How to choose a letting agent, ten things to consider

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18 Apr 2017

Ten things to consider when choosing a letting agent

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Laws and legislations governing landlords have tightened over recent years and penalties for non-compliance are now harsher. This combined with the fact there’s no statutory standard for service means it’s increasingly important to choose a reputable, reliable, letting agent.

1) Membership of a professional body

Agents who are members of the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), must follow strict codes of conduct and adhere to certain schemes put in place to protect funds for both tenants and landlords.  

2) Client money protection and professional indemnity insurance.

All lettings agents who are members of professional bodies such as ARLA and NALS will belong to a client monies protection scheme. Placing monies in such a scheme means it is protected from misuse.

3) Compliance with deposit law, Right to Rent and safety checks

Any professional, competent letting agent will take care of all the necessary paperwork on a landlord’s behalf. This includes; carrying out Right to Rent checks, tenant referencing, drawing up the tenancy agreement, and ensuring deposits are paid into an accredited protection scheme.

4) Do they have good reviews?

Ask around in your local area to find out which agents your friends, family and neighbours would recommend. If you don’t live locally, check out the agents online reviews on third party programs such as Feefo or Google.

5) Level of service provided

Letting Agents typically offer different levels of service ranging from let only, to fully managed and even a portfolio service! When choosing a service level, consider how much time you are prepared to spend looking after your investment and also how in-depth your legal knowledge is. With penalties for non-compliance becoming harsher, this can make or break many first-time landlords.

6) Do they offer a rent guarantee service?

With a mortgage to re-pay as well as maintenance fees, when a tenant fails to pay their rent it can throw a landlords budget out the window. When using a rent guarantee service, the landlord still receives their payment even if a tenant defaults. Romans rent protection service is available to all landlords on our rent collection, fully managed and portfolio services. The scheme does not have an excess and pays out after 44 days (terms and conditions apply).  

7) Marketing

Void periods are costly to landlords so it’s imperative that the letting agent you select actively markets your property. Selecting an agent who is part of a larger network of branches will ensure your property is seen by a large database of tenants. As will ensuring that your property will be marketed across online property portals and the agents own website.

8) How well does your property manager know you and your property?

Throughout the tenancy, you will need to deal with your Property Manager regularly so it’s important to build up a good relationship with them. To ensure the let runs smoothly, your property manager should regularly visit your property to carry out mid-tenancy inspections, and to report maintenance issues Whether you want to find out how your latest property inspection went, or to discuss on-going maintenance issues, as a Romans landlord, you will be able to meet your Property Manager in your local branch or call them direct.

9) Property Management opening hours

For those who are busy working or taking care of their family during the day, only being able to contact your property management team between nine and five may not work. To make life easier for our tenants and landlords, we have extended our Property Management opening hours to 7am-7pm!

10) SafeContractor

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, giving contractors access to your property requires a huge amount of trust especially for those who are not present. To put your minds at rest, Romans use accredited SafeContractors, being part of this scheme ensures all health and safety processes are adhered to by all contractors. This gives our landlords and tenants the peace of mind that contractors are fully qualified, properly insured, and comply with the latest health and safety guidelines.

Thanks to the glowing reviews from our landlords, we have recently been awarded the Feefo Gold partner award for outstanding customer service, something which letting agents are often accused of neglecting. To find out more about our landlord services, call 01344 985 870.

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