As another online letting agent launched itself onto the market last week it does pose the question – How effective can an online letting agent be?
Anyone who has had any dealings with property management knows that finding a tenant is just the tip of the iceberg.
As no two tenancies are the same it is essential that our clients can call upon us to manage the tenancy in accordance with all the current legislation and resolve any issues quickly and efficiently.
We do come across landlords who want to cut corners and try to save money at every opportunity. Unfortunately it is these landlords who invariably encounter problems further down the line that in some cases can cost them dear.
I think most agents have come across a landlord who has decided to let their property to ‘a friend’ and said that they really don’t need a tenancy agreement or an inventory as everything will be fine and there is nothing in the property to worry about.
Would an online agent just happily take your money without giving advice? Would a new landlord know what type of tenancy agreement they really need? It’s not just a case of getting a tenancy agreement – it has to be the right tenancy agreement. I wonder if the online letting agent might just sell you the agreement you asked for, or would they advise you on the different types of agreement. For example do you need a standard AST or a ‘Company Agreement’ or even a licence?
The same applies to an inventory – would the online agent advise landlords of the pitfalls of not having such a document? If the tenants leave the house dirty at the end of the tenancy but there is no inventory detailing how clean it was at the start then a landlord cannot claim any money for cleaning from the tenant.
Letting a property is not like selling an item on eBay – there are risks involved and when a landlord has spent thousands of pounds on an investment property and is allowing a tenant to move in it has to be done correctly for the protection of both the landlord and the tenant.
Michael Clarke (MARLA), Lettings Director
(01252) 514000 firstname.lastname@example.org