Chantry- Established in 2002
If you are considering letting your own home or investing in a property to let or about to manage a property for someone who is soon to be taken into care what selection process will you use when deciding which letting agency you are going to appoint.
Question 1. “What are your fees”? Is this the correct way of choosing a letting agent?
Very few of us buy the cheapest car or the cheapest house so why seek the cheapest letting agency. Cheap fees will mean cheap service and some valuable important procedures will be missed such as:
• Staff training
• Having sufficient staff to run the business professionally
• Handle the varied breaches of contract that some tenants often cause
• Have enough staff to be able to answer the phone
• Have independently audited client accounts
• Have deposits held in a scheme
· Have insurance policies in place
· Be a member of a redress scheme
If a letting agency is not a member of Safe Agent or ARLA and they offer cheap management fees they may well be using client monies to subsidise their running costs. Every year scores of letting agencies disappear with client monies leaving landlords in debt. If the cheap letting agent has not passed on the rent they have collected for say 3 months (telling you the tenant is in arrears) and they use the deposit they hold it is likely working on average UK rent they will have stolen £4,000 of your money. To make matters worse you have to pay the deposit back to the tenant and then try and find the owner of the letting agent (along with many other landlords who are also in debt).
The moral is only select a letting agency that has been around for some years, ask for landlord referrals, do they use TDS or DPS for deposits ask for some references and follow them up.
Ask yourself a question – would you buy a holiday from a travel agent who is not a member of ABTA or IATA?
Can you really afford to lose £4,000 to save 1 or 2% of the annual management fees?