With the rental market so strong you’d think letting a property would be a piece of cake, but if your not experienced with property management your likely to use a letting agent. So here’s a few tips to follow when choosing the right letting agent:
- Are they a regulated and established agent?
They should be registered with one of the following bodies: Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). Look for senior representation in the letting agents office.
- Do they know more than you?
You really want to use an agent who is knowledgable in serving notice if things go wrong (section 8, section 21 etc). If the letting agent appears to know less about property than you do it’s wise to politely leave the office and continue your search.
- What is the arrears rate?
If they have a high arrears rate it means the vetting process used by the agent is poor and or they don’t chase tenants immediately if rental payments are late.
- What is the staff to property ratio?
If the agent has 300 hundred properties on the books and 2 staff there is a good chance the property will be poorly managed!
- Do they have money client protection?
This is an insurance policy which protects your rent and deposits paid if the agent was to fall into financial difficulty.
- Ask to see a copy of CMP (Client Money Protection) certificate.
Just for your own peace of mind.
- Ask to see your portfolio file?
You should expect to see updated CP12 (Gas safety certificate), Electrical certificate, signed tenancy agreement and inventory. If they are not upto date you are liable!
- How well do they market rental property?
Have a look on rightmove for a particular agents listings to see how many photos, quality and detail in description.
- Be a mystery shopper?
Call a prospective letting agent to see how they deal with tenant enquiries. Do they take your details even if a suitable property is not available? Do they sound professional?
- Are they an investor too?
For some landlords this is a must! An agent who is an investor will know and understand the tenant landlord relationship.
If you have any questions or comments on this topic please feel free to get in touch below…