A letting agent can save a lot of the hassle of managing a rental property but there are a number of factors to weigh up. Here are some key questions to ask before you sign up:
1. How will you advertise and market the property?
One of the first things you should ask a letting agent is how will they advertise and market your property? As part of a recent Endsleigh survey no fewer than 8 out of 10 respondents rated this service as important.
It's important to understand how your agent plans to advertise your property as this will give you an idea of how much exposure your property will get.
2. How long will it take to let a property?
Knowing how long it will take to let a property gives you time to plan. You may need to complete some maintenance work while the property is unoccupied. Alternatively, you may need to secure tenants soon in order to cover your outgoings and generate a return on your income.
Unsurprisingly, 88% of landlords surveyed rated this information as important when deciding on which letting agent to use.
3. How often will you visit the property?
Although there is no legal obligation to do so, carrying out periodic property inspections is widely considered to be good practice. Nearly 70% of landlords surveyed rated the number of times a letting agent visits a property as important.
It's a great way to catch up with tenants, who can air any concerns that they might have, as well as check on the general condition of the property and whether any repairs need to be made.
4. Do you do credit checks?
Avoiding nightmare tenants is crucial for landlords. That’s why nearly 90% of those we surveyed said that a letting agent's ability to conduct credit checks is important.
5. What kind of rental return can my property achieve?
As a landlord, it’s important to make sure you’re getting value for money. You want to ensure that a potential letting agent will be able to achieve the level of rent from your property to enable you to meet your commitments. Unsurprisingly, 85% of those surveyed agreed that the expected level of rent that a letting agent would be able to provide was crucial to their choice.