Letting agencies offer landlords a range of different services. To choose the most appropriate package, landlords need to look at the services being offered by different agents. They need to decide which best suits them and their situation in terms of pricing, convenience, and how much of the process the landlord is prepared to undertake. To make an informed decision, the landlord must have a basic understanding of the lettings process and the different stages involved in renting different types of property.
In this blog post, we are going to take a look at what it is like to work with a letting agent. This should give you a better understanding regarding what you, as a landlord, should expect from the letting agent you work with. You will, therefore, be able to judge whether or not you are getting a good service, as well as some of the additional services you could benefit from. So, let’s take a look…
Many first time landlords, and quite a few more experienced ones, see the fees levied by lettings agents and decide they can save these costs by running the letting process themselves without recourse to estate agents. As the many court cases, financial losses, and difficult evictions demonstrate, this can be a false economy.
In recent years, the laws, rules, and regulations covering letting property have become much more stringent and landlords much more exposed to litigation if they have not complied with the letter of the law. For example, a landlord can be prosecuted for letting a property to an illegal immigrant, whether the landlord is aware of the immigration status of the tenant or not.
Letting agencies should be aware of all this legislation and they know how to deal with them, and be able to fully advise potential landlords on the best ways to comply. Good letting agencies should carry out full and stringent identity and reference checks to give landlords assurance that tenants are suitable, and they can afford to pay the rent. This kind of checking is very difficult for a private individual to complete.
A letting agent knows the local property market and can advise on market rental levels and what level of furniture and equipment is applicable to various tenancy agreements. For example, a fully furnished flat is best for short-term rentals whilst an unfurnished property might be more appropriate for a long-term let.
Under current legislation, all tenant deposits must be kept in an approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme, and this can be difficult for a private landlord to access without advice and assistance. Letting agents will also prepare an appropriate and legally binding tenancy agreement for the house for rent on behalf of both the landlord and tenant. Since this is a legal document, landlords are best advised to take professional advice to get this correct.
So far we’ve looked at things where a private landlord should seek expert assistance, but there are parts of the process that a landlord can undertake. Before a tenancy begins, a full inventory of the property must be prepared, stating what the landlord has supplied to the property and the condition of all fixtures and fittings. Similarly, photographs or videos of the property need to be taken, and property details prepared for inclusion in the property’s listing and adverts. Landlords could also conduct viewings of their properties for potential tenants.
Some property letting agents work in partnership with the landlord, as this is the most effective approach. For example, they can provide templates for landlords to use to take their own inventories. They also provide templates for other documents such as property details listings. By doing some of the work themselves landlords, can reduce the costs involved in the letting process.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different services that letting agents can provide and how they can help you to get your property rented out and manage the whole process for you. Of course, you will only reap these rewards if you choose with care. This is why you need to do your research carefully to find the best letting agent for you! Read reviews and check out their experience, and you can’t go too wrong.
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