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Life as a letting agent: Ask Lloyd

How long have you been in the lettings industry for?

16 years

What do you get up to on a daily basis?

Overseeing the business and the implementation of new regulations and services to our clients 

What got you interested in lettings?

First an interest in property and also being a landlord – from there I realised that there was an opportunity to improve standards and also to meet a wide and varied demographic together with all the positive influences and challenges they bring.

What is one of the major changes you have seen in the industry since you started in your career?

Selective licensing, Deposit protection, Landlord accreditation,

What’s your favourite thing about running a Belvoir branch?

There are many things but the most prominent is the opportunity of meeting some fantastic people and assisting them as they go from being first time tenants to families and then sometimes to home owners and investors. Also the satisfaction of overcoming the challenges that dealing with such a wide variety of people the business brings

What’s the best advice you could give to landlords when looking for an agent?

 Look past the percentage. I was recently afforded the opportunity of reading a copy terms of business from a competitor for a landlord that was transferring their properties to us.

The landlords concern related to an apparent lack of property inspections, after taking this up with the agent in question, it was found that their ‘fully managed’ service excluded all property visits unless ‘specifically requested’ and were subsequently charged £480+vat p/a in addition to their fully managed percentage.

In reality, the cost of the ‘additional inspection service’ together with the damages that could have easily been mitigated had it been picked up earlier ran into thousands. This is the true cost of property management. 

What’s the best advice you could give to tenants when looking for an agent?

Would you believe that it is still – although it is set to change – possible for an agent to operate both un regulated and without client money protection. I would question the intentions of anyone operating a letting agents without these levels of client protection/redress

Do you have any predictions for the future of the lettings industry?

The lettings industry from an investor point of view is taking a bit of a battering at the minute and these are also changing times for tenants with the balance of bias arguably leaning back towards a tenant, this is undoubtedly causing a degree of uncertainty and some landlords are seeing this as an opportunity to exit the market.

However, property investment is no different to any other investment, the time to buy is usually when demand outstrips supply and the cost to invest i.e the borrowing, is at an all-time low. The implementation of licencing and other restrictions can also be viewed as a detriment or an opportunity and therefore it is unsurprising to me that we are seeing a greater number of landlords increasing the size of their portfolios and more opportunities to invest entre the market.

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