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Good letting agent?


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Hi! <waves at everyone> smile.gif

Clueless newbie here- I've just been browsing the site and have a question...

My partner and I own a property which we'd like to rent out fairly soon. He works full-time and I'm currently on maternity leave, so between us we have very little time to spare. I could possibly manage the property myself next year, but need help with A: finding a decent tenant, and B: all the initial paperwork!

Is there such a thing as a good letting agent that don't cost the earth, or are they rarer than hens teeth?? Having read some of the comments on here, I'm worried it maybe the latter?!

Thank you for you comments in advance!


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This might help you......

The most important thing that any potential landlord can do is

choose their tenants very very carefully.

1. Get Referencies.....bank, employer and previouslandlord.

2. Take out rent guarantee insurance.....its not expensive.

3. Get a home owning guarantor. Carry out reference checks on the guarantor.Give the guarantor a copy of the AST. Make sure the guarantor document is drawnup as a deed.

4. Don't let to people with pets or children......the risk of them giving youproblems are big.

5. Don’t let to anyone under 18(minors). Draw up your own limits….I prefer nobody under 25.

6. Don't let to smokers........you won't get rid of the smell.

7. Don’t do Company lets.

8. Don’t let to anyone on Housing Benefits.

8a. If you do choose to let to applicants onHousing Benefit CHECK that your mortgage & freeholder (if your property isleasehold) allows it.

9. Don't let to anyone who isn't working full time.

10. Inspect properties every 3 months.

11. Only let initially on a 6 month AST.....that way you can both part companyafter 6 months if you don't get on.

12. Use a reputable Lettings Agent OR one who has been recommended OR do ityourself (only if you know what to do).

13. Meet your tenants personally. Make sure you ask all the right questions andgauge whether they are right for you.

14. Protect the deposit in one of theofficial schemes.

14a. If you have a dispute with yourtenant(s) over deductions from the deposit remember…..you can either go throughthe DPS adjudication process OR take the tenant to the Small Claims Court forrecovery of your losses where you may have a better chance of success.

15. Issue a section 21 notice as soon as thedeposit has been protected.

16. Make sure there is a detailed inventory& schedule of condition……signed by both parties.

17. Remember its a business....soavoid emotion & being overly sympathetic to your tenants.

18. Read as much as you can aboutrenting & letting i.e. educate yourself.

19. Don’t let to anyone who doesn’tspeak or understand English.

20. Don’t forget that you will needan Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)…….beforeyou market the property.

21. Don’t forget to get an annual GasCertificate.

22. You are responsible for ensuringanything electrical in the property is safe so consider getting the electricschecked professionally….and any appliances you provide.

23. Try to avoid having your propertyclassified as an HMO……meeting regulations is expensive and time consuming.

24. Make sure all adults living atthe property are on the AST & any other documents.

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........and after all that,

ensure that you take out proper landlords buildings insurance, at least and ensure that the tenants status is acceptable to the insurer. e.g. some wont cover properties let to students, asylum seekers etc,etc..... remember cheap isn't always good.

Make sure you update the insurer of any change in your tenants status as soon as it occurs. E.g. Emplloyed when you took him on but subseqyuently becomes unemployed, are you still covered?

Would you rather buy your parachute in Lidls or Marks and Spencer?

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Make sure you check out Andy_s and any other people who pop up to offer help.

Its best to go on recommendation. Don't believe what they tell you, check qualifications, experience, knowledge, time in the business etc etc.

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Also check out the TO LET boards in local streets where you are planning to let. Who has got the most - not always the sign of a good agent but go into several offices of agents and check out whether you think them reasonable to get on with and what advice they offer you.

I (being cheeky) might knock on the door of one property with board up and ask anyone who answers how they got on with the agent.

Get a copy of various agents Terms of Business and study carefully the T and C's and small print. Compare.

There is no shortcut to your own research.


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