letting agent checklist?

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    letting agent checklist?

    i am about to start my first buy to let on a letting agent fully managed basis.
    can anybody advise me of all the things i need to ensure the agent should be doing for me? ie.. legal documents,deposits etc???

    Everything! Your agent should advertise for tenants, check them, install them and pay you the rent received from them (less his agreed commission) every rental period. Should any maintenance be needed, said agent should organise this, getting quotations as necessary agree same with you and deduct the cost from the rental payments. A fully managed service is what an agent should provide if the landlord lives abroad and is not in a position to do anything to his rental property. Rental agents require no qualifications whatsoever to set up in business and from what we read here, some have some very peculiar ideas as to how to do their job - or what their job, in exchange for - say - 10% of the rental should be. It is always being suggested here that an agent who is a member of a recognised body such as the ARLA or NEA is the best one to go for, but you cannot be 100% certain as you cannot of anything in life! Personally I look for the old established estate/lettings agent who is invariably a member of one of the recognised bodies, has been doing the job for years and knows exactly how to do his job. Once found, I stick with them.

    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


      Letting Agent Checklist

      I'd agree with that response.
      Also, do not be afraid to amend anything in the letting agent contract that you do not like. They are not set in stone.
      In particular, I would look carefully at clauses that say the agent gets a commission every time the same tenant renews or extends their tenancy agreement -for example if they roll on to a monthly periodic tenancy.
      In these circs there is often no real work involved for the agent and paying a fee of say 6 or 8% of the rent for this is plain unfair and should be struck out.
      That said, you must pay a reasonable fee for the agents time in finding and managing the tenants that is linked to the work they do, when they do it.
      A good agent is a professional who does good work.
      Don't be mean with the agent or you will get a resentful agent and poor quality work.
      Lots more tips on all this in my book, "Successful Property Letting"
      Good luck David Lawrenson


        It is usual for an agent to charge to renew a fixed term tenancy agreement, but I would argue that it does involve some real work!! However, you can usually avoid this by stating that you want your tenancy to go into a periodic. (No renewal fee then).

        One thing I watch (both as an agent and landlord) is the boards for each agent. If there is a lot of board changes from "To Let" to "Let Agreed" you can tell they are doing business on the lettings side. However, if you don't see any new "To Let" board signs up, it can suggest that they are quiet on the new properties to let side of business. (A good time to negotiate on fees by the way!)

        Hope that is a bit of help!


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