Do you need a letting agent?

We often get potential new landlords who have never worked with a letting agent before. It might be someone investing in property in the area who lives further afield, or perhaps someone nearing retirement – wanting an agency to take the strain off managing a rental property for them. There’s also the first-time investors as well, unsure of the rules and regulations to do with licensing or even the Housing Act itself. So why is using a letting agent to your advantage?

One of the main reasons to use a letting agent is the marketing potential – most letting agents will have a great looking website, use a range of social media platforms and use online portals like Zoopla or Rightmove. This means by using a letting agent to merely advertise your property, you’ll get a lot more exposure. And that’s another great point = many letting agents will have different packages, so you don’t have to give management of the property, but look at advertise only or tenant find options.

If you do use a letting agent for more than advertising (tenant find and full management services) then you’ll also get a range of other benefits of course. One of these is the agent will be carrying out viewings, and screening your potential tenants (reference checks for example). Most letting agents will hold regular inspections on the properties they manage, to ensure no nasty surprises like damp or tenant damage. They also act in a full management capacity as the go-to contact, giving you peace of mind that any issues or queries from the tenants are being handled by the letting agent. Especially useful if you live away, or even, if you’re taking time away to go on holiday! With our own landlords, we agree a retainer for any maintenance work, which means if something does need immediate attention, we can arrange contractors to the property straight away. Most letting agents will have a range of contacts for plumbing, electrical and building work, and most will be happy to liaise with them for you.

On the more legal aspect, letting agents also ensure the certificate boxes are all checked off when they’re meant to be – the EPCs, legally binding tenancy agreements, deposit registration, gas and electricity safety certificates and more. You may also find that if your tenants become unable to pay the rent, it’s less awkward to have a letting agent deal with it, than knocking on the door yourself.

Of course, choosing a letting agent to work with and for you is very important, and we’d always suggest you do your research on who works by your beliefs and objectives. Not every letting agent is a perfect match, even if we say so ourselves!

And on a final note, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with managing a property yourself. Just make sure if you are letting a property in Wales, that you are licensed with Rent Smart Wales, and use a government approved deposit scheme too. There are pros and cons of course, but it will all depend on your own personal circumstances.