Posted on Oct 16, 2017
There is something of an inherent conflict in the motivations of agents and landlords when seeking tenants for vacant buildings. On the surface it would seem that both want the same end result – a tenant signed up. The agent wants the tenant signed up so he (and in our sector it is almost always a “he” ) can take his commission and move on to the next deal. But the landlord has to deal with the prospective tenant for the length of the lease – well after the agent has spent his commission.
Therefore, whilst the landlord also wants a tenant, he or she wants a good tenant.
What adds to this inherent conflict is that it is the agent, who will have the very least to do with the tenant after the deal is closed, has the most to do with the prospective tenant. The agent therefore has the most opportunity to vet the prospective tenant, but the least motivation for so doing.
As a landlord, we rely on agents, and of course we pay them handsomely for their services. Having an agent ignore warning signs regarding a prospective tenant’s history or character can have massive repercussions for a landlord over the course of a lease.
As a quality landlord, we work hard at maintaining our properties in appropriate condition. This includes not only the aesthetics of the building and landscaping, but also those systems integral to having the building operate as it should, plus emergency systems. Regrettably there are some tenants who show little or no respect for the property they lease, which can and does cause ongoing headaches.
Our philosophy is that it is better to weed out this type of tenant before signing. It’s a minor inconvenience to have to look a little further for the right tenant than be subject to years of fraught relationship.
As the saying goes, and it applies equally to the landlord/tenant relationship: marry in haste, repent at leisure.