6 Key Questions To Ask Your Lettings Agent
1. Are they local to the area?
If your agent is local to the area then this is a good start as they are likely to have a wealth of local knowledge and will really know the area in which they are operating. This will be key for you.
2. What regulatory bodies do they belong to?
A good lettings agency will be a part of ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agency) and one of the following: The Property Redress Scheme or The Property Ombudsman.
If you are buying in Scotland, then your lettings agent has to belong to the National Register of Lettings Agents. You can find out more by visiting https://www.mygov.scot/letting-agent-registration-landlords/
3. Are they a lettings agent only?
This question may strike you as being a bit odd, yet there is a very good reason why you need to know this. The sales side of property generally provides higher income for agencies. If your lettings agent is also a sales agent, then their focus may be on the more profitable side of the business.
As a result, you may be left with junior and apprentice staff dealing with the lettings. This is unlikely to be of great benefit to you.
Would you rather have an agency that is focused on the lettings side? Or a dual agency where your property is there, but will probably receive diluted attention?
4. Do they have a website?
Have a look at their website. We are in the age of the Internet, and most people’s instincts will be to look online.
When I moved from Reading to Hull, the first thing I did was to look on Rightmove for a rental property. It is almost like second nature now just to Google something or to go on Rightmove to look at a property.
5. Where do they advertise?
Your lettings agent should belong to at least one or even two of the major property portals, such as Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket, PrimeLocation or Truffull. The more places that your agent advertises online, then the better this will be for you.
6. Have they rented similar properties to yours recently in regard to location and price?
This will provide you with peace of mind. If your agent has recently rented out similar properties, then this will put you in good stead as this will demonstrate that they have a good grasp of the area. As with builders and estate agents, it is important to get three of everything so the best suggestion is to book three lettings agents to meet you at your property in order for them to appraise it.