Finding a good letting agent

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    Finding a good letting agent

    Hello, I'm moving for work and plan to rent for a while whilst renting out the flat I own, which I currently live in. This will be the first time I rent out a property, and I'm wondering what is a good approach to finding a decent letting agent to manage it? For example, are there trustworthy review websites? Are there good questions to ask that can filter out the bad ones?

    #2
    The best people to give advice on letting agents are tenants.
    Do you know anyone who's a tenant?
    Is there a tenant's union (like Acorn) with a facebook page?
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      This is only a partial answer but here are some tips:

      Ask to see their model agreements with landlords

      a) If it does not mention how they deal with deposits - say you insist on receiving and protecting deposits yourself. If they refuse, walk away
      b) Ask about provision of prescribed information (including that relating to the above) - unless they have a defined mechanism, walk away
      c) Check on any agreement that says that they can do any sort of maintenance work (of any value) without your explicit consent - if there is, walk away
      d) make sure there is no agreement that you have to use their workmen or have them supervise workmen unless you wish them to do so - if there is - walk away
      e) Check their details on Companies house - if there are any flags there (like un-filed accounts, previous strike off procedures etc) - walk away
      f) NB++ Make sure they will give you total right to select the tenant, and that they have no rights in any agreement to foist a tenant on you. Make sure that you do actually select the tenant yourself - ask here for advice.

      One big problem with agents is that many have their own portfolios of properties - as external landlord you will likely get the last pick of tenants and dregs of tenants

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        #4
        Thanks for those responses.

        Regarding asking about tenants' experiences, I was wondering are these a good indication of how the landlord's experience probably was too? People in my area don't seem to get treated well by letting agents ever, but I wonder if that's because they aren't very incentivised to treat tenants well and may be better with landlords - I hope that tenants' experiences are not too indicative of landlords'. (Though I would also prefer an agent who will treat tenants well regardless.)

        Those all look like good tips AndrewDod. Just to check, by "prescribed information" do you mean the information tenants must be given at the start of a tenancy?

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          #5
          couple of things I'd add - don't just walk away if you find their terms unreasonable. Ask them if they'll change them. If not, then walk away.

          Secondly, make sure you can release the agent and keep the tenant they find for you without paying a fee for the privilege.

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            #6
            Also make sure that you will be the named landlord on any tenancy agreement - you want them as agent not as named landlord. Don't hand over the keys for viewings until you are happy with the agreement you have.

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              #7
              Join NLA/RLA for their LL training modules.
              Primarily LAs work for their LLs, not Ts.

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                #8
                HI guys just been reading threw the comments. Im quite new to this site so just having a little look threw stuff. I hope you find some answers to what your looking for.

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