Tenants ... you have may have chosen the right home but, have you chosen the right letting agent!?

Over the past few years we have seen a huge rise in the rental market.

With more people finding it increasingly difficult to get their feet on the property ladder they are ever more turning to the rental sector to find a home. However, the sudden increase in people renting has attracted the predatory “Scam Landlords”.

So, how do you know if you are choosing a reputable letting agent?

It is very easy for potential tenants to find their “perfect home” and not consider who it is being let by! It is important that not only the house fits your criteria but also the agent managing it!

Firstly, you should check whether or not they are members of a professional body such as ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents). Associations like this one set very strict guidelines for letting agents to adhere to. Another area to check is if they are a member of a Client Money Protection Scheme (here at Belvoir Lincoln we are members of Safe Agent), which ensures that all monies paid are protected in a separate account rather than in one big business account. Further to this, it is also vital that the agent will register your deposit with a recognised deposit scheme (Tenancy Deposit Scheme or Deposit Protection Service) so that you know exactly who is holding your deposit! This is a legal requirement! (This applies to private landlords too!)

Secondly, a big help to potential tenants in deciding if they are renting with a creditable agent is to read reviews from past and present tenants of that agent. Nowadays these are very easy to find as many agents have a review section on their own webpage or additionally there have been forums specifically designed for the purpose of reviews (you can use such webpages as; The Tenants Voice & All Agents – many more web pages are available for you to browse through reviews!)

Finally, make sure you are clear on what the agents terms and conditions of a tenancy are. You may want to ask questions such as;

  1. What are the application fees and are there any further administration fees prior to moving in? (sign in charge, deposit registration charge etc)
  2. What references do you carry out?What happens if I do not pass?What happens if the landlord does not proceed? (for example; refund of fees? Alternative arrangements such as a guarantor?)
  3. How long is the tenancy?  Is it a fixed term or a periodic tenancy? (for example at Belvoir Lincoln, the majority of tenancies are 6 month fixed term & then onto a rolling periodic tenancy and we do not charge a renewal fee for this)
  4. How much is the renewal fee? (if any)
  5. How do you deal with maintenance? (is it dealt with in the office itself or it is it organised by a maintenance office which is not located locally.
  6. How much is the deposit? (this will vary between properties) and is the deposit registered? With which scheme?
  7. What is the pet policy? (pet fee? Requirements such as having the carpets sanitised at the end of the tenancy etc)
  8. Is the property landlord managed or managed by the agent?

For further information on this subject or if you would like details on the properties we currently have available please contact our team at the office today on 01522 544999 or email on becci.brader@belvoirlettings.com