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How to Find the Right Letting Agent

Posted 21/09/2016

As home ownership drops the rental and buy to let market continues to offer an opportunity for landlords. However, when you purchase a property and are looking for the best rental yield or want to know that everything from marketing and legal paperwork is handled effectively, then you need to find the right lettings agent. So how do you go about finding the perfect agent? 

Location

First of all, it makes sense to use a letting agent within the area of the house you are putting on the market. Here at Preston Baker we have experienced, award-winning letting agents that can work with you to maximise revenue, minimise void periods and tailor requirements from any of our branches across Yorkshire. To ensure that the right conduct is shown, ensure that you check they are part of ARLA (The Association of Residential Letting Agents) or NALS (National Approved Letting Scheme). 

Finding the right service level

Generally speaking, there a three levels of service on offer when you use a letting agent:

  • Fully managed property service – For a complete package, the agent will be in charge and take care of the whole thing from beginning to end. Ideal for inexperienced landlords – although popular with all types – they will be involved in tenant relationship, rent collection and maintenance for a fee.
  • Rent collect service – With this one, the agent doesn’t manage the property but they do get involved with marketing, maintenance and tenant management.
  • Let-only service – Here, they will market the property and arrange tenancy agreements. Generally, this is the cheapest option. 

Complying with the law

There are a number of things that a landlord needs to take care of to be following the law and keep their investment safe. By using an agent, you can be sure that all of these things are taken care of – this includes:

  • Deposit law – Usually, new tenants will have to pay 6 to 8 weeks rent up front. The agent will hold this on the landlord’s behalf, and they must register this with a government approved tenancy deposit scheme for safeguarding.
  • Safety legislation – Every property should have an annual check to get a Gas Safety Certificate. Any electrical items provides should be tested and furnishings need to comply with safety regulations. You will get this advice from your letting agent. 

What happens in terms of repairs and maintenance?

Depending on the firm, and the terms, the letting agent can carry out inspections on a fairly frequent basis to check how the tenant is looking after the home. If any problems are found during maintenance then they will also have some trusted trades people to call in to deal with the repairs. Oftentimes, you will agree a “float” amount that allows the agent to carry out repairs up to a certain value. This allows you to keep a distance between the landlord and tenant as well as not getting bogged down with administration. 

Once you understand what you need from an agent, there’s only one other question:

Who can find the right tenant? 

It will be easier to acquire a tenant with a reputable agent behind you. Finding the right tenant can be tricky in some cases because you will want an application form, references, credit check, to meet, get the deposit and sign the contract. All this can be taken care of by the agent, and they will also have a source of ready-made potential tenants to take from their history who can be placed or offered your property.

PLEASE NOTE WE ARE NOT A MEMBER OF THE CLIENT MONEY PROTECTION SCHEME.

Posted 13 months ago

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