Why Landlords Need to Use Reputable Letting Agents
The strange thing about the UK property market is that letting agents aren’t legally required to be skilled and qualified. This differs from the US, where these two things are essential. As a consequence, landlords are always in a battle to find the right agent to help advertise their property and find tenants. The issue is that, if you’re not careful, you could end up working with an unscrupulous agent, who are only interested in your money.
As a result, you end up with a terrible service that costs a fortune, and either leads to you not finding tenants for ages, or finding awful ones who cause many problems. So, it’s vital that you use reputable letting agents for numerous reasons. Below, we’ll explain why this is important – and how to find the best letting agents around:
Using Bad Agents Can Harm Your Reputation
Instantly, if you use a terrible letting agent, then you’re seen as a lousy landlord by association. People that don’t trust this agency won’t even give your property a second thought as they just assume it’s as dodgy as they are. Therefore, you could lose out on so many potential tenants who are just ignoring your adverts purely thanks to the poor reputation of the letting agents.
You Can Lose A Lot Of Rental Income
The problem with a lot of letting agents is that they only care about making a quick profit. As such, they want to find tenants for you as quickly as can be, which often means they recommend lower than average rental prices. This is their way of trying to attract people to your property, but it means that any tenants you receive are paying way less than you want. You’re offering bargain rental prices which mean you miss out on so much potential income. Plus, their charges could be outrageously high, meaning you end up paying way over 10% of your monthly rental income to them.
Find Registered Letting Agents
You can see why using a reputable letting agent is beneficial as it stops you from losing income and damaging your reputation. So, one way to ensure you find the best agency is to search for registered ones. There are two professional bodies called the ARLA Propertymark and the NALS (National Approved Letting Scheme). If a letting agent is registered with either of these bodies, then it’s a good indication that they’re trustworthy and reliable. It also indicates a pretty high degree of professionalism and skill as well. To have your registration accepted by either of these bodies, then it means the agency must be abiding by industry laws and carrying out the proper procedures for landlords. So, that’s one less thing for you to worry about.
Ensure They’re Transparent
One of the telltale signs of a dodgy letting agent is if they’re not upfront about all their services and charges. If they refuse to give information on any additional costs or extra service charges, then you know something is wrong. Ideally, you want letting agents that are entirely transparent and tell you everything. They present their services and fees all in an easy-to-read format, meaning you know exactly what you’re paying for.
Look For Positive Reviews
Another very simple way to separate the reputable from the unscrupulous is to check their reviews online – or by talking to other landlords. If you see that certain agents have abysmal reviews from both landlords and tenants, then this doesn’t exactly scream ‘trust,’ does it? Instead, you want to find an agency that’s widely recommended by other landlords and has strong reviews across the board.
Choose Letting Agents With Local Experience
One of the most valuable aspects of an excellent letting agent is that they know the local area and have been working in it for many years. This experience is so useful as it means they should know how to price your rent for this area, how to attract the local tenants and any other information that might help you. Not only that, but they should have an excellent local reputation as well, which further increases your faith in them.
The bottom line is that all landlords need to use reputable letting agents. With a trustworthy and skilled agency on your side, it increases your chances of finding tenants in a shorter space of time. Likewise, there’s less chance of you losing money as they’ll charge the ideal rental price to ensure both of you see a profit.
To find the best letting agents, check to see if they’re registered to a professional body, ensure they have plenty of local experience, make sure they’re totally transparent about all their fees, and choose a company with positive reviews.