25 Sep 2019

How to choose a letting agent: five top tips for landlords

How to choose a letting agent: five top tips for landlords

Choosing a rental property is a huge commitment and with so many letting agents and properties to choose between, the process of finding a place to live can be overwhelming.

When selecting a letting agent, it’s important you can trust they will help you find the perfect property within your budget.  ARLA Propertymark have a list of top tips to help you when choosing a letting agent.

Phone a friend

Start by asking friends and family to recommend letting agents they have used in the past to help you pull together a list of potential agents that suit your needs. If your family or friends have had a positive experience, there’s a good chance you will too.

Check industry credentials

Although the Government has recently proposed that property agents become regulated in England, this has been in place in Scotland since 1st October 2018.  However many remain unregulated and there is a risk you could come up against a rogue agent. Whilst you should look for their Letting Agent Registration Number (LARN), the ARLA Propertymark logo can also give you peace of mind that your money will be protected.

ARLA Propertymark agents commit to the highest standards in the industry; use their find an expert tool or look for the ARLA Propertymark logo on websites, letting boards and in office windows.

Know what you should be charged for

Agents cannot charge tenants any fees.  This means lettings agents can only charge a refundable tenancy deposit and rent. 

All lettings agents should have educated themselves on this, so if they do try to charge it’s important you know your rights, so you can challenge the agent and if necessary you can go elsewhere. 

Speak to current tenants

Another way to get good insight into a letting agent is to ask the current tenants if they’ve had a positive experience.

Even when you’re viewing a property it’s still worth finding out more about the agency, as they will often be managing the property as well and this plays a massive part in your experience while living there.

The more information you can find out from the people who are currently using the letting agent, the better.

Local knowledge is best

Asking about the local area will give you a sense of how experienced the letting agent is. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and try to choose an agent who has a branch in the area you’re looking at.

If the agent is an expert in the local area they will be able to share key information with you, such as the cost of council tax and how far the property is from the nearest transport link.

Phil Keddie, President of ARLA Propertymark comments: "Choosing a property to rent is a huge financial commitment and can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. We almost always focus on the property rather than the agent, but it’s important to consider the longer term.

"A good agent will help you find the best property for you and your budget, but if they’re going to be managing the property it’s important to know how responsive they really are. We encourage all Propertymark members to remember their tenant’s welfare to ensure they have a positive experience and that the tenancy goes smoothly”.

Aberdein Considine is a licensed member of ARLA Propertymark, and is accredited by Landlord Accreditation Scotland. 

If you would like to speak to one of our lettings experts about your rental property, click here.

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