The letting agent’s primary role is to manage properties for property owners and landlords. Their responsibilities vary from collecting rent to sourcing tenants, to full management of buildings. If you rent a property that is entirely managed by a letting agent, you may never have to actually meet the landlord.
Letting Agents Have Obligations
Letting agents will usually charge owners fees for providing their services. In turn, they are obliged to put their clients’ best interests first. There are numerous benefits of employing the services of a letting agent when looking for a home, or RAF Mildenhall Lodging. A professional and proficient agent will have expert and intimate knowledge of the homes he or she manages which is invaluable in saving you time in finding the perfect home.
Choosing The Perfect Letting Agent for Your Needs
Many tenants focus solely on selecting the right property, but it is equally important to pick the right letting agent. A little bit of research and preparation can go a long way to prevent a negative experience. As a bare minimum, make sure you check that the letting agent is a member of a professional body such as the UK Association of Letting Agents. Should your tenant rights not be met for some reason, you can report the agency to the relevant body to resolve disputes.
What to Look Out For
A letting agent’s loyalty should be to the landlords who are his or her clients, and tenants should be proactive when it comes to their own interests. This includes an awareness of tenant rights and responsibilities as letting agents will not offer advice if it compromises the landlord’s position.
As a tenant, you should be vigilant and check professional memberships with redress schemes and government bodies to make sure they are current. You should also try to find out if the letting agent offers client money protection and be very wary when asked to pay a deposit; remember to always ask for a receipt. Avoid paying a fee just to register with a letting agent, which is a criminal offence, and request a detailed list of all fees and charges payable before you decide to sign a tenancy agreement. Make sure you examine the list carefully.
A reputable and experienced letting agent will be able to answer any questions you may have; show you all aspects of the property, such as the boiler and heating and how to operate appliances; give you copies of the electrical and gas safety certificates and the energy performance certificate; provide you with the landlord’s contact details, such as name and telephone number; draw up a simple tenancy agreement for you; and forward any requests for repairs you may have to the landlord and give prompt feedback about what needs to be done, when it will be done, and who will be doing the work.
If the letting agent you are dealing with does not seem to have a full management role, it is up to you to make sure you understand exactly what his or her responsibilities are and under what conditions you can contact the landlord directly.