Think fees are the first thing you should find out about a potential letting agency? Think again. There are a number of factors you need to consider when choosing an agency to manage your investment, from how they will market your property to how often they conduct inspections. Plus, don’t forget to check out their reviews from landlords and tenants alike on Google and Trustpilot.
Do they manage similar properties to yours? It’s important that your letting agent has experience managing similar properties to yours in order to give you the most accurate representation of how long it will take to fill and what rent you could expect to achieve.
How will they market your property? Find out whether their marketing includes professional photography and floor plans, which portals they advertise properties on and whether they use social media to further promote properties.
What are their average void periods and rents? A good letting agent should be able to tell you how long it takes them, on average, to let out properties that are similar to yours, and what rent you can realistically expect to achieve.
How often do they conduct property inspections? First of all find out whether their managed service includes regular property inspections and how often they conduct these - are they quarterly, half-yearly or annually?
How do they reference their tenants? Do they carry out reference checks in-house or use an external provider? It’s important that your tenants are properly referenced so you can be confident that they will pay their rent on time and look after your property.
What information do they provide tenants when they rent a property? Tenants must be provided with a copy of the property’s Gas Safety Certificate, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), prescribed deposit information and the Government’s “How to Rent” guide by law. Asking this question is a good way to check that the agency is compliant.
What schemes and professional organisations are they members of? Letting agents are required by law to belong to a government-approved Client Money Protection scheme and Property Redress scheme. It’s also worth finding out if they’re a member of a professional organisation such as ARLA Propertymark.