Here are Farr and Farr, we’ve been managing rental properties since 1982 and we are Gloucester’s leading Letting Agency. With the rental market being more accessible than ever to new Landlords, here are our 5 top tips for choosing the best Letting Agency for your requirements.
Tip No 1 – Decide on the level of service
Most Letting Agents provide 2 services – one where they simply find the tenant for you and you deal with the day to day maintenance, correspondence with the tenant and the legal requirements of renting your house out. The other service is a complete property management service – they find the tenant, collect the rent, manage all aspects of the maintenance, the legal requirements and of course, correspondence with the tenant.
Before you decide on your best fit of Letting Agent, it’s important to be clear on what your requirements are. For instance, if you don’t live in the area, or you’re out of the country, perhaps you’ve got another demanding job, you may not be able to or any desire to keep on top of your property’s maintenance and collecting the rent from you tenants.
When you’re clear on how much input you want to have, then you can move forward to find the best Letting Agency fit for you. Ask what they charge for the level of service you require. Expect to pay between 10-15% + VAT of the gross monthly rental for a fully managed service, and you can work out your net yield accordingly.
Tip No 2 – Do your research
If you live in the area, you’re probably aware of the reputations of your local Letting Agencies, however, it’s still prudent to check them out thoroughly. Ask other Landlords of their experiences, and of course, check them out online by looking at their websites. it would also be a good idea to make an appointment to see the Letting Agent at their offices, so that you can see what their working environment’s like, how their staff deal with tenants etc. This will give you a really good insight into their working practices.
Tip No 3 – Check their professional memberships
In 2019, the law changed which banned Letting Agents from charging tenants for inventories and references. Check their policies to ensure that they’re not trying to pass this fee onto you. Check also what Property Ombudsman Scheme that they belong to as well as a Property Redress Scheme. By law, they have to be members of these schemes, so it’s important for you to check them out. There is also the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme and the Client Money Protection Scheme that they must belong to also. Be sure to check out their professional indemnity insurance also. This sort of questioning will undoubtedly pay dividends in the future – firstly, if your Letting Agent is professional, they’ll be only too pleased to give you the information. If they’re hesitant in any way, then that should be a red flag!
Tip No 4 – What strategies do they employ to attract the right tenant?
Check their listings on the major property portals, like rightmove.co.uk for instance, to see how they advertise their rental properties. Are the images appealing, do they write great descriptions of the property? Do they go the extra mile for you in their promotional material?
Tip No 5 – Consider the ongoing relationship
You need to be comfortable that you can get hold of your Letting Agent in an emergency. Check out their opening hours, how often you expect to communicate with them, how they’re going to deal with repairs and maintenance, annual gas safety checks etc. What is their policy for dealing with late payment from tenants? How are they going to pay you? And of course, consider the notice period you have to give if you no longer want to rent your property out.
This is simply a guide to choosing a good Letting Agent, but is by no means exhaustive. If you’re looking for a good Letting Agent in and around the Gloucester area, Farr and Farr have 5 branches and are very well established, highly reputable Letting Agents. Visit our website www.farrandfarr.co.uk for more information.