04 Dec Eenie meeni miny mo…. to which letting agent should I go?
Wherever your rental property is, you are very likely to have several letting agents nearby. This means that competition is high. But not all agents are equal. So how do you choose between them?
Here are some things to consider:-
Get the agent to give you some evidence of properties they have let that are similar to yours. It would be good for you to get a sense of the tenant profile for those properties too – did they let it to the type of tenant that you are looking for (or did they let it to the first person that viewed even though that person wasn’t quite the right person)
A good agent will be able to show you examples of positive comments from other landlords (and perhaps tenants too). Take a look at an agent’s google rating and comments on their Facebook page too. If there is a local social media group you can also post on there looking for recommendations – and believe me, if an agent has upset someone you’ll know about it!
You’ll be working closely with your agent so you need to know that you will get on with them. It’s a good idea to meet, not only the person who values your house, but also the team that will be dealing with day to day issues.
Before meeting with the agent, take a look in their office or at their website as it is a legal requirement now to display fees prominently in both of these places. This will give you an idea of their fees and the displayed fee will always be the most that they will charge. Be wary of the seemingly ‘cheap’ agent though. Ask yourself “why are they so cheap?” Are they desperate for new instructions? Will they miss an important part of the job? Perhaps they will forget to register the deposit or, worse still, run off with it! As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Read it! So many landlords just sign on the dotted line without looking into the details. Make sure you understand what you are committing yourself to and what the agent agrees to do for you. Look out for terms that tie you in to an agent – an agent that does a good job won’t need to rely on a contract term to keep you.
Ask the agent how they attract good quality tenants. What is it about the agent that makes them different? How will they make your property stand out to potential tenants? How do they sound out potential tenants to make sure that they will be suitable?
If you’re asking the agent to manage your property, ask them how they vet their contractors. Do they keep up to date details of their insurances? How do they ensure that their contractors do a good job for them? Do they inspect work by contractors? Does the agent charge you a fee to arrange maintenance for each job? Does the contractor pay a referral fee to the agent for jobs?
It is not necessary to be regulated but it is possible. Ask your agent which body they belong to and also which redress scheme. Remember that anyone can set up a letting agency. (http://www.robinsonreade.co.uk/hey-bob-wanna-set-up-a-letting-agency/)
If you are interested in finding out more about our residential lettings service (yes, we are regulated!) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
In the meantime, if you have anything lettings related that you’d like to discuss please get in touch by telephone 01489 579009 or email email@example.com – we’d love to get to know you.
Emma Macgregor MARLA
PS: If you are looking for a ‘smart let’ (http://www.robinsonreade.co.uk/quick-let-or-smart-let/) call us today on 01489 579009 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for honest, expert and friendly advice.