Consumer Guide:10 Things Your LettingAgent ‘Should’ be Doing...in order to let your propertyto the best possible tenant inthe shortest possible timeThank you very much for downloading this guide, we hopeyou find it helpful. If you have any questions or comments orperhaps you would like to organise a free consultation so thatwe can help you let your property to the best possible tenant,then please click here.
contents Page 1: Finding a tenant ‘you’ want and on ‘your’ terms Page 1: Advising you on your legal obligations Page 2: Increased marketing on all the major property portals Page 2: Reacting quickly Page 3: Being available all of the time and NEVER missing an enquiry ensuring your property is let quickly Page 3: Carrying out strict, in-depth references on potential tenants Page 4: Ensuring professionally prepared inventory, check in and check out reports are carried out (at no extra cost) Page 4: Protecting you against non-payment of rent (at no extra cost) Page 5: Forwarding your rent promptly Page 5: Managing your property satisfactory, 24/7, to ensure you AND your tenants are happy, and carrying out thorough periodic checks on the property“ Page 6: Comparison tick sheet A very dynamic andrefreshingly responsive “letting agentMike, Professional Landlord
1. Finding a tenant ‘you’ want 2. Advising you on your legaland on ‘your’ terms obligationsThere are a whole range of reasons why you maybe When it comes to renting out property, there are lotsthinking of renting out your property; maybe you of legal obligations that the landlord must adhereare a professional landlord, maybe your property to, such as the safety of the gas appliances in thehas failed to sell and you are thinking of letting until property. It is crucial that your letting agent works withthe sales market improves, maybe you are moving you to ensure that you satisfy these obligations as theoverseas. With each reason comes a different goal. penalties can be huge, including imprisonment, if anyA professional landlord may only be concerned of them are overlooked.about the maximum rent he or she can achieve, anoverseas landlord’s main concern may be the typeof tenant living in their property, i.e. shares, a family,a couple or single professional. If your letting agentunderstands the motivation behind your wish to rentthe property out, then they will be able to give youtailored advice. If the maximum possible rent is notthe priority and you would prefer to have a slightlylower rent but with the choice of numerous possibletenants, the asking price would need to reflect asthis will ultimately determine the types and amountof tenants who apply. The first tenant who would liketo rent the property may not be best suited to you. How we do it: Have a thorough meeting with the landlord detailing all of the legal obligations and help to satisfy these obligations.How we do it: Ensure our advice is in line with whatyou want to achieve. We ensure you have the finaldecision on the tenant we let your property to. www.poweroshea.co.uk | 01
3. Increased marketing on all 4. Reacting quicklythe major property portals It’s all very well being on the major portals, havingIt’s not enough for your letting agent to say ‘we a board outside your property and so on, butare on the main property portals’. You should be how quickly are the leads that the advertising isasking, ‘Which ones do you advertise on’? How is generating being dealt with? If they are nevermy property going to be advertised? How often will dealt with, you won’t see any benefit, if they areit be reviewed? How and when will the enquiries dealt with (by telephone) within 1 hour whenbe handled? The UK’s number 1 property portal, your property is still fresh in their mind, you will seewww.rightmove.co.uk, have ‘premium packages’ massive benefit. There is a whole process thatavailable to all letting agents. A ‘premium listing’ on should be going on behind the scenes when arightmove will increase the amount of people who potential tenant clicks or calls to request moreclick to see more details of your property by 34%* details or a viewing. How and how quickly areand will increase the request for further details/a the leads which are generated being dealt with?viewing, by 21%*. A ‘featured property’ listing on Does your letting agent just reply by email? (Therightmove.co.uk will mean that every time a tenant enquirer may be away from their computer). Doessearches for a property like yours, yours will be right your agent just call them? What if they don’tat the very top of the page (above the long list of answer? Do they leave a voicemail? How manysearch results). All of these benefits are available to times do they follow up on that person? These areevery letting agent who advertises on rightmove. all very important questions because, don’t forget,co.uk but very few actually use them. We do, and your property may not be the only one they havethe results are massive. enquired about.*Source: rightmove.co.uk on average these generate 34% more views than standard listings 21% more enquiries than standard listings How we do it: Each and every enquiry is dealt with within 1 working hour, initially by telephone and if there is no answer, we leave a voicemail and follow up with an email, if we haven’t had a response within 24 hours, we do the same process all over again (as many times as we need to untilHow we do it: Market all properties with a ‘premium we get a reply).listing’ www.poweroshea.co.uk | 02
5. Being available all of the time 6. Carrying out strict, in-depthand NEVER missing an enquiry references on potential tenantsensuring your property is let Once a potential tenant is found, it is crucial thatquickly they are referenced to the highest possible level. This will include a credit search, previous andTypically, letting agents open at 9am and close current landlord references, previous, current andat 6pm on weekdays, 4pm on Saturdays and future employer references, current address searchare closed on Sundays and bank holidays, and if necessary, an overseas reference. There areinconveniently when most people are not at work specialist companies who carry out these searchesand so available to view properties. When the with strict pass criteria. If your letting agent doesagents are closed, the caller gets a pre recorded the references themselves/in-house, there is onlyvoicemail message telling them ‘we are closed’. a certain amount of information which can beIsn’t it our job as an agent to be available when gleaned and critical information can be missed.potential tenants and our clients are too? How Check that your agent uses a specialist company.many potential viewings are you missing out onbecause your letting agent says ‘sorry, we can’t doThursday at 7pm because we are closed’? This iseven more important if your ideal tenant would bea single professional or professional couple whenevenings and weekends are likely to be the onlytime they are able to view. 24/7How we do it: We are open between 8am – 8pm7 days a week (on average 33 hours per weeklonger than most letting agents), 364 days a year How we do it: We use a leading referencingto ensure we never miss an opportunity to let our company to ensure no stone goes unturned whenclients’ property, and on top of that, when we are finding out the history of a potential tenant.‘closed’ (after 8pm), we have a specialist teamwho answer our calls 24/7. How many lettingagents can honestly say that they will NEVERmiss an opportunity to let your property? Thisalso means that we let property quicker than ourcompetitors. www.poweroshea.co.uk | 03
7. Ensuring professionally 8. Protecting you againstprepared inventory, check non-payment of rent (at noin and check out reports are extra cost)carried out (at no extra cost) For every landlord, receiving the rent each andWith the recent change in tenancy deposit every month is crucial, whether it is to cover aprotection law, it is crucial that professionally mortgage or provide an income for a professionalprepared inventory, check in and check out landlord. Even the most highly paid professionalsreports are carried out. Without this, the landlord can lose their job or have an injury which meansis unlikely to be able to deduct damages from they are unable to work and so have no incomethe tenant’s deposit at the end of the tenancy - no income means no rent. When a tenantif necessary. The purpose of these reports are to stops paying their rent, it’s important that theyensure there is no room for doubt at the end of the are politely asked to leave so you can find atenancy and helps to prevent disputes. If there is a new tenant who can pay. This can also cause adispute, then the matter has to be passed across problem as in most cases the landlord would needto the deposit resolution service to be resolved to seek a court order. This can be very expensiveand in cases where there was no professional and cannot be avoided. However, there isinventory prepared, the dispute resolution ‘landlords rent warranty and legal expenses cover’service are likely to rule in the tenant’s favour, available. This cover normally costs around £300.00potentially leaving the landlord heavily out of for a year.pocket because he or she did not carry out theirdue diligence by arranging for a professionallyprepared inventory. The cost for these reports isaround £300.00 Rent How we do it: Every tenant we move into a property comes backed with a ‘landlords rent warranty and legal expenses cover’ policy. What’s more, there is no excess, which means you retain the full 6 week security deposit in case there is also remedial work to be carried out at the end of theHow we do it: Professionally prepared tenancy. Again, this is included in the monthly feeinventories,check in reports and check out reports we retain from the rent.are included in our fee which is taken monthlyfrom the rent received. www.poweroshea.co.uk | 04
9. Forwarding your rent promptly 10. Managing your propertyThe second most important thing once the tenant satisfactory, 24/7, to ensure youhas paid their rent is that you receive it without AND your tenants are happy,delay. Most letting agents’ terms of business will and carrying out thoroughstate that you will receive your rent (sometimes by periodic checks on the propertycheque) within 10 working days from the day it isreceived by the letting agent. There is no reason Many tenants (more so professional tenants),for this delay. perhaps having had a bad experience in the past, will only rent properties that are managed by a professional managing agency. We feel that the service the tenant receives is just as important as the service that our clients receive. A happy tenant is likely to stay longer, reducing the wear and tear on your property caused by a regular change in tenant and also avoids any void periods. It is important that any issues/concerns the tenants have are dealt with promptly and efficiently. It is also important that the property is inspected on a regular basis to ensure it is being maintained by the tenants correctly and that there are no breaches of the tenancy agreement terms. This also gives the tenant an opportunity to raise any queries they have. S M T W T F S x 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13How we do it: We will forward you your rent byBACS within 24 hours of receiving it. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 How we do it: We operate a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week property management service to our landlords and tenants to ensure that emergencies are dealt with promptly. We respond to any issues the tenant may have within one working hour and carry out regular mid-term inspections on the property and send a full written report to the landlord. www.poweroshea.co.uk | 05
We feel that everything mentioned in this consumer guide is absolutely crucial when it comes to lettingyour property to the best possible tenant in the shortest possible time. Below, we have put together acheck list to help you compare the services of the various estate agents you will probably be meetingover the coming weeks.10 Things your letting agent ‘should’ be doing Letting agent name Finding a tenant ‘you’ want and on ‘your’ terms a Advising you on your legal obligations a Increased marketing on all the major property portals a Reacting quickly a Being available all of the time and NEVER missing an enquiry ensuring your property is let quickly a Carrying out strict, in-depth references on potential tenants a Ensuring professionally prepared inventory, check in and check out reports are carried out (at no extra cost) a Protecting you against non-payment of rent (at no extra cost) a Forwarding your rent promptly a Managing your property satisfactory, 24/7, to ensure you AND your tenants are happy and carrying out thorough periodic checks on the property aThank you very much for downloading this guide, we hopeyou found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments orperhaps you would like to organise a free consultation so thatwe can help you let your property to the best possible tenant,then please click here.Many thanksPerry Power & Paul O’shea www.poweroshea.co.uk | 06