Saturday, August 13

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Lettings Agent for Your Residential Property

The number of residential properties coming onto the private rental market has increased significantly over the last few years. This is due in no small part to buy to let and the fact that people are now looking to property as a long term investment. Now along with the increase in the numbers of properties on the market, there has been a significant rise in the number of lettings agents in Wigan and all through the UK.

So whether you are a novice landlord letting out your first property, or an old hand with multiple dwellings it is essential you choose the correct letting agent. It is important that you find an agent that enables you to rent out your property to a suitable tenant and at an appropriate rate to give you peace of mind.

So, here are five things to consider when you are looking for a letting agent to ensure you get the best possible service.

Service Level

Different lettings agents offer different levels of service, these include tenant find only, tenant find and rent collection and full management. The most comprehensive of these is a full management service is where the lettings agent takes care of everything from finding tenants, to legal paperwork, rent collection and all maintenance issues. It is important to ensure you are getting the level of service you require when appointing your lettings agent.

Paperwork

A competent professional estate agent will deal with all the paperwork for you. This includes tenant references, credit checks, confirming tenant employment details and the right to reside in the UK. Your lettings agent should draw up tenancy lease agreements outlining things such as rent and tenants rights. They will also organise the mandatory gas and electrical safety certificates and if required an Energy Performance Certificate for your property.

Marketing and Rent

Empty properties cost landlords money, so ensure your lettings agent has a proactive marketing strategy. Look at where they advertise, do they use social media effectively alongside more traditional forms of marketing. Make sure they use internet portals and that your property is getting as much exposure as possible. Do they already have a list of prospective tenants looking for properties in the area? Good lettings agents will be able to offer advice on the level of rent you can expect and show you details of similar properties they have let at that price.

Client Money Protection

Your lettings agent will handle deposits, rents and maintenance monies. Both landlords and tenants need to feel that money is safe. A reputable lettings agent will belong to a client money protection scheme. All client and tenant money should be held in a client account separate from the agent’s normal bank account. You should confirm that this is the case.

Repairs and Maintenance

There is nothing worse to a landlord than getting a phone call in the middle of the night from an irate tenant with a problem. A lettings agent can remove these issues for you, so make sure inspection and maintenance is included in your contract. Make sure they have a list of reputable tradesmen who can be called on to do repairs, sort gardens and undertake annual tasks like cleaning the gutters.

These are just five things you need to ensure your lettings agents offer, there are several more, however, if you use this list when choosing your lettings agent you won’t go far wrong.

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