A letting agent can help you, the landlord, by taking care of the details when it comes to your property, your tenant and their needs.
What a letting agent can do for you
- A letting agent can give you good advice. They will have dealt with many other properties, landlords and tenants, meaning they will be able to offer you support.
- They will know the right rental price, the demands within the area and the kind of tenant you can expect to interest based on their comprehensive knowledge of the local area.
- An agent can help you present your property in the best light, such as by choosing which photographs to use. They can also help you with floorplans, which can be very valuable to tenants, especially when a property has small dimensions.
- Marketing your property to the right audience can be difficult when you are an independent landlord. Using a letting agent allows you to present your property to a wider audience such as the online portals they subscribe to, newspaper advertising and social media marketing, too. A letting agent will also know the local market and so will understand where and how to best advertise your property.
- When it comes to viewings, an agent can deal with the bookings and show potential tenants around. This will ensure the benefits of your property are professionally presented.
- A letting agent will vet and reference potential tenants. Your tenants need to be able to pay the rent and do so on time. You also want someone who will look after the property, which an agent can help you to identify.
- A Tenancy Agreement is a legal document which protects your investment. When using a letting agent, they will have the experience and expertise to complete this process and ensure the legal obligations of all parties are clearly understood and adhered to.
- Inventorying the property at the beginning of a tenancy agreement gives you security and allows you to clearly identify damage, as opposed to wear and tear. A letting agent may do this themselves, or outsource this to an independent company. The tenant is then required to sign the inventory, agreeing to the condition of your property (and any items you have left within it) that's recorded in the inventory is accurate. This is very valuable in the event of any damage to the property.
- Knowing handymen and maintenance professionals who are trusted and reliable can be very valuable to you. Not only will a letting agent know who to call, but they can deal with the issues efficiently and directly with your tenant.
- Having a letting agent can work as a buffer if you find yourself in a dispute with the tenant. They are able to liaise effectively with the tenant and are often experienced in dealing with such situations. They are also on hand for any legal advice.
How to find a letting agent:
- Do you know someone who is a landlord? Ask them for advice on what to expect from a letting agent and if they have any recommendations.
- Look for an agent who is registered with a nationally recognised network, such as The Guild of Property Professionals, who offers training for lettings agents.
- Be sure to understand what services are included in your fees. Some agents will offer a tiered service, for example a basic package might not include managing finances, while a full and comprehensive one will. The level of service you choose will be reflected in the cost.