With an ever increasing rental market it is becoming increasingly difficult to spot the rogue landlords and letting agents. Here are our top 7 tips of what to look for in your letting agent, courtesy of UKALA.
- Look for a reputable agent. Look for a good, reputable letting agent to take the stress out of finding a property. Start by researching agents in your area, looking for agents that are members of a registered trade body such as the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA). Membership of a professional association confirms that they are professionally approved and must adhere to a Code of Practice.
- Check the agency’s specialism. If you’re looking for student accommodation you’ll have more luck with some agencies than others. Some agencies will specialize in bigger, family homes and others will let modern flats and apartments. You’ll soon get a feel for the agency’s target market by visiting their website.
- Look at the agent’s fees. Some letting agents will charge higher fees than others but agents who are members of registered bodies such as UKALA should be transparent and clear about their fees before you sign any agreement. These should be outlined in advance and in a manner that is easily understood. This will allow you to make an informed decision about the agency you choose.
- Ask for out-of-hours call out details. Even if managing the property, not all agencies offer an out-of-hours service but if the boiler were to break on a cold winter’s evening or the roof were to leak on a wet weekend, you would need someone to call. If the agency doesn’t offer an out-of-hours service, then you may want to look further afield.
- Check that the agent protects deposits in a tenancy deposit protection scheme. An agent must protect your deposit in one of three government-authorised schemes and provide you with relevant prescribed documentation. Check that the agent will do this within 30 days of receiving the deposit; if they don’t, they will be breaking the law.
- Ask about regular maintenance and safety checks. When managing a property on behalf of a landlord, the letting agent legally needs to arrange for gas safety checks to be carried out every 12 months to ensure the property conforms to the required gas safety standards and provide the tenant with the certificate.
- Check that the staff are knowledgeable. Good letting agents will train their staff using industry qualifications and accreditations, such as the Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme. Look to see what training each agency undertakes, if the staff are knowledgeable, they will be able to help with the various hurdles you may experience with your rental arrangements.
You can view a list of our current available properties on the Homemaker Properties website. We also advertise on Rightmove, Zoopla & Prime Location. If you find anything of interest and would like to arrange a viewing please contact our Lettings team by phone on 02476 100 390 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t found anything suitable please register your details with us. Our team are ready and waiting to help you with your search.