’, 2nd time they were 30 minutes late and I had to phone to check they were coming. We lived over 35 miles away so it was a real pain, had there been anything else nearby we would have not bothered.
    It then took over 3 months for them to sort out references etc even though we supplied everything immediately. Even a final delay of an extra week because safety certificates turned out not to be up to date. When we had looked at the property there had been some items of furniture belonging to a previous tenant/or the landlord left in the rooms which we asked to be removed as it was being let unfurnished and we had everything we needed ourselves.
    When we collected the keys all this furniture was still there so I asked again for it to be removed, even suggesting it could go temporarily in the garage, as long as it was removed asap. We moved in a week later and [inevitably] the furniture was still there. We had to move it to the garage, including dismantling a large 3 door wardrobe before we could move in. I have children and an elderly mother and I was really annoyed!
    Also the central heating didn’t work – when I asked for help they just said to try draining the radiators [I’m not a plumber!!], would not give me any method of contacting the landlord to see if he could help. In the end I got a friend of a friend to sort it for the cost a meal – it was a setting problem on the controller. In December all the power went off, tried switching the circuit breakers back on but no success, so in the dark and cold rang Reed Rains ’emergency help line’ they were hopeless and came up with the suggestion that I needed an electrician…..doh!! But couldn’t suggest one for our area, they did offer to email the landlord who lives halfway round the world in a different time zone. Advice from my brother by phone helped us resolve it, but really considering what the landlord pays the service is worse than rubbish. There are many more things – if something goes wrong now, i just sort it – its easier and more simple, but not right.
    RR never conducted an inventory or inspection when we moved in or in the 2 years since. We could be running riot and neither they or the landlord would ever know – its crazy, stupid and unprofessional. I have rented from other agents and never experienced such wanton disregard for the legal rights of tenants and landlords.
    As a tenant, and a good reliable one who pays the rent in advance by standing order, who paid the first 6 months in cash and who just wants to get on with living in a nice home, I would NEVER rent through Reed Rains again no matter what. They are the most unprofessional bunch of short changers ever. Landlords please use someone else – you are more likely to let your properties successfully and have happy tenants.

  5. sam says:

    I have also had a nightmare with Reeds Rains regarding a complete and utter disaster of a repair. I have just started a formal complaint and was wondering if their communication with this will improve. It seems their left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. I have now changed to rental collection only service from the full management as they completely incompetent.

  6. Alex j says:

    Oh dear
    I was contemplating signing a management agreement for two of my properties , I am initially sceptical as I know what a signature on a one way favoured contract normally throws up., I googled a question regarding reeds rains management contracts and just read a problem I feared could arise with these educated estate agents .,
    Honesty doesn’t align it self with education whatsoever , see Dentists, Bankers , politicians.
    I am not falling for this …
    Earn your money don’t rip it guys!

  7. Michelle Warburton says:

    I too have experienced shocking service from Reed Rains having instructed them to continue managing a buy to let property that we we have recently purchased. We expected a seamless transition but unfortunately nothing could have been further from our expectations . E mails not replied to, phone calls not returned , staff unable to grasp simple accounting concepts . Needless to say I will be moving my business and would NOT recommend

  8. Barbara says:

    we are first time landlords ..with reeds rains ….we stipulated NO PETS and NON SMOKERS they’ve let our house to a smoker with a dog ….I’ve complained now they are refusing to manage our property ..we’ve only been with them two weeks ……they are a really bad letting agent ….avoid at all costs ..we are now seeking legal advice ..I will keep you updated on this

  9. London says:

    The worst letting agents . I used them
    For 2 years. We use to have lots of issues to be solved and no one was done. We had 30mouses forbone months and they say we need to deal with this. Washing machine broke down-no responce and in the middle of December (with a newborn) i had to buy a new one . …… Now we left a week ago and still waiting for our deposits. After moving out we understood a moving out report is done without our representatives and still waiting this to be completed and send to me and landlort so he can decide to give it back or not. I can not belive such stuped peple are present on this world. The peple i have dial with are Rebekah Atherton and lockal Plaistow branch. So stuped creaters….. Do not use them

  10. M davies says:

    Have to agree with previous land lords. In 25 years have never seen so much incompetence as experienced at their Blackpool branch. No response to emails, phone calls, portal or complaints procedure. Lost tenants money, only resolved as previous agent who sold business to RR told me he paid 2 months in advance. Ignore tenants, don’t fix problems. Absolute disaster. Now taking complaints to Ombudsman

  11. Simon says:

    I hope everyone sees this thread, the worst mistake ever. The service levels are non existent. I am so annoyed. To make things easier I said yes to everything insurance all the add ons, home emergency. Hoping that all will be in sync !!! so wrong it maybe branded as reed rains but all separate company s who dont talk or maybe even communicate with each other. Along with this the people they put forward look good on paper and should never even get passed the initial enquiry !!!! then when you have a problem they never call you back and you can never get through to the person you need to speak to. All in all Reed Rains LANDLORD SERVICES is a JOKE

  12. Merle says:

    Reid Reins is just dreadful, they ‘lost’ my tenants money and took 10 months to admit he’d paid it. Ignored their own complaints procedure and have never provided me or ombudsman with final letter. They shouldn’t be allowed to practice

  13. Terry says:

    Hi wondered if anyone can help?
    We rented our first and only property out in April of 2016 but the incompetence of Reeds Rains has been awful, never answer emails, taking money from our account for inventories 6 months after the initial inventory money was taken out (only 1 inventory) having to waste countless hours tying to get back what was owed to us.
    We opted for the fully managed service but want to leave to either go it alone or go with another more competent agent.
    Can someone tell me how long the contract is with them. I can’t find anywhere how long the contract is. I am only presuming it is 12 months and will end in April 2017?
    Do I have to give them notice and how long?
    What happens with the tennants? I have been looking at the contract and around the web and it says we will have to pay 1 months full rent plus VAT to Reeds Rains if we stop using their service, is this true?
    Any help appreciated.

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