What is the point of a Letting Agent?

It’s a question I’ve heard on many occasions from Landlords who don’t work with agencies and don’t see the need for them.  But whether you’ve been a landlord for a long time or you’re just purchasing your first buy-to-let, don’t dismiss using an agent.

A good Letting Agency is able to take out the hassle of dealing face to face with tenants

Resolving Issues

A good agent will do their utmost to find respectful and trustworthy tenants who will pay their rent on time and look after your property.  But sometimes down the line misfortune rears its ugly head and circumstances change.  Good agents will try their best to resolve the situation acting as a go-between for Landlord and Tenant.

A letting agent can give you peace of mind knowing that you are legal where legalisation and compliance are needed

Up-to-date with legalities

Landlords are the Client and any reputable Letting Agency will always work in the best interests of their client. Landlords have legal responsibilities which cannot be off loaded to a letting agent, but they will be comfortable in the knowledge that their property is of legal standard and compliant with regulations.

Save you money when dealing with maintenance issues, as agents can pick from a pool of contractors that they constantly use and trust

Maintenance Issues…

A pool of contractors and contacts will always connect themselves to a well-established, reputable Letting Agent.  Any agency worth its salt will be sure to have tried and tested services to ensure they associate with the most cost effective and professional of people.  Cheap is not necessarily best if a bad job costs twice as much in the longer term.

Lettings agents will probably draw up a more secure Tenancy Agreement than you may have got off the internet

Any Landlord can go on to the internet and print off a basic Tenancy Agreement and think that they are covered legally.  But, in the past few years legislation has changed at a fast-moving pace and Tenancy Agreements need to be updated to keep up with the pace of change.  A reputable agency will always keep you informed of such changes and update any Agreements when needed.

Inventory

Inventories can be a godsend to Landlords if a tenancy goes wrong.  But from the examples of some inventories I’ve seen from Landlords, who have not used an agent they aren’t worth the paper they are written on.  Inventories need to be in-depth, descriptive and with photographs.  A well-trained agent will be able to do this for you as part of their service.

Deposits

Dealing with deposits…

All Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) deposits must be held by a government backed deposit scheme.  If a Landlord chooses the services of an agent, then the responsibility of ensuring that a deposit is paid into the scheme as well as ensuring that the tenant receives the correct paperwork such as Prescribed information lies with the letting agent.  However, it is the Landlords legal responsibility at end of tenancy to ensure that the tenant with mutual agreement receives the whole or their share of the deposit back.

Tenant Vetting

A reputable agent will have many resources allowing more stringent vetting, credit checking and referencing procedures to give a higher possibility of finding reliable and trustworthy tenants.

Have a wide-ranging marketing platform

Marketing

Some Agencies advertise on the major portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, but creative agencies will also use social media and other marketing strategies for your advantage.

You will have more quality time on your hands

Quality time with friend and family…

Passing the day-to-day and long-term management of your property to an agent will give you more quality time to spend enjoying your own pursuits and time with your family and friends, with the ability to relax and know that your property is taken care of.

It is more convenient if you live out of area

Living out of area or abroad is an ideal opportunity to use an agent.  Giving you piece of mind.  As long as your agent keeps you-up to date with regular reports and discusses any issues that may arise.

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