Fed up with self-managing your buy-to-let and want a top-notch professional to do it for you instead? Here’s how to find the best letting agent in your neighbourhood.
So, you’ve decided to get a letting agent to manage your rental. You can’t wait to hand the burden of regulatory red tape and admin over to an expert but are faced with a dilemma. With so many agents out there, how do you find the best one?
The last thing you want is to sign a contract with an agent and find that they never pick up the phone, are slow to deal with repairs and maintenance, and are lousy at spotting issues until they’ve become full-blown nightmares.
To help avoid this scenario, ask these six questions.
1) How long have you been in business?
You’re looking for an agent with good local knowledge and bucket-loads of experience dealing with property and people. Also, check reviews and testimonials.
2) What do you look for during inspections?
Don’t just ask if an agent conducts periodic inspections (they’ll invariably say yes). Dig a little deeper. As well as looking for the obvious stuff like illegal activity, subletting and damage, a good agent should check for leaks, mould and dampness. They’ll also ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors work and flag up maintenance issues early.
3) What’s your marketing strategy?
To attract good tenants and prevent void periods, slick marketing is a must. Ask agents to explain their approach to social media and photography and go online and judge for yourself.
4) Quiz them on rules and regulations
There are lots of legal requirements associated with renting out property. Ask prospective agents about tenant deposits, client money protection, and gas and electrical safety checks. If they’re hazy on the details or dismissive of the rules, be wary.
5) What happens on the moving-in day?
Top agents do more than just compile an inventory and hand over the keys. They also spend time explaining the location of the stopcock and fuse box (in case of an emergency), when the rubbish is collected and how appliances work.
6) How do you deal with disputes?
Hopefully, all your tenancies will be smooth-running, but it’s useful to know that an agent can handle tricky situations. Sometimes the biggest challenge in managing tenancies is when tenants fall out with each other. Good agents understand the importance of finding practical solutions (rather than point scoring).
Want to know how we do it here at Johnsons Property Consultants? Contact us today to learn about our property management services.