it is still perfectly legal for landlords to manage their own properties, the
increasing complexity of doing so, plus the likelihood that investors may be
buying property at a distance from their own home, means that for many
landlords, it makes sense to use a lettings agent. With that in mind, the team
at Manchester estate agents Indlu have listed some points to check before signing up to one.
Check the letting agent actually
offers the service(s) you want
a property can basically be divided into five stages, marketing the property,
drawing up the tenancy agreement, collecting rent, managing the let property
and ending the tenancy.
lettings agents will be able to cover all of these stages but they may or may
not cover them in the way you would like. For example, some might only accept
landlords who agree to have the agent manage their property from start to
finish while others might be fine with landlords mixing and matching services.
Check the letting agent’s track
record on providing the service
as it may seem, you probably want to be somewhat wary of brand-new lettings
agencies, although everyone has to start somewhere. If you are considering
going with a new lettings agency, take a good look at their website and be
prepared to ask a lot of questions.
you’re going with an established lettings agency, then you should be able to
look into their track record and see what other people have to say about them.
can also look at some of their marketing material and see what sort of standard
it is. In particular, do the photos they use look like they’ve been taken by a
professional, or at least someone who has a decent camera and knows how to use
it or do they look like they’ve been snapped on a mobile phone?
Check what, exactly, is included
in each service.
is now impossible to overstate the importance of this point because it is in
the highest degree unlikely that you will be able to charge tenants directly
for expenses you incur as a result of failing to grasp your letting agent’s
example, you might assume that a service involving the setting-up or ending of
a tenancy will automatically include inventories, but these days, there’s a
distinct possibility that this will be an optional extra.
Check the notice period for the
a rule of thumb, you should expect to be able to exit a contract in a couple of
months, however, some lettings agencies do have much longer notice periods. An
extended lock-in period may be acceptable as a trade-off for what is otherwise
a really good deal, but consider the pros and cons carefully before you put pen
Check if the contract has any hidden
close attention to a contract to ensure you identify any “non-obvious” fees,
which might otherwise escape your notice, for example, some lettings agencies
charge a percentage fee if you sell a property to a tenant.