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How to Find a Letting Agent for Your Rental Property

Many landlords are happy to manage their own properties. Yet, if you lack experience, time or patience, a Letting Agent can help.

Faye deGavre

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Mar 12, 2021

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5 min read

How to Find a Letting Agent for Your Rental Property

Not all property investors are interested in being involved landlords. Whether you’re new to the game (if so, we advise you to check out our beginner’s guide to letting) or don’t have the time to handle property maintenance and tricky tenants, you may want to employ the help of a Letting Agent.

A professional can do all the hard graft while enabling you to rent out your property safely and securely for the best possible return. The first step, in that case, is to find a Letting Agent that is the right fit.

Should I manage my own rental property?

Many landlords choose to DIY. If you have time and energy to handle tenants, know reliable tradespeople who will help with property emergencies, live close by and are up to date with current regulations, then you may be in a great position to manage the rental yourself. 

The fact is, not everyone is suited to being a landlord. Some simply do not have the time or patience to take on all the responsibilities that come with the territory. Or perhaps their unique priorities or circumstances mean they're not able to take it on; even if they wanted to. Sometimes, a rental property is best left in the hands of a professional Letting Agent while you sit back and take advantage of the passive income. 

Consider working with a Letting Agent if:

  • You don’t have a lot of spare time
  • You are new to being a landlord and would like some professional guidance
  • You would prefer someone else to search for/screen tenants and handle their queries
  • You do not have a good awareness of relevant regulations and legislation
  • You do not live in the same area as your rental property

What does a Letting Agent do?

The Letting Agent you choose can be as hands-off or hands-on as you want them to be. In most agencies, you will be given the choice of three different levels of services:

  • Tenant search only: They will market the property, conduct prospective tenant viewings, complete reference and credit checks, collect deposits and draw up tenancy agreements. For an additional charge, they can prepare a property inventory and carry out check-in on move-in day. 
  • Rent collection: The Letting Agent will offer the same services as above, but they’ll also collect rent from the tenants every week/month and chase up any late payments. 
  • Full management: This service includes everything above as well as the day-to-day management of the property. This includes handling tenant queries, emergency property repairs, maintenance, inspecting the inventory and returning the tenant’s deposit.

How much do Letting Agents charge?

Letting Agent fees vary dramatically depending on the property location and level of service you choose. Agents usually base their rates on a percentage of the monthly rent rather than a flat fee, which ranges from 10% to upwards of 20%. 

To ensure you’re getting the best value of service, compare two or three quotes from different agents. You may find there are some extras thrown in for free, such as deposit registration and Right to Rent checks, while others charge extra. Sometimes it is better to work with a highly rated, local Letting Agent who charges more than most but has a better reputation for keeping the property full. Reliability is often priceless when you have precious little time.

How to choose the right Letting Agent

Don’t just call the first agent you see online. Spend a bit of time researching who they are and what they do.

Choose a Letting Agent that is a member of a professional organisation, such as:

  • Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)
  • National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS)
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

If they are not, they should at least be registered with the Property Ombudsman so that they adhere to the best letting practices.

The agent themselves should also come highly recommended. If you know other landlords, ask if they can suggest a good Letting Agent. If the agent is local, that’s even better. They should know the local market for your type of property. With this knowledge, they will know how to attract the right tenants and be able to advise on local factors, such as setting the rent price and getting your property up to standard. 

Ensure compliance

It’s not as simple as finding the right tenant and taking their monthly rent. New legislation such as Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing and Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) schemes require landlords to be up to date with the latest rules. 

In addition, there are guidelines on how landlords can keep tenants safe, such as ensuring the property with a gas supply has an annual maintenance check and gas safety certificate, provided by a qualified gas engineer. Any electrical items included in the flat or house should be safety tested by an electrical engineer. 

Most agents make the appropriate arrangements, so if you choose to operate alone, you will need to stay on top of the latest responsibilities.

Appoint the right Letting Agent

With Boomin, you can be visible and gather interest from the moment you book a free valuation with a Letting Agent. We work with some of the UK’s top Letting Agents that help you fill your rental property and feel confident about your business venture. Get started on renting out your house. It’s your stress-free way to let.

Faye deGavre

Content Writer