Finding and Using a Letting Agent
Although many landlords choose to let and manage their properties themselves, some prefer to find a letting agent to manage the property on their behalf.
If you’re not sure whether using a letting agent is something you should do, the following are some key indicators that an agent might be the right choice for you:
- You live too far away from the property and cannot easily show it to prospective tenants or manage the property if there are problems.
- You don’t have the time. Managing or letting a property can be more time consuming than is imagined.
- You are letting an upmarket property where the prospective tenants are more likely to deal with an agent.
- You are susceptible to stress and hassle. You need to be of a reasonably robust temperament to deal firmly and fairly with the occasional bad tenant.
- You own a large House in Multiple Occupation (or other property) which has a high turnover of tenants or requires more intensive management.
Time to find a letting agent?
If any or all of the above statements ring true for you, you may find the management services of an agent really useful.
Similarly, if you’re not confident in your property management skills, or your knowledge of legal requirements, it could be time for you to find a letting agent.
Choosing a Letting Agent
It could be that you already know of a suitable letting agency, or there may be fellow landlords you could ask – but if not, the following pointers should be considered when trying to find a letting agent:
- Do they have a number of clients with properties similar to yours? If they do, it means they are more likely to find you a tenant quickly. Some letting agents specialise in certain types of property or tenants.
- Do they have Client Money Protection (CMP) as well as Professional Indemnity Insurance?
- Are they members of a recognised national organisation such as UKALA?
UKALA agents must adhere to the Association’s strict Code of Practice and are answerable to an independent redress scheme should something go wrong with a tenancy.
What’s more, UKALA agents (through their membership) also have to access to a wealth of advice and guidance – some of which, by law, they must adhere to.