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How To Choose Letting Agents For Your Rental Property

Aug 14, 2008
Putting property up for rent is becoming an increasingly popular option for any who have the capital to buy property to let. However many who are letting property are doing it because they are travelling for an extended period of time and purely want to keep the mortgage ticking over while they are away. whatever the reasons for putting a property up for rent, the services of letting agents can make the process far easier and less stressful; taking much of the legwork out of the equation as a landlord. Letting agents are the professionals and giving them control over your property is often far more rewarding, even though fees will normally be applicable. Hopefully the following information will allow landlords to choose the right letting agents and make the best use of their services.

The best way to find letting agents is through personal recommendation but this depends if you know any other landlords personally. There are other ways to receive recommendations however; a wealth of information on the internet is at your fingertips in order for you to find the prefect service. But where do you start when looking for letting agents? When looking the best place to start is with official letting bodies and associations, these will be able to supply you with listings of agents in your area that have their services independently verified. One of these professional bodies is the Association of Residential Letting Agents or ARLA. The members of ARLA have all been conducting business for over two years and have proved their worth in the rental sphere.

This means that your agent will have considerable experience and will understand not only the process, but any new legislation that affects the world of letting. As well as knowledge officially recognised agents will have some form of professional indemnity insurance, will be able to hold separate accounts for each of their clients and in most cases will take their fees from the landlord and not the tenant. Additionally, while smaller companies may have cheaper fees, the clout and experience of a large organisation gives your property the best chance of securing tenants quickly and at the right rental price.

Once you have chosen your letting agent from the myriad of agents out there it is normal practice to sign an agreement. This agreement will usually cover factors such as the agent's right to let the property in your stead as well as manage the tenants throughout the rental period. It is vital to read through this agreement meticulously so that all involved in the process understand the responsibilities they must undertake. If you are unsure, it is advisable to seek legal advice, and if you disagree with any of the conditions, having them removed from the agreement should be a possibility, although some clauses will naturally be standard. If you are not satisfied, find another agent who will be able to draw up an agreement that you are happy to sign. Make sure that you let the agents understand the restrictions on the property so they can be related to the tenants; examples may be access to the loft or the use of an open fire.

Once the agreement is signed and you have a copy all of the responsibilities can be left to the agents. Ultimately you have hired them to manage the property so leaving them to do their job is highly advisable. Your interference will no be appreciated. If however you are unhappy with the service, changing agents is always a possibility, make sure to check the agreement so you know the notice you must give for the termination of the contract.

This advice as hopefully given landlords vital information on how to find and use letting agents; overall they are there to manage your property meaning that the effort you must put in is lessened. With the right agent you role as landlord should be a comfortable ride to profit.
About the Author
Property expert Thomas Pretty looks into the reasons why the use of letting agents can make the landlord process far simpler and easier.
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