When you are looking to rent out a property you own for whatever reason, for instance it is an investment property or you are moving abroad for a period of time, you should consider whether you need the services of a letting agent. Here we will explain about the letting agents role and what to expect from them.
This decision can often be clear cut; for example if you are moving abroad for a time, then you will need someone on hand to deal with the day to day management of your property. Conversely if you are renting out an investment property to a friend or relative then it is also possible that you have no need of a letting agent as you can manage the property yourself, as there are less likely to be any difficulties between yourself and your tenant. Having said that if your tenant is an acquaintance, friend or relative it is still very important to stick to the letter of the law, be fair to the tenant, but at the same time safeguard your own investment and property income.
If you decide that you need a letting agent there are several different packages that letting agents can offer you based on the level of service and management you require. One important thing a letting agent can do is give you a guide on rental levels you could hope to achieve based on their information. This is a quick summary of the various types of packages to help you decide; firstly that you need a letting agent and secondly what level of service you require.
- Tenant Find Service. Around 90% of one month’s rent.
- Full Letting Service. Around 10% of monthly rent.
- Full Letting and Management Service. Around 12% of monthly rent.
A Tenant Find Service is more appropriate for landlords who are experienced with renting out properties, live locally (or have trusted relatives or friends living locally) and simply need help with finding good tenants. With a Tenant Find Service, the lettings agent’s role can be;
- Progress reports on finding a tenant.
- Accompanied viewings of prospective tenants.
- Obtaining satisfactory references, credit checks.
- Tenancy Agreements drawn up.
- Preparing an inventory and schedule of condition.
- Checking in of new tenants.
- Transfer of initial rent payments.
A Full Letting Service is more appropriate for landlords who able available to deal with maintenance or repairs issues, are easily contactable, but do not have experience with renting out properties and need further support. With a Full Letting Service, the lettings agent’s role can be the above plus;
- Monthly collection of rent.
- Regular Inspections of the property
- Checking out on expiry of tenancy. Re-check of inventory and dilapidation reports. Organizing works needed for re-let.
- Relevant meter readings on change of occupancy.
- Re-marketing of property during last two months of tenancy.
- Re-negotiation of rent.
Finally, a Full Letting and Management Service is more appropriate for an absent landlord who is for example working overseas. With a Full Letting and Management Service the lettings agent’s role can be the above plus;
- Organisation of quotes for remedial works and maintenance.
- Paperwork for a landlord who is overseas and is tax exempt.
- Higher levels of maintenance services, for example buying new appliances etc.
- Maintenance of property during void periods.
[quote style=”1″]utilizing a Lettings Agent, even if just to find suitable tenants is highly recommended as it could save a lot of heartache in the long run[/quote]