Buzz Blog #3 – What does your agent do for you?

Landlords think that a good letting agent will be inspecting their property, checking on dates for renewal of safety certificates and keeping them up to date with any maintenance. This is true, however these duties are amongst many more requirements which are completed quietly without their knowledge. As legislation and law changes over time, so does the agents duties, and it is their responsibility to ensure that they are up to speed with this on your behalf. This is completed quietly by us to ensure that the stress and any potential for penalties are kept to a minimum, however this can make some landlords complacent. If landlords aren’t aware of the service they are getting, it is easy for them to become frustrated and to wonder what they are getting for their money? A detailed list in an information pack or an agency agreement is often forgotten years into a tenancy and any initial agreement will not include any updates that occur over time. It is easy for new landlords to be unaware of what is involved in managing a letting. Are you aware of what your letting agent does for you?

Marketing – Our staff have been on a professional photography course to ensure that the property details produced are eye catching and advertised in the best possible way.

Advertising – Your property is advertised online on our website and on other portals such as Rightmove and On The Market. We also advertise locally in the Observer newspaper and on our social media accounts.

Referencing – Our referencing team will complete comprehensive checks including credit searches, previous landlords references and income references along with the required government ‘Right to Rent’ checks.

Legislation checks/legal compliance – We will check to ensure that every property and landlord is compliant before the start of any tenancy and throughout. Our system allows us to check upcoming expiry dates of safety certificates so that they do not expire. We are also responsible for ensuring that we are up to date with all legislative updates and changes on your behalf.

Legal paperwork – We are licensed to draw up tenancy agreements and receive regular updates from The Lettings Centre to ensure that our agreements are up to date.

Rent collection & chasing – Our accounts system provides you with a monthly emailed statement showing the income and outgoings required to enable you to provide your accountant or to complete any annual tax return. Should the rent be late, rest assured we will be chasing this for you on regular basis with phone calls, emails, rent arrears letters and emergency inspections.

Inspections – We will visit your property on a regular basis and complete a report with photographs so that you are kept up to speed with its condition. We are not surveyors or builders, but we try our best to make all of the necessary checks and to look at everything possible. We will make any recommendations we feel are necessary on our reports.

Maintenance – As an agent we endeavour to use regular local tradesman who we have built up a level of trust with, however we will always be happy to use your preferred tradesman or to provide you with additional quotes. We will not only call the tradesman on your behalf, but also the tenants to arrange access, chase the quotes and then to instruct any works. We will also follow up and then check on any works as required before the invoice is paid. This can often be very time consuming.

Emergency call out – We are on call 24 hours a day for your tenants so that you don’t have to be.

Deposit negotiations – As part of the move out inspection we are required to complete a report, to take detailed photographs and to get multiple quotes for ay works as required. As well as this we are the middle man negotiating between different parties in some very emotive and fractious situations. Many landlords do not feel comfortable or able to do this themselves. A lack of an agreement between parties can result in further reports and evidence having to be compiled and provided for the deposit company to proceed down any dispute route.

Legal training – Please remember that we are not legally trained. We are able to offer advice and information from our experiences, but ultimately there are times in which legal advice is required. This is not because we are being unhelpful, but because we are aware that giving the wrong advice or attempting to cut corners can often put landlords in much worse and more costly positions than they would otherwise have been. Unless an agent has their own legal team, they should often not be providing much of the advice or serving many of the notices that they do.

Contact the office on 01424 430011 to find out more about our packages and services. We look forward to hearing from you.