There are hundreds of Letting Agents in the UK, all claiming to be the best in the business. With this in mind, it can seem a daunting task to choose the right and most suiting one for you. As well as running Mighty House – a letting agents in Lancaster, I too have a portfolio of properties I manage, so would like to share my tips and advice to ensure you make the right decision.
Reputation plays an important role in this industry and will help you to assess the reliability of an Agent. A good starting point is to speak to friends, family and colleagues to get any recommendations they may have from their past experiences. You can also find reviews and feedback online, with many of the Agent’s websites including testimonials from previous clients.
Background checks on any potential Agent is essential. Legitimate and qualified businesses will be listed under the Association of Rental Letting Agents, so you can use this as your starting point for finding any potential matches for your needs. This will help you to avoid any phonies or fraudsters so you don’t have to worry about the credibility of your Agent.
Research is vital in the early stages of choosing a Letting Agent. You will need to shop around by looking at a range of different companies. Note down what each one can offer you, do they have package deals? If so, do you know which one would suit you best? These are all questions which you should be trying to answer, narrowing down what it is exactly you want from the Agent. My Property Guide offers helpful advice for choosing between packages, and lists things the differences between each, so you consider which you need.
Meet The Agent
Once you have narrowed your choices of agents down to a hand full, arrange to go in to speak to a member of the branch. Remember that you aren’t committed to make a decision on the day, so don’t rush into anything until you are certain that you have made the right choice. Before visiting the Agent, note down all the questions that you need to ask in the meeting. If you aren’t sure of anything then ask the Letting Agent to explain so that you fully understand what they can offer you before you make your decision.
Take your Time
Consider and reflect on the information that you have been given, taking the time that you need to digest this. Do not make a decision until you are certain of which Agent can offer you the best package, then going on to speak to the company again. Make sure you know what is included in the deal, for example, are there any additional fees? Is the tenancy deposit protected? This is all information which should have been given to you prior to this stage, but if it hasn’t then it is not too late to find out.
If you choose a package which doesn’t cover maintenance then you must consider this in your own time. This means that checks and repairs are your responsibility and therefore, must be carried out under your instruction. Often it is seen as the better option to purchase a package which includes this as you then don’t have to take calls from tenants or have to find maintenance workers in the middle of the night! The Gas Safe Register – http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ is a useful link to find registered maintenance workers in your local area, if you do decide to make this your responsibility.
Signing the management agreement is the part of the procedure which you should place the most attention. Read any small print and terms and conditions to make sure there is not a catch in your contract which will later surprise or inconvenience you. Do not sign this until you have thoroughly read each section, making sure that you have your own copies, to refer back to if necessary. This should, fingers crossed, be the final stage of letting your property. Stay calm and good luck!