Do you have a property that you are hoping to let out? If so, you might be looking to take on a letting agent.
Whether you’re new to the world of buy-to-letting or not, you may be asking yourself ‘Which letting agent should I choose?’
To try and help, we’ve put together our advice on choosing a letting agent.
Why go with a letting agent?
While some landlords choose to manage their property alone, letting agencies are still hugely popular. Whether to choose an agency or not is down to the individual situation.
What is the role of a letting agent?
The role of a letting agent varies, depending on what you’re looking for. Their role can range from simply providing a tenancy agreement to full-on maintenance of the property.
Most letting agents will offer to collect the rent and deposit on behalf of the landlord, while many letting agents also offer extra services.
These extra services can vary from tenancy vetting’s to full-on maintenance and ensuring any damage costs are reimbursed.
What are the advantages of choosing a letting agent?
While a letting agent will entail fees, there are numerous advantages alongside this.
1. Firstly, letting agents will be regulated. Ensure that the one you choose is a member of a trade association, such as NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) or ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents).
2. Secondly, a letting agent will have a full understanding of the buy-to-let market. If you’re a first-time landlord, it’s likely that you will benefit from this knowledge! This expertise should result in the process running more smoothly.
3. Finally, choosing a letting agent will mean that you won’t have to navigate the world of buy-to-let alone. An agency will have a dedicated team in place to manage any property related issues.
You may also like: Landlord Responsibilities – A Guide to Health & Safety Obligations
How to choose a letting agent
Once you’ve decided to go with a letting agent, it’s important to detail what service you’re looking for. There are many other factors that should go into your final decision.
You’re entrusting your property to a third party, so it’s not an easy choice to make!
Marketing and advertising
It’s important to remember that using a letting agent will cost you money.
Therefore, when considering the question ‘Which letting agent should I choose?’ you should look closely into their marketing strategy.
If their advertising is effective and they are proactive in their marketing, you will know they’re more likely to find you a tenant.
Enquire into which newspapers they advertise in.
Also, ask them to show you which potential tenants they have on their books. They should prove that they will make it their mission to see your property let out!
Listen to recommendations
An important factor in choosing a letting agent is their location. Our advice is to choose an agency in your property’s area, so you can take advantage of their local knowledge!
When choosing a letting agent, it’s important to ask around for recommendations. Listen to those who live in your area, for example other landlords, who can be found through a local landlord association.
Word-of-mouth can be a reliable source of information!
Understand their fees
You need to be clear on how an agent’s fees are organised. You don’t want to be caught out with any unexpected costs!
An agent’s fees tend to be organised either as a fixed fee, or as a proportion of rent. Fees are completely dependent on each agency itself.
One way to ensure that a letting agent is reputable is by checking that they have insurance. An agency should be able to prove they have CMP (Client Money Protection) in place.
Also, ensure that you have landlord insurance, to protect you in the unlikely event of the misappropriation of money.
In understanding an agency’s fees, you need to understand what is meant by ‘guaranteed rent’. While this sounds appealing at first, it has its drawbacks.
If an agency offers guaranteed rent, it’s likely you will receive a lower price. However, you will also avoid periods of no rent at all.
Make sure you fully consider your decision!
Check the contract
While this sounds obvious, it’s essential.
Checking the contract can help avoid some costly surprises.
You need to be clear on everything from cancellation periods, to whether there are any vacant property charges.
Aside from the fee for when new tenants move in, do they charge commission also?
Make sure you understand all the clauses within your contract.
Your letting agency should detail whether they will run safety checks, for example annual gas readings, or if this is down to you.
Consider routine repairs. Will there be any extra costs for the general maintenance of your property?
Being a landlord can be tough! As your property is your livelihood, we believe in protecting it. With No Letting Go inventory services, we can help you safeguard your property. Our full check-in and check-out service can ensure a hassle-free and impartial inventory check. Find out more about how we can help you here.
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