Choosing a letting agent and confusion over smoke alarms - newbie landlord

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    Choosing a letting agent and confusion over smoke alarms - newbie landlord

    So I'm nearly finished freshening up my property and have contacted a few local letting agents to compare their TOB, fees and so forth.
    I've found a LA that has had good reviews from both landlords and tenants in my local area and is about mid way in terms of fees (12% fully managed).
    Upon reading through their TOB, a particular clause has irked me;

    "20.3 If a prospective tenant, with suitable references, agrees to occupy The Property up to 21 days after vacation of the existing Tenant or the date The Property was advertised as first available or the date of an untenanted property viewing (whichever is latest) The Agent may, at their sole discretion, accept the offer without deferring to The Landlord."

    Does this say what I think it says? They find someone who 'checks out' on paper within 21 days of the listing going live and they can accept said tenant without my approval?! Surely that can't be right...?
    Absolutely no way would I agree to this.
    Opinions anyone??
    I'm finding choosing a suitable LA a bit of a minefield having never done this before. There are LOTS of them where I live and their fees vary wildly between 10-15%ex VAT.
    Can anyone give me some pointers on what to look for in TOB ?

    Secondly, on installing smoke alarms and the heat alarm - am I better paying more for the mains wireless interlinked ones ? I'm assuming just normal mains hard wired alarms will have cables running all over my ceiling?

    Thanks in advance

    Where are you?

    I can recommend a decent agent in Kilmarnock


      Run away as fast as you can. You and only you must ever select a tenant for your property. And ideally that should be based on you personally interviewing the tenant, and carrying out whatever and however many checks you want. "Suitable references" is rubbish - you only want tenants with ideal credentials and the only person to decide that is you. All these factors must be clearly written into any contract with any agent (and that you personally collect and protect any deposit).


        Hard wired fire alarms by the way are a fire risk (small but more than battery powered ones which work as well when they are used as intended).

        Why are you using an agent at all by the way - if you know what you are doing there is no need, and if you don't you should not be a landlord. Yes some find it convenient and cost effective but that's the exception.


          If you've not already done so, join SaL - tax deductible

          then do the FREE courses for landlords with LaS

          No offence but you appear in need of some education: When I started I thought I knew it all: V painful, expensive, long-running, legally-crippling mistakes made. I resolved to start learning: Still learning 18 years later (the law & regulations keep changing - eg smoke alarms regs have changed).

          Don't forget the heat alarms linked in also for kitchen & living-room in addition to smoke alarms (?? not sure about that now..)

          Are you registered? Up to £50k fine if not...

          Sláinte mhaith!
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


            I'm in Glasgow.

            So I can use battery alarms as long as they are interlinked via wireless? That's ideal. I thought they must be hard wired. I know I have to have a kitchen heat alarm and additional living room smoke alarm.

            I'm looking to use an agent since it's my first time renting out my flat - I've inherited it from my late father, unfortunately in a very busy time of my life (I'm a final year student nurse) so I can't possibly self manage, at least for a year. I was hoping to self manage after I've found my feet initially as I'm aware I have a lot to learn about being a landlord.

            I'm registered yes. Currently in the process of getting all necessary certificates, EICR, Gas Cert etc.
            I'll definitely join SaL, thank you !


              Good luck! Check things using SaL helpline
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...



                Make sure you use registered people to carry out the wiring check / gas etc.

                There are several companies on My Builder, Rated People etc who carry out landlord EICR's in Scotland who are not with SELECT or NICEIC.

                Check the credentials of any company before you use them


                  Thanks so much guys


                    The interlinked alarms work well in my opinion, and always go for mains fire alarms, they will stop tenants from removing batteries during false alarms which will also keep your property safer, as well as the tenants inside.

                    I use a wireless radio frequency linked system which is a little bit dearer than a usual alarm, but then I saved money from having an electrician having to wire 3 core to every living space/exit route, although you will need an electrician to wire the alarms into your lighting circuit.

                    This is quite a good read, I think the technology is fairly new but if you have more then one property, or especially flats this Aico smartlink system sounds like it will save you a lot of time in terms of testing and maintenance records us landlords have to abide by.

                    This is essentially an upgrade from the radiolink system I use, but if my portfolio expands I'll look into getting something like this.


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