If you are a landlord, looking for tenants that can be an additional source of income or maintain your property as theirs, you might be wondering where to start. There have been numerous updates on the legal requirements for renting and owning properties, especially after the pandemic. It can be overwhelming to keep track of these changes while also attracting the right tenant. This is why you should consider having a letting agent by your side. Being associated with a professional letting agent is key to property management.
While many agents are claiming to be experts, you must be able to spot authentic ones. For example, if you are looking for letting agents in Maidstone, you must find agents in the area that match your property portfolio and understand if their intentions are beyond just money. This article offers you guidelines to find a professional letting agent.
How to find a professional letting agent in your area?
There are 5 ways you can spot the perfect letting agent for your property. Follow them to avoid making wrong decisions in the process.
The agents you are looking for must be registered with either one of the following associations.
- National Approved Letting Scheme
- Association of Residential Letting Agents
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- National Association of Estate Agents
These associations offer certain guidelines for agents to follow and ensure safety. You must also look for good insurance coverage for the letting agencies to be assured of proper business operation. It is a legal requirement for agents to be registered with the Property Ombudsman Service or Property Redress Scheme.
From 2019, it has been made mandatory for agencies to have a Client Money Protection Scheme (CMP) make sure you ask for these credentials before finalizing your letting agents.
See if you are a good match
Housing requirements may vary from one landlord to another. So it is recommended to define what your requirements are. Some agents offer services only for finding a good tenant while others help you manage your property by resolving issues in the future and conducting periodic inspections. Before approaching an agent, have clarity on how far you are from the property, and how often you can visit so you can communicate your requirements. Ask them what their services are, how often they can update you on industrial changes, and about their terms and conditions.
Research on the agent’s availability
Word of mouth is the best testimonial to any property letting agency. Here, you get a first-hand experience from people you trust. Enquire details about their fee and compare them with the other agents to arrive at a decision. The standard letting agents fees in the UK is 10% of the rental income for tenant-finding agencies and 15% for property managing ones. If their charges are low, understand why. Sometimes they may collect commissions from the tenants as well. You can do all these by finding agents through online communities. There are exclusive websites for letting agents where you can find their reviews and ratings.
Check their marketing strategies
Monitor how they find your tenants. Marketing is a key factor in a successful tenant hunt. This allows you to understand how serious they are in serving us. Analyze their success rates through testimonials and reviews and if they keep up the promises they deliver in the advertisements. Their websites or marketing strategies will reflect property listings and conversion rates in the past. Also, make sure there are no additional marketing fees collected.
Visit the office/agent
You can do numerous research online and talk to an agent for hours on a call. But how they work in real-time can be understood only if you visit them. After shortlisting your ideal agent, make sure you visit them. How approachable are they in person? Are they following government protocols for running an agency? This way you can understand their work style, how the staff is treated, how well they maintain their office, and understand their objectives.
Proper communication is required to know if the letting agents you’re after are worth your money. Remember, despite numerous discussions, things may go wrong sometimes. This is why it is important to consult with the right agents and clarify if they are serving you in your best interest. Follow the given guidelines to avoid falling for inexperienced or fraudulent agencies.