How to choose a letting agent – 10 Top Tips

3 October 2016
Estate Agents
  1. house-to-rentSelect a letting agent who is a member of a National Approved Letting Scheme, or one of the professional bodies that supports it such as:

    The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)
    The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)
    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) letting agent should also be registered with a Property Redress Scheme.

  2. Tenant only or fully manage your property? Consider what type of service you need from your letting agent and discuss with your agent what each includes.
  3. To ensure your rent, deposit or other funds are protected, your letting agent should have professional indemnity insurance (to cover them if they get sued) and client money protection (to cover your rent, deposit and funds if they run off with it).
  4. All deposits taken by landlords must be safeguarded by one of three Government approved schemes within 30 days of receipt. Decide whether you want to deal with this or if you prefer your agent to. Discuss which tenancy deposit protection scheme your agent uses and obtain proof as you are responsible if they do not do this.
  5. Check the management contract very carefully – in particular: administration charges when new tenants are found (these are typical but just make sure you know what they are for), cancellation period (3 months is reasonable), commission to be paid on renewal of tenancy, charges for when the property is empty, estate agency fees if the property is put up for sale and bought by the tenant, charges for services such as inventories, tenancy agreements, telephone calls abroad.
  6. Check that the letting agent is responsible for arranging all necessary compliance regulation checks, keeping all necessary records and issuing relevant documentation to your tenants:- gas safety checks, right to rent checks, furniture and fittings (including electrical fittings), fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, how to rent, legionella risk assessment.
  7. If your property is a house in multiple occupation (HMO), check with your local authority what licensing requirements, if any, they have and what regulations are applicable.
  8. Clarify that your agent will deal with all queries from the tenants and arrange for routine repairs and maintenance. They should be authorized to spend up to a specified limit on this.
  9. If there are several agents who appear equally competent, make a visit and speak to the person who would be dealing with your property to assess them – do they appear professional, knowledgeable.
  10. Keep copies of all correspondence with your agent (particularly those which make any special requests regarding the management of your property) and a copy of the management contract and any other paperwork. If you are thinking of renting a property in Leicestershire, call Phillips George Sales & Lettings on 0116 2168 178 for up to date advice and a professional service.

If you need any further information about letting your property please contact Phillips George Sales & Lettings on t: 0116 216 8178 or [email protected]

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Clare Phillips
Clare Phillips, Partner
Clare has been in the industry since 1998. Her career started as an administrator and she has worked through each role in estate agency from negotiator, sales progressor, valuer, manager and culminating in opening Phillips George as a co-founding partner. Through Clare’s career she has obtained professional qualifications with both NAEA (national association of estate agents) and ARLA (association of residential letting agents) to ensure that she delivers a first class service to all of her clients. Clare’s favourite part of estate agency and lettings is helping customers achieve their goals and making the process as smooth as possible for them.