Just as anyone can open up an estate agency, so they can also start up a lettings business, without any training, experience or qualifications. This should concern landlords, because there is far more to the business than meets the eye. In some ways, finding a tenant is the easy bit!
The issues arise over how selective the agency is when recommending a tenant. For example, what is the tenant’s credit history? They may impress by offering a large deposit, but will their payments be reliable in the future? They might tell you their intention is to stay for two years, but will they give notice after six months? Will they fail to pay their final month’s rent as a way of enforcing the return of their deposit? Will they treat your property as if it were their own? Would they prove difficult to evict if need be, as court orders can take months? Will any guarantors cough up (nb we even credit check our tenants’ guarantors!)
Whilst no agent can avoid all these scenarios all the time, good lettings agents have a pretty good track record in how well they vet their tenants, and will visit the property regularly to ensure everything is ok. They will also be able to offer insurance covering damages, non-payment of rent, and even compensation for tenant-free voids. Additionally, they will recognise their duty to tenants by helping landlords to fulfil their obligations.
Your buy-to-let investment should deliver the optimal return with minimal involvement and stress on your part, and appointing a letting agent is part of this investment. A good investment can make you money, but a bad investment can actually lose you money. Why not give us a call for the best advice in the area?
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer