What to look out for when choosing a letting agent

by Ed Firmin


Posted on Monday, December 21st, 2015 at 10:00



What to look out for when choosing a letting agent

Choosing the right letting agent, questions to ask a letting agentSo you’ve made the decision to have a letting agent manage the property for you. Wise decision!

Before you start looking around at what letting agents are in your area and picking the one you most like the look of, there are some factors you should take into consideration before making your decision. I would advise using the below as a checklist and list of questions to ask potential candidates.

  • Check they are a member of a Government approved scheme – as of 2014, all letting agents are required to be a member of at least one scheme. This means they have to adhere to certain standards so you can be reassured that your property is in safe hands. So, your letting agent should be a member of either the Ombudsman Services Property, the Property Redress Scheme or The Property Ombudsman. This should be displayed on their website or at their office
  • First point of call should be their website. You can get a good idea about how professional a letting agent is by looking at their site. The more effort they’ve made, the more serious they are about their business. All information about the services they provide should be easy to find, and all fees should be displayed, this too is a legal requirement. So you can easily do some comparisons between letting agents, so you know what fees you are likely to be looking at
  • BUT, don’t necessarily plump for the cheapest, peace of mind that your property is being well looked after and that they can keep your property occupied is a lot more important. So have a search around local forums online and on social media to see what other landlords are saying. Chances are you’ll get some good feedback from fellow landlords that have used their service
  • Find out what is included within each package the letting agent is offering. You’ll easily be able to see which letting agents have thought of everything; they are the ones who are more likely to understand what landlords are after and how to make your lives as easy as possible
  • You want to ask them how long it typically takes to find a tenant to fill a property. You don’t want to have a property that lies empty, so take a look at how each letting agent advertises, what websites they’re joined up to, such as Rightmove or Zoopla, which allows your property to be seen widely. Do they put adverts into the local papers? How about direct mailing? All these questions are crucial to ask

Your choice of letting agent is important, you have to be confident that your property is in the right hands, and that they’ll help you find the right tenants that will treat your property as their home.

If you’d like to get in touch and get me to run through the checklist above, I’d be more than happy to answer all your questions!

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