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Gerry Rust

I chose to use a letting agent as I was renting out my late mother's house and (although it is only a couple of streets away from my home) I really didn't feel able to be detached about the whole process. While I know I made the right decision, I will say that you still need to be proactive and can not just leave everything to the agent despite the fees you are paying :0) Even if you have done your research and chosen the agent carefully, they are only as good as the people working for them and this can, and does, change. Nor can you always just leave the maintenance work in their hands, I have found that some of the quotes from their 'recommended tradesmen' have not been representative of the usual charges - fine if it's a small job but no joke when they have quoted for something major and you discover that you can get the work done by a reputable company for hundreds of pounds less. One way round this is to ask for more quotes, the other is to just find them yourself! The property reports should be detailed and regular, if they aren't complain, because it is probably a sign that they aren't bothering to monitor situations properly. For some agents if the tenants aren't obviously trashing the property, or complaining about problems, they will make only cursory inspections. I only realised my property reports were almost identical (mostly cut and paste from the first ever report) after the agency was bought out by another and I got a 'real' report. The tenants had changed almost every wall colour and were in the process of ripping out the kitchen!!! Apparently the previous agents had advised them not to worry about getting permission for changes if they could be regarded as improvements and they were confident I'd be ok with all the alterations as it 'looked lovely'... :0)

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EMF Management

In Switzerland, DiY rentals and property maintenance can be tough. We have legally required full entry and exit inspections that detail every minute detail of the property's condition when the tenant arrives and then departs. Depending how long the tenant resides, they may or may not be entitled to wear and tear and you as the owner, may or may not be legally able to hold back the deposit. When in doubt (or if your French isn't top), this is better left to a professional !


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