A good letting agent will make sure your property is marketed proactively, find you the right tenants and handle rental paperwork all within a reasonable fee.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right letting agent:
What Services Do You Need?
Are you looking for Tenant-find only or property management?
Tenant-find only means that your letting agents will find the tenants and will handle the initial rental paperwork. However, after will leave you to handle the property yourself.
If you want property management, the letting agent will find the tenants and deal with any day to day problems on your behalf for the course of the rental.
The option you choose all depends on the time you have available and how involved you wish to be. If you’re away a lot or live far away dealing with issues may be difficult to solve on your own.
At S J Smith, we offer three main types of services.
Click here to find out more.
Once you’ve got a shortlist of letting agents you should do more intensive research. You can ask local landlords and see who they use and if they’ve come across any issues. Find reviews on these agents as well, this should help you decide.
Review Money Protection Schemes
Landlords and letting tenants are legally required to put tenants’ deposits in a government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme. You should ask the agents what scheme they use to make sure they’re complying with rules.
Letting agents should have a certificate confirming their CMP membership and have it on display in their office and website. They also need to hold client money in an account with an FCA-authorised bank.
Ask About Your Future Relationship
You need to make sure you’re happy with how they’re dealing with you as a client. Here are some things to keep in mind:
• Opening hours: some agencies may only be open during weekdays, as a landlord it may cause problems: find out if there will be anyone available in the evenings and weekends.
• Paperwork: get reassurance that the letting agency will deal with any rental paperwork such as references, credit and employment check, tenancy agreements, etc.
• Repairs and maintenance: If you’ve gone with a management service find out how often inspections are carried out and how tenants can contact them if they have any issues.
• Money transfers: how will the letting agency deal with rental finances? How often will they transfer balances to your account, will you need to provide a ‘float’ to pay for maintenance.
• Notice periods: If you want to end the relationship with the agency what is their notice period? Most of them require 3 months’ notice.
Once you’ve picked the perfect letting agency, check the contract before signing and make sure you keep a copy of it.
Hopefully, these tips help you figure out what to look for in a letting agent.
If you are a landlord or tenant and need advice? Please do get in touch here.