If you are a landlord in Scotland you may decide to use a professional letting agent to rent out or manage your property. However there are many letting agents out there, so how do you decide which one will be best at providing the services you need. Follow these 8 simple rules to ensure you find a letting agent that is effective in the most important aspects of letting and managing a property.
It is usually best to choose a letting agent local to the property you are renting out. They will know the area well and be able to use their local knowledge to sell your property to new clients. They will understand the rental market for property in the area and know which properties will attract a lot of interest and which ones won’t. This means they will be best placed to estimate with some accuracy the rent you are likely to achieve and also the best ways to maximise your rental income.
Letting agent licence
Changes to the law mean that from 1st October 2018, letting agencies must be registered on the Scottish Letting Agent Register. Currently, only 73 out of approximately 1200 letting agents in Scotland have been granted a licence. Always remember to check the register before signing up.
Good letting agents will always place a strong emphasis on staff training and development. A company with staff with industry qualifications is a good sign that this is happening. As award-winning letting agents in Glasgow, Western Lettings fully support staff to ensure they pass ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) level 6, within 6 months of starting with us. We firmly believe that well-trained staff will always provide a superior level of service.
Choosing a company that is able to provide virtual tours is a distinct advantage. There is nothing more engaging to prospective tenants than a 360-degree virtual tour of a property. Tenants spend more than two thirds of their time online when searching for a property to rent. Being able to view properties in this way is definitely a bonus. It provides the convenience of a ‘first viewing’ from the comfort of their own home. It is also a way of quickly streamlining prospective clients, into those with real intentions of renting your property. Not many letting agencies currently offer this service but if they do, remember to check if they charge extra for it. At Western Lettings, we provide this service alongside traditional marketing at no extra cost.
Advertising portal exposure
No landlord wants an empty property. It is therefore important that, when required, new tenants can be found quickly. Always check where a letting agent will advertise your property and how much it will cost. Good letting agents will always prefer to use lots of different advertising portals to provide maximum exposure for your property whereas some letting agents use very few. It is important you get this information in order to compare like for like.
Being a landlord can involve a lot of paperwork. A ‘Landlord portal’ is a secure area, accessed via an online landlord login, where landlords can view, download and print important documents such as
- Monthly rental statements
- Compliance safety certificates e.g. EICR, gas safety certificate, PAT testing, fire risk assessment etc.
- Property inventories
- Tenancy agreement
- Property inspection reports
- Invoices for property repairs. Allowing landlords to quickly view historic data on how much they have spent on their properties over the years
This is a really useful facility for all landlords but particularly if you are an overseas landlord. It will provide a convenient way of accessing and keeping track of all crucial information relating to your properties.
Membership of professional body
It is always important to check if a letting agent is part of a professional body such as ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents). This is because members will be required to adhere to particular codes of professional conduct. They will have guarantees in place to protect landlord and tenant monies.
Deposit lodged in approved scheme
By law, the deposit paid by tenants on a rental property must be registered with a government approved tenancy deposit scheme. Make sure you ask potential letting agents for details of the schemes that they use. Also check that they will supply confirmation when a deposit has been registered.
If you are a landlord and need experienced letting agents to let or manage your property, Western Lettings would love to hear from you. We are highly trained, licensed, award winning ALRA registered, letting agents in Glasgow. Get in touch or give us a call on 0141 357 0436