Ten questions to ask your letting agent.

Thu 02 Nov 2017

 

If you are thinking of renting out your property for the first time, choosing a reputable agent can be a difficult decision, particularly as there are so many letting agents to choose from who claim to be specialists in this field.  To assist we have put together ten important questions which we think you should ask.

 

 

  1. Does the agent have Client Money Protection?  This is the most important question as otherwise an agency which goes out of business may also disappear with your rental funds and the tenants deposits.

     

  2. Are they up to date on lettings legislation?  Enquire about what relevant qualifications they  hold and if the agent invests in Continuing Professional Development to ensure their knowledge and skills are kept up to date.

     

  3. Are they a member of any regulatory body, such as ARLA?  The Association of Residential Letting Agents is the U.K.’s foremost professional body.  The government has announced proposals for mandatory regulation of letting agencies and most good agents would choose to be regulated in order to prove their integrity and professionalism.

     

  4. What Deposit Protection scheme do they use?  All tenant deposits must be protected within thirty days with a government approved scheme.

     

  5. Can they organise the mandatory legislative requirements such as Landlord Gas Safety Inspections and Legionella Risk Assessments?

     

  6. Are they members of a redress scheme, such as The Property Ombudsman?  From October 2014 all agents have been required to be a member of one of three government approved redress schemes, find out which one your agent belongs to.

     

  7. How often will they be carrying out inspections of your tenanted property?  It is important to check on a regular basis that your property is being cared for and to ensure the tenants are not breaching the Tenancy Agreement in any way.

     

  8. What checks do they carry out on tenants?  Are they properly referenced by a professional reference company or in-house?  Full checks are required to ascertain if the applicant is likely to be responsible and able to afford the monthly rental.

     

  9. How long has the agent been established? Many agents advertise low fees only to disappear within a year or two.

     

  10. Will there be any hidden fees?  All fees and charges should now be transparent and displayed in the agent’s office and on their website.

     

    At Harcourts we are confident that we can answer ALL of the above questions positively, our experience and knowledge in the property market means that we can provide an honest and professional service ensuring that your property is in safe hands.