Advice for new landlords

Letting Agencies That Work For You

Letting agencies continue to grow in number as the demand for property to let grows. But, as a landlord looking to let properties how do you choose the one that will work for you and help you make the most of the properties you have? 

The type of agency you need may depend greatly on the lettings that you have available. There is little point choosing a company that specialises in long term family homes if your portfolio only consists of short let apartments and studios. Check the type of services you need. Are you looking for full management, including HVAC repair, or just support finding the right tenants for your properties? Some letting agents may offer a range of services, or different levels of packages. This allows you to fit their expertise to your own. 

For example, if you are experienced in producing tenancy agreements and running tenant references then these may not be services you need. However, if you are new to letting then inventory form downloads and access to section 21 notices may be of great use to you. Once you have a shortlist of companies that can fill your needs you need to check aspects such as fees and communication. Check exactly what you are paying for within fixed upfront fees and what other services you need to pay additional fees for. Ensure that the company has a range of forms of communication as well as ways of passing information onto tenants.

Questions Landlords Need To Ask

Letting agents are there to support landlords in letting their properties to the right tenants, and to do so at a price that is fair and profitable. However, with so many letting agencies available, how do you know which is the best? Read on for the questions you need to ask before you sign up.

As a landlord looking for lettings companies, you need to know that you are in the hands of experienced agents who know the struggles you face. One of the first questions you need to ask is how much the agency charges and what exactly you get for that money. Look carefully for charges that might not be included in your service package. Listings, for example, may be charged separately. This is not a problem, as long as they are upfront about this cost. Also, ask where your property will be advertised. While you would expect it to be on their website, you need greater coverage than this. The best letting agents will automatically place your property on the top property sites. Don’t forget to ask about the length of the service package, and how long your property will be listed for. You should also ask about the amount of control you retain over your property listing and choice of tenants. You also need to ask how you are able to communicate with your tenants and arrange viewings. Remember, a letting agency is different to a property management company, and your input is essential.

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