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The Cheapest Letting Rental Agent May Not Be The Best For Value - Article

The Cheapest Letting Rental Agent May Not Be The Best For Value
By Philip Suter
  

For the property owner who is letting out their home or investment property the maximum return on investment is very important. This applies on the amount of commission that you pay to your letting agent.

Many people carry out a fair bit of research before choosing their letting agent covering the following criteria. How long have they been established - do they belong to a professional organisation – how do they market a rental property – do they have qualified staff – what are their costs for letting?

Over the past fifteen years in the UK there has been a tremendous growth within the residential letting business. This is as a result of improved rental laws, growth in the Buy to let market, etc. This similar situation has happened in Ireland, France and other European countries.

In the UK at 2006 anyone can set up business as a “Letting Agent”. This is quite a worrying situation whereby they can be collecting rent and deposits, not setting up designated “client bank ” accounts to put these funds in and go off with the proceeds. Although there are now numerous agents who are members ofARLA (The Association of Residential Letting Agents), NALS (National Approved Letting Scheme) NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) andRICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) anyone can be in business without belonging to such a professional organisation.

An agent who joins one (or more) of those listed Professional organisations must have staff working for them who have experience in the letting industry, they must have Professional Indemnity insurance, have audited client bank accounts and run their business from proper offices, All of these standards cost a lot of money and have to be taken into account with the agents fees.

There are of course many long established agents out there in the UK who choose not to belong to such an organisation (Until the Government brings in Licensing regulation they can still continue like that) and run very successful business, holding client bank accounts, having professional indemnity insurance and getting their staff properly trained.

Do choose your letting agent with care, remember many work on a no let no fee basis and it can be very costly marketing a property for an agent that you actually don’t let. The other important consideration is to always let an agent you instruct know if you are instructing more than one agent. There is nothing more embarrassing for an agent or a new tenant when suddenly the door of the rental property opens and in walks another agent with prospective renters and the owner had never notified the first agent that they let it via another agent.

There are of course many long established agents out there in the UK who choose not to belong to such an organisation (Until the Government brings in Licensing regulation they can still continue like that) and run very successful business, holding client bank accounts, having professional indemnity insurance and getting their staff properly trained.

Do choose your letting agent with care, remember many work on a no let no fee basis and it can be very costly marketing a property for an agent that you actually don’t let. The other important consideration is to always let an agent you instruct know if you are instructing more than one agent. There is nothing more embarrassing for an agent or a new tenant when suddenly the door of the rental property opens and in walks another agent with prospective renters and the owner had never notified the first agent that they let it via another agent.

If you do instruct more than one agent, make sure you are not breaking any sole agency agreements or having different rental prices with different agents

Philip Suter is a Director of JML Property Services http://www.jmlproperty.co.uk a UK based company offering Insurance products on line at http://www.jml-property-insurance.co.uk and a holiday home advertising service http://www.jmlvillas.com and management training within the uk. He is a very experienced property consultant with over 30 years work in the Residential letting business in the UK and served on the National Council of ARLA. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and a Member of The association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)

 The information supplied on this page is by a third party and jml Property Services do not take any responsibility to its accuracy ©jmlpropertyservices02/06

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