Phoning a friend, looking local and checking out industry credentials are three of the best ways of choosing a letting agent, according to industry body ARLA Propertymark.
Whether you’re a first-time landlord or you’re looking to move agents in the near future, the company you choose could make or break or letting experience and ARLA has a few top tips you might find useful.
1. Ask around
Hit the phones for recommendations from friends and family members who have used letting agents in the past and had a positive experience to help you pull together a shortlist. If you have tenants already, get their view of any letting agents they’ve had dealings with too.
2. Check out their industry credentials
Currently, letting agents in England are unregulated – meaning they can set up in business without joining a recognised industry body. However, it’s a good idea to look for voluntary membership of a professional association such as ARLA Propertymark or National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
3. Understand the law on fees and charges
The Tenant Fees Act came into force in June this year, meaning that letting agents can no longer charge tenants for anything not considered a permitted payment. Make sure you understand what these payments are and avoid any agents not complying with the law. You can read more on the gov.uk website.
The act also means that any holding deposit must be capped at one week’s rent and the refundable tenancy deposit must be capped at five weeks’ rent.
4. Test their local knowledge
Understanding the local market is a valuable asset in an agent, so ask plenty of questions to get a view about how well the agent knows your area. It may be worth choosing an agent who has a branch in the area you’re looking at.
Read more about this story on the Landlord Today website.
If you are looking for a ARLA & NAEA registered lettings agent, in the Wimbledon, Coombe or Kingston Hill areas, then please find out what our lettings service can do for you and if you have any questions, please get in touch with us by clicking here.