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Using an agent

1st October 2016

For many landlords, a letting agent is an absolute necessity.  While some property owners choose to find their own tenant and manage their affairs themselves, a very sizeable proportion still choose to entrust their investment to an agent.

There are several important factors that you should consider when choosing a letting agent.  Your final choice will of course depend on your individual situation.

  1. Work out what you need

There are, broadly, three types of services offered by letting agents.  Before choosing an agent, you need to consider how comprehensive a service you require.

The most comprehensive type of service, generally referred to as ‘full management’, sees the agent take on virtually all the work of finding a suitable tenant, drawing up contracts, collecting rent (and paying it to you), and dealing with problems like maintenance.  This level of service will cost the most.

Alternatively, you might ask an agent to simply find a suitable tenant and collect the rent, on your behalf.  This level of service is cheaper than full management.

Or, you might choose the cheapest option, which is a simple tenant find service.  Here, the agent simply finds a suitable tenant and draws up a contract, and then leaves you to collect the rent and arrange things like maintenance and inspections etc.

  1. Understand the fees

Agents’ fees tend to operate in one of two ways: a fixed fee, or a proportion of rent.

Generally, full management services are charged on a percentage basis, and flat fees are more common for simple tenant find services.  Fees for these services can vary significantly from agent to agent.

  1. Ask around

A personal recommendation is often the most reliable form of endorsement.  If you know other landlords in your area, ask them which agencies they would recommend – and which they would not.

  1. Remember maintenance

If you want to find an agency that will also take care of property maintenance for you, you need to consider a few extra factors.  To begin with, you should understand the fees for arranging maintenance work; are they included in your management fees, or are they an extra cost? Similarly, you should consider whether the agency will guarantee that they will only use tradespeople who belong to the relevant trade associations or guilds.  This can help to ensure high standards of work.

For your own tailored package to suit your needs, and requirements, along with clear cut fees then please contact me today.

Richard Bond

Lettings Manager

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