Whether you’ve been a landlord for a long time, or are relatively new to the business, there are many people and resources out there that can help – one of which is letting agents.
Using an agent can help find a tenant quickly, so you start making money on your property without delay. How do you know, though, what makes a good letting agent?
It is useful to frame some questions to ask before you sign up with an agent. Here are some useful examples:
Are they members of any recognised professional bodies? Many agents are not and this can have a big impact on the quality of the service that they offer.
Where will the property be advertised? Letting your property quickly will only happen if people know it is available.
How will tenants be vetted? What sort of checks, specifically, does the agent use – and why?
How do they ensure that all the legal paperwork is prepared correctly? Not having the proper paperwork in place can prevent you getting your property back in the future.
What evidence have they provided to support their rental recommendations? You want the best rent possible but you also do not want it advertised too high thus taking a long time to get that first tenant in.
Do they offer a guaranteed rent scheme? Some agents do, but it may only be an insurance policy which does not provide cover when the property is empty and may have an excess clause where you have to cover the first months or two losses. It’s worth checking out all options.
What can they do if the tenant causes damage, disturbance or breaks the terms of either their tenancy agreement or the lease? Hopefully it won’t happen, but these things do, so it’s best to check that your agent has a plan of action if such circumstances do arise. How often do they carry out inspections? Having a detailed inventory at the start of the tenancy will help deal with damage issues. How detailed are their inventories?
This list is not exhaustive, so it’s best to do your homework and shop around before you sign up with any letting agent. Good luck!