What to Ask Yourself Before Instructing a Letting Agent

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Owning a rental property can be a lot to handle, including the monitoring of upkeep and the management of paperwork and contracts for each individual tenant. And then there’s actually finding a tenant, which can prove difficult in itself.

The obvious choice for finding dependable tenants is a letting agent, either online or off. Agents help ease the burden by providing access to renters and helping with other aspects like contracts and property management.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of key questions that you should ask yourself when instructing a letting agent. So, read on, and discover how to find a good letting agent.

What services does a letting agent provide and what do I need?

Services differ between letting agents, so you need to determine what you want from your letting experience. Tenant-find is often the minimum requirement, with the agents providing access to possible tenants for your property.

Other services include tenant referencing, drafting the tenancy agreement and creating an inventory for your property. They may also register the deposit and collect the first month’s rent as part of the service.

If you opt for full management, you can expect the agent to collect the rent throughout the duration of the tenancy and arrange repairs while maintaining a relationship with the tenant. Of course, such a service comes at an extra cost.

pink, cream and grey terraced houses with to let signs in front

Should I choose an online letting agent or a high street letting agent?

Once you have decided on the level of service you require, research available options and find the best fit for your needs. If you want hands-on experience with more control over your property, it’s worth looking at online letting agents. If, however, you don’t want to be involved and would prefer that the agent handles the rental, the high-street model is worth exploring. However, it’s important to remember that high-street models can charge as much as 15% of the agreed annual rental. In comparison, online options are usually substantially more affordable, and sometimes even free.

What you should look out for in a letting agent:

  • Professionalism
  • Access to tenants
  • Speed of service
  • Operating times
  • Flexibility
  • Market knowledge
  • Affordability

How will letting agents market my property?

Ensure the agents you are reviewing have a proactive approach to marketing properties, and implement multiple strategies to find you a suitable tenant. You can look on their website or a property portal like OnTheMarket to see how they have marketed their properties and to see if their methods make you confident that you’ll let your property quickly through them.

Ask the agent where and how they will advertise your property. Rightmove and Zoopla are the most-visited property portals, so agents should advertise your rental on both websites. Ninety percent of property searches begin online, which is why the letting agent needs to have a strong digital presence and understand the mindset of modern-day, tech-savvy renters.

A bad letting agent will cause you extra stress in the long run, but if you follow the steps set above, you should be on the right track to find a competent agent who helps you let your property. The all you need to focus on is finding the right tenant for your rental and enjoying passive income once they’ve moved in.

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