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letting agents to let boards

As a landlord considering an agent to help manage your property, you will no doubt be searching for a good letting agent who understands your needs and expectations, and one whom you can trust to take the stress out of the lettings process. But it can be difficult to spot a good letting agent, especially if you have had little or no experience of dealing with them in the past. So here are a few tips on what to look out for, in order to find the right agent for you.

Letting agents should have good knowledge of their properties, ensuring that when a prospective landlord contacts them they can answer any questions put to them with confidence. Signs of uncertainty can question the knowledge and professionalism of the agent. The agent should consider the needs of the tenant and not aim to show properties that do not match their requirements simply to hit targets, this only wastes time.

As a landlord you want an agency that fully utilises social media and digital tools to market the property and communicate with tenants more effectively. If your property isn’t marketed to its full potential, you are simply wasting time and money.

Check if the agent is with any regulating body and whether they have a policy for client money protection. This will show their professionalism within the industry and give assurances that they take their clients seriously. When you first contact them, consider their response to your query; politeness, speed and efficiency. If they fail to manage your initial communication in the right manner, it begs the question as to how they will manage your property and any queries made by prospective tenants.

Don’t be afraid to ask about any concerns you have, and discuss your needs and perhaps budget. Do you require a fully managed service? Or simply the initial marketing for your property? You need to establish their obligations as a letting agent and what they are prepared to do or not as the case may be, to ensure the effective management of finding a tenant for your property.

Discuss proposals for marketing and tenant checks, particularly the type of tenant you are ideally looking for. You need to be happy with who resides in your property and have the right to make the final choice. A tenant should be initially given an assured short-hold tenancy, so it is a good idea to check the agreement thoroughly so you understand your rights and responsibilities as a landlord and theirs as a tenant. It will also be a good idea to familiarise yourself with the procedure for asking tenants to vacate should the need arise in the future or you are looking for a quick property sale.

Ideally the agent you choose should be able to offer free advice and help you make the right choices. After all they have direct experience of the industry and should be helpful and informative. If you feel uncomfortable or in any doubt then it would be worth looking elsewhere.vAlso contact a few different agents initially to get an idea of how they work and consider all areas before making a final decision.

by Cormac Henderson

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