Getting a Letting Agent

by Alan Harding

Being a landlord is not an easy or risk-free job. A lot of people believe that all you need to do to bring in profits is to list your home, choose a tenant and relax. Being a landlord makes you responsible for many things, and also for following the necessary steps to renting your property. Therefore, it is often a good idea to seek out the services of a letting agent.

It can take just a bit of work on your part finding the right letting agent for your property. There are many places to seek out a letting agent, and the best place to start is by finding listings similar to yours and contacting those letting agents. Prospective tenants that are looking for a property like yours can probably be found by finding an agent that has other listings close to yours. The proper listing price for your property can be identified by agents with other listings like yours. In order to ensure high quality service, check and make sure your letting agent belongs to a professional organization. Agents who belong to professional organizations must adhere to certain codes of practice.

Letting agents perform the majority of the duties related to leasing your property. Agents can do all of the legwork, including preparing the listing, meeting with applicants, and checking references. You will need to check some of these references to make certain that you obtain what you were promised. For an additional fee you may have your agent conduct the move in checklist and other elements of the leasing agreement with the tenants. You may find this service of interest if you do not live in the area. Some landlords no longer require the services of an agent at this point, and can take over performing the remaining work themselves.

If however you desire you can have your agent manage your property as well. This can entail merely collecting the rent and forwarding it on to you, or can be a much more involved position. Agents can do everything from inspections of the property to making repairs. Of course the more involved an agent is the higher their fee will be. Usually this fee is an additional 5% on top of the fee they collect due to finding you tenants in the first place.

Letting agents can be life savers. Many people go into letting their property with the best of intentions. Since letting does require a lot of work they can simply over look something such as contacting their lender or insurance company and end up in a very bad situation. For this reason alone having an agent is a great idea, it may cost you a little but in the long run the peace of mind is worth the fee.

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