If you’re a landlord with a property to rent, you’re going to need to hire a letting agent. Letting agents understand the ins and outs of rental contracts and the entire lettings process, and they also have the contacts you need to find good tenants quickly. But with so many letting agencies to choose from, how can you know which one is right for you? Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a letting agent.
Choose your services
Letting agents offer a range of services, but as a general rule they can either find and settle in your tenants and then hand them over to you, or they can continue to manage the property for you once the tenants have moved in, as with Gough Quarters’ portfolio management option. Therefore, it’s important to decide which option you want – would you like someone to do all the work of managing your rental property for you, or would you rather be more hands-on and do it yourself? If you have a particular type of rental property (e.g. a student property or a house in multiple occupation), you should also check that a letting agent can handle any specialist requirements for these.
Whichever option you choose, most letting agents should offer these key services:
- Valuating and advertising the property
- Conducting viewings
- Carrying out reference, employment and credit checks on tenants
- Preparing contracts and paperwork
- Handling the deposit and first month’s rent
- Completing the inventory and safety checks
Of course, one of the main ways you’re going to make your decision is based on price, but remember that going for the cheapest option won’t always pay off in the long term. By all means compare the service prices for several potential letting agents, but you should also take other factors into account – for example, location, reviews by other landlords, and the number of years the agency has been operating. All of these things will give you an indication of whether this letting agent will provide you with a quality, professional service.
Check their accreditation
Another good quality check is to see whether the letting agency has professional accreditation and insurance, and whether they are registered with any official bodies in the rental sector. For example, Gough Quarters is part of the Property Redress Scheme, which gives you, the landlord, the ability to raise a complaint through official channels, if required. We are also associated with Client Money Protect, which provides protection for your money and indicates that we are transparent about how we handle any money you send to us.
You should also check which lettings websites the letting agency works with – ideally, they should be able to list your property with the big players, such as Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market. Gough Quarters works with all of these websites, so if you have a property to let in Bristol, contact us today to find out how we can help you.