Choosing the right letting agent for you is an important decision. Your property is a valuable asset and entrusting an agent to find tenants and potentially manage it for you isn’t something to be taken lightly.
Working with a professional and experienced letting agent can help save you time, and money and give you the best chance of finding great tenants. Plus, you can rest assured that you’re managing your property in the right way and leaving yourself less open to risk. This could be from rental arrears or from the ever-changing and complex legislation that regulates landlords and tenancies.
Here are our tips on how to choose a good letting agent and the best questions to ask them before you commit.
All letting agents must be part of a government-approved letting agency redress scheme, either the Property Ombudsman (TPOS) or The Property Redress Scheme (PRS). However, there is currently no overarching statutory regulation of private sector letting or managing agents in England.
A professional agent would usually choose to register with ARLA, and agree to be governed by their code of conduct. Staff of an ARLA registered agent would usually have undergone an exam to test their knowledge of the industry and legislation. You can tell this as they would usually choose to have the initials MARLA, after their name.
The obligation for lettings agents to have client money protection became law in 2019. This protects clients and tenants money in the case of malpractice, so if an agent isn’t a member of a scheme it is an immediate red flag.
Of course, asking about fees is a given. But some letting agent fees are hidden in the fine print and may only crop up in certain situations. An example of this is that many agents will charge you a fee for creating the tenancy agreement, often several hundred pounds, on top of the percentage fee they are charging.
Ideally an agent would quote one fee that is transparent and covers everything with no hidden extras.
When inquiring about fees, make sure you ask about all charges you could be liable to pay – not just the standard stuff. It is a legal requirement that agents provide you with details of any fee that may become due in the future. For reference, you can check out our fees here.
A good letting agent is always on the hunt for new ways to market their properties. Depending on who your target market is, modern forms of marketing (like blogging and social media) can be highly desirable.
Make sure you ask how your letting agent will market your property to see if it’s the right fit for you.
Naturally, having a local letting agent has its benefits. Someone that knows the area well can market your property to potential tenants much more effectively as they will know all the benefits, amenities etc of living in the local area.
Quiz the person you speak to about what’s nearby and ask to see their published local area guides. It is especially important for a letting agent in London to have this knowledge, as tenants often look in areas they are unfamiliar with to be able to afford what they want.
Every landlord wants to find a tenant as quickly as possible to minimise the void period. And finding a good tenant can take time.
Regardless, a good letting agent will have the facts on the average time it takes them to fill vacancies, so do ask for the figures. The more efficient they are with marketing, viewings and negotiation the quicker their average time will be.
When your letting agent is available to speak to you is important. You need someone that can work around your lifestyle and be ready to answer your questions when you have time to speak.
While most letting agents in a local area have standard opening hours, some may be open or available out of hours, and some can take calls 24 hours a day. Being available at the weekends is particularly important with lettings, as this is when most tenants are free to view.
Give us a call today on 0207 459 4400 or browse our letting agent services at https://www.properly.space/property-management-services/
London Youth work to improve the lives of young people in London, challenging them to become the best they can, and last year helped over 27,000 young people through their sports development, youth action and involvement, arts and outdoor education programmes and employment prospects. We feel strongly that all young people should have an opportunity to develop themselves, and so are delighted to be able to support London Youth in their work, providing young people with access to opportunities they might not otherwise have had, to learn new skills, to make a positive change in their communities and to shape the city they live in.
Glass Door helps homeless men and women in London through their large network of emergency shelters and support services. These winter shelters provide a warm welcome, food, safety and shelter for up to 170 people every night. Properly feels passionately about the issue of homelessness. That is why we are delighted that together with our clients we can assist Glass Door in their fantastic work to help some of the most marginalised people in society.
Families become homeless for reasons we can all identify with. We are concerned about people who are struggling to keep things together in our fast-paced world – and we care about those who have no support. We chose the Doorstep Homeless Family Project because they are passionate and effective yet they are a small team with limited funding. They provide homeless families, living in temporary accommodation in London, with access to services to secure the emotional and practical support they require to enjoy a better quality of life.
We need nature and nature needs us. We support The London Wildlife Trust because we share its concern for the environment. We want to ensure that we keep nature in mind as we work in the property market – and crucially, with people’s homes. We also want our employees to engage with nature and benefit from the wellbeing this brings. London Wildlife Trust cares for over 37 of London’s spaces, and their vision is: “a London alive with nature, where everyone can experience and enjoy wildlife”.
Both Michael and Mariel were extremely helpful with our questions going forward whether it be regarding referencing or the property itself. Definitely not the usual estate agent experience (in a good way) and I would recommend Properly to anyone.
We had such an easy and stress free move. Michael helped us with all our questions and was quick to find out any answers to our questions. Would highly recommend.
I cannot recommend this estate agent enough. Michael and Mariel have been very good to us throughout the process and have made sure everything has been as smooth as possible. They have gone above and beyond to ensure everything was dealt with and in a timely manner too. A great experience throughout!
Mariel & Michael have been amazing, very thorough, helpful and a delight to deal with, would highly recommend! Thank you both.
Mariel and Michael have been absolutely great, by far my best ever experience with an estate agent. Properly is honest, upfront and friendly, responding really quickly to any and all queries and with a lovely personal touch.
I was very impressed with the service I received. Communication throughout was very good. I have dealt with many agents, but the clear, concise and personable approach I received made Properly stand out. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.
The level of customer service I received at Properly with Mariel and her team was frankly outstanding. It’s lovely when people genuinely care and go the extra mile which certainly they did. I couldn’t recommend them more highly, the most pleasurable property experience ever for me.
Amazing people, responsive, honest, friendly and professional. Cannot fault them and the type of company, you will go back to again and again.