Choosing a Letting Agent to rent and manage your property can be difficult. On the surface they all look the same. However, I can assure you they are not. Here are three questions to ask that may assist you in making your decision.
1, Who will really be managing my property?
You meet a highly likeable, polished salesperson who comes to value your property. This is someone who seems to know there stuff and gives you confidence in the service offered. In reality, unless the company is a one man outfit then it will be office based staff who will be managing the day to day running of your property. If it is a one man outfit then I would advise avoiding at all costs. Given the choice of dealing with the day to day management of properties or going out on appointments for new business what do you think will take priority? I think you know the answer to that. Are the Estate Agent staff the same people who manage rental properties? If so how experienced are they in Lettings and as will inevitably happen what takes priority selling or renting a property? Ask the question, who will be dealing with the day to day management of my property?
2, Are you really accredited and if so with who?
Many Agents publish redress schemes and deposit schemes like badges of honour. These are not professional accreditation, they are legal requirements that all Agents need to meet. When looking for a professional Letting Agent look for one that is accredited through a professional body. ARLA Propertymark are the most respected organisation in the Lettings industry. Joining is not mandatory and accreditation is difficult to achieve due to stringent checks. Any Agent who is serious about meeting professional standards will more than likely be a member. You can search which local Agents are really accredited by visiting ARLA Propertymark’s website.
3, Who will be compiling an inventory at my property?
Deposit registration is mandatory and any end of tenancy dispute is notoriously difficult to win. This means that the creation of a professional Inventory has never been so important. Many Agents outsource Inventories to accredited Inventory clerks that way ensuring the quality of the report. Others create inventories in house but is the person who does the viewings or deals with maintenance qualified to create a professional inventory? Its certainly worth clarifying what you are paying for.
At Shortland Horne Property Management we have individual staff members who specialise in each part of the Letting process. All staff have a minimum of five years Letting experience. We are proud members of ARLA Propertymark and all of our inventories, inspections and checkouts are completed by independent accredited Inventory Clerks.
Written by Craig Arnold