The ‘buy-to-let’ market is here to stay, having snowballed over the last few years with more and more people letting out their property and more and more people looking to rent. This is excellent news, but it can go seriously wrong for landlords and tenants if it is not done properly.
Landlords need to get professional advice from an ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) licenced agent. ARLA members must be part of organisations such as The Property Ombudsman, with their strict code of conduct that includes a redress scheme should you need to make a complaint. An ARLA member will also have to have Client Money Protection Insurance in place to protect clients’ money. It is unfortunate that even now, there are still some rogue agents out there despite comprehensive legislation. By doing just a little homework and making a few enquiries, you can select a reputable agent and it is also a good idea to check their online reviews.
From a tenant’s point of view, it is quite extraordinary that so few ask who will be managing the property they are hoping to rent. Is it the agent or will they need to contact the landlord directly for repairs and rental payments? Furthermore, who will be holding their security deposit? Usually equivalent to one and half months’ rent, this is a considerable sum and important for tenants to know where their money is. The deposit will also need to be registered with one of the Government backed schemes and it is useful to know which one.
It is all about minimising the risk for both parties and not unlike a ‘dating agency’, the key is finding the right tenant for the right property and once you have got that bit right, the rest usually clicks into place.
My advice is not to get too hung up on fees (although this of course is a consideration), but concentrate on the level of protection you have and what options you have if something should go wrong.
I am pleased to say that we indeed provide such security, being ARLA members, adhering to The Property Ombudsman code of conduct and with Client Money Protection Insurance and being registered with a security deposit scheme.
My role as a letting agent has never been more pivotal, we need to guide, advise and support landlords as part of our service to continually provide quality and transparent advice.
As an agent, I know first-hand how crucial our role is to ensure landlords are advised and supported appropriately. We will always contact our landlords inform them of any new law or change in law, how this will affect them and the steps they should take to protect their assets. As an educated, responsible agent, we can make a difference and landlords should not accept anything less when it comes to the care of their investments.
Please do not hesitate to contact me and my team on 01252 514000 or firstname.lastname@example.org for all aspect of letting and renting.