Lettings agents

Introduction

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If you want to let your home privately, you will have a lot to do. You will need to pay for advertising in order to attract tenants to your property, have lots of time on your hands to be available morning, noon and night to field calls from prospective tenants; then meet them, greet them and show them round your property. Then when you find tenants who are interested, you will have to vet them, check their references, draw up contracts and so on.

If this is all a bit daunting, or you simply don't think you will have the time, then you may well find that using a lettings agent is the most convenient way of filling your property. All of these things will normally be carried out by a letting agent on your behalf, removing a great deal of stress from the whole process.

In some cases, you may actually be required to use a letting agent. If you live abroad, for instance, it may be the only realistic option open to you. Additionally, many buy-to-let mortgage lenders will only advance your loan on the condition that your property is let through an ARLA agent, or one that is a member of the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS).

Membership of ARLA gives the lender an assurance that you will receive a reasonably good advice and service. ARLA agents should have a good understanding of the buy to let market and will give sensible advice on letting your property. Lettings agents that are a member of ARLA will also be bonded, meaning that you are covered if they make off with all your bond money, rent payments that are due to you and or other money they are holding. They will also hold professional indemnity insurance and will have been in business for at least 2 years - further indications of a reputable business that will help look after the investment of the lender and landlord.

A good agent will not only find you a tenant at the market price or above, they will also help with advice on the style and décor of your property and provide you with access to their expert knowledge of local demand and market conditions. Inadequate letting agents can lead to horrendous and insoluble legal difficulties. They can incorporate hidden charges into their contracts, and they may simply provide you with a poor level of service. So how then, can you find a good agent? Click here for details.

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