Letting agents can get a bad press – with stories of rogue agents and hidden fees, it is easy for new landlords to feel wary about engaging the services of an agent. So it is no surprise that some landlords (although the exact number is unclear) choose to take matters into their own hands.
However research released today by Direct Line for Business suggests that over half (58%) of landlords who choose not to use a letting agent are making significant errors, including using tenancy contracts which are not legally compliant. Some landlords employ agents for an initial rental, and then use the old contract as a template for future rentals. Not only is this a breach of intellectual property laws, but for many landlords this means the contract has not been reviewed to ensure it is fully compliant with the latest regulations.
13% of landlords surveyed had experienced disputes arising specifically from tenancy contracts over the last two years. In the current age of ever changing regulation for landlords, it could be very easy to find yourself on the wrong side of a legal battle. Deposit protection is another area in which landlords can easily fail to comply – and face fines of three times the deposit amount. But it isn’t just about protecting yourself. A good letting agent will give you advice on all aspects of letting your property, from the regulations you need to comply with to the best way to present and market your property. They will take professional photos and a floorplan, and ensure your property is getting the maximum coverage it can achieve. They will give you feedback and advice throughout the process to ensure the property doesn’t go ‘stale’ from being marketed at the wrong level.
Once you have found a tenant, your agent will reference the tenant to avoid any nasty surprises down the line. At Regent, we use a professional referencing company, who are so confident in the applicants they pass that they offer rent guarantee insurance for the landlord’s complete peace of mind. Letting agents like us are experts in our field, and employing an agent will give you access to all their expertise and knowledge. Professional agents are usually able to achieve a higher rent than solo landlords, as well as attracting professional, reliable tenants who can pass the reference checks.
Landlords’ using letting agents report reduced workload and stress knowing the details are being handled by a professional. If you are a new landlord or thinking of purchasing a rental property, why not give us a call today and find out more about the benefits of having a professional take care of your investment.