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Choosing a Letting Agent

Choosing a Letting Agent

Hannah McCartan
31st October 2019

Estate Agents in Wales have been forced to look at and refresh their processes and procedures in the face of the Tenant Fee Ban. It seems only logical that now would also be a good time for landlords to take stock, too.

If you aren’t satisfied that your agent is coping with the increasing legislation, or you feel you could be getting more from your agent (and maybe your property, too), it’s time to look at switching agent.

Here are 7 things to consider when looking for a new agent:

1. Are they licensed with Rent Smart Wales?

It’s a legal requirement for all agents in Wales to be licensed under the Rent Smart Wales scheme. Rent Smart Wales also makes it a legal requirement for Welsh agents to have client money protection and professional indemnity insurance, and to be a member of the Property Ombudsman.

These safeguards protect you as their client. Search the Rent Smart Wales database of agents here.

2. Is lettings their main focus?

Whilst it can be convenient if an agent can offer a diverse range of services, a dedicated team will have a clear and specialist focus on lettings – and they aren’t likely to be distracted by chasing sales commissions!

You would expect a dedicated lettings team to be able to give advice on issues affecting the private rented sector, and offer pointers on what you may need to do to your property to achieve the best rental price.

3. Are their fees easy to find and understand?

It’s a legal requirement for agents to list their fees on their website and in their offices, but are they willing to explain what services those fees cover? Is the service they’re offering comprehensive?

4. Are they familiar with the local area?

A local agent should know the area well, and be able to use that to their advantage when marketing your property. They should also be able to let you know what kind of tenants they find looking for that style of property in that area, and how you can attract them.

5. What vetting and referencing checks do they undertake on potential tenants?

You want to be sure that the agent cares about finding the right tenant for your property, and that any prospective tenant will undergo comprehensive referencing. It’s no guarantee that every tenancy will go smoothly; it’s about reducing risk.

6. Do you feel you can trust them?

If you can, it’s a good idea to arrange to meet the agent face to face. This will give you a feel for the way they work and whether they are approachable, professional, and honest.

If you’re visiting their office, you’ll also get to see how they keep their own house, so to speak. If its smart, modern and well-kept, it’s likely they will have the same expectation of the properties they manage and the tenants who live in them. You can trust they’ll treat your property like their own.

7. What do they think your property is worth?

Don’t be lured in by a flatteringly high valuation; can the agent support their estimation? Have they run comparable reports, and have they let any similar properties for that price in the area?

If you’re looking to change agent and would be interested to learn more about our services and fees, you can visit our website, give us a call on 01792 430100, or click here to send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Related: Let on the First Viewing – Twice! / Why Buy-to-Let in Swansea is Still a Strong Investment Choice

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