Do you need a Letting Agent?
If you are a landlord or property owner you may not have the time to manage all of your properties on your own, or perhaps you have bought a property elsewhere in the UK and aren’t able to keep travelling to maintain it. If this is the case, you may benefit from a using a letting agent. There are many things to consider when choosing a letting agent this guide will pinpoint some of the key things to consider when deciding whether you need an agent.
You may be currently running around looking after multiple properties and settling payment disputes or property maintenance. It will eventually get to the stage where you are unable to manage you properties effectively. At this stage introducing a letting agent to manage one or more of your properties can allow you to focus on fewer properties or even take on further properties, working with a letting agent will give you the freedom to do so.
- Letting agents can take care of much of the administration involved with letting. This could include things such as handling the administration for your tenants Deposit Protection Scheme.
- It is possible for a letting agent to take care of the everyday property management. This would involve resolving any tenancy issues or maintenance problems that may arise throughout an agreement.
- Letting agents are fully up to date on any current legislation that may affect landlords and tenants. This makes letting agents very useful when settling disputes or when landlords require advice.
- Letting agents are also able to serve as a representative of the landlord. This allows the tenant to get in touch directly with the letting agent allowing them to directly solve the problem if that has been agreed or the information can be passed through to the landlord. This can be a useful relationship to have with your tenant allowing there to be an unbiased party they can deal with instead of dealing with the landlord directly.
- Letting agents can be a great resource when chasing unpaid rent. Instead of having to deal with this situation alone, it can be much better to allow a letting agent to pursue it for you. They are usually very experienced in resolving disputes so may be able to resolve the issue quicker than landlords are able to.
- If the situation with you tenants forces you to evict an uncooperative tenant letting agents are aware of the correct legal processes necessary to start the eviction process. This can speed up the time it takes to evict a tenant and will help to quickly resolve the issue.
- Similarly a letting agent may be able to offer proper legal advice to landlords on matters such as Tax advisory or advising landlords on proper insurance practices.
- Due to letting agents having a strict rules and procedures when finding tenants, landlords are more likely to find a cooperative pool of tenants that are potentially more reliable than if you were to personally find tenants.
- In some cases due to potential tenants working with letting agents they are able agents are able to achieve higher rent than landlords are able to personally.
- Finally using a letting agent may reduce the overall stress put on landlords if they are willing to pay the fees to allow them to focus on other tasks.
What to look out for
There are plenty of benefits when choosing a letting agent, but there are a few points to watch out for when selecting an agent.
- In many cases letting agents will charge around 5% to 15% of the rent in order to carry out the agreed services. You may also incur additional costs for services such as arrangement fees eviction fees. For this reason it is important to request a full list of an agent’s services and charges, including any additional charges to be clear on the terms.
- Make sure chosen agents are members of regulated bodies. For example, the National Letting Scheme or the Association of Residential Letting Agents. This should give landlords peace of mind that agents will meet certain standards.
- It is important to check with an agent to what standard they will maintain properties and which services they will use when carrying out maintenance, to ensure landlords are happy with the parties involved to perform maintenance on properties.
That concludes this short guide and hopefully this has given landlords a few key points to consider when finding an appropriate letting agent for properties and the services they can provide.
Tom B is a property and letting specialist for Open House Estate Agents, who likes to shares his knowledge blogging and over social media online.
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