Forum Posts

Elijah Kamotho
Dec 14, 2021
In Property Questions and Answers
Landlords looking to employ a letting agent should ask the following five questions before picking one: 1. How do they market their letting properties? Firstly a landllord should evaluate how the letting agent would market their property. Most letting agents will have their own website. However, that in itself will probably not be enough unless it is well optimized. Try typing in ‘property to rent’ in the location of your buy-to-let property. If the website shows up on the first or second page on Google then the website is probably worth it. However, really the letting agent should have their properties uploaded onto as many of the large property portfolios such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Find a property, Globrix as possible. Does the letting agent advertise in the local press? This is key for many provincial towns and cities where the local paper produces a weekly guide to properties for rent. 2. Can I see the contract? It seems obvious. But it’s amazing how many landlords don’t bother looking at the letting agency’s contract and terms and conditions. It is not unheard of that some letting agencies do not give out a letting contract at all, and business is contracted verbally. This is potentially a huge mistake as there is no standard terms and conditions attached to letting agent contracts. Therefore every letting agents terms will be different. The agreement should set out clearly the most important thing in the agreement: the fees, and the roles and responsibilities of the letting agent. For instance, will the letting agent carry out the handover and check out and prepare the inventory? In light of the Foxtons case, landlords need to look carefully at the detail of the contract. Many letting agents could still try and bury the unsavory conditions relating to letting renewal fees in the nether reaches of the contract, so make sure you read them carefully. 3. How is the tenancy deposit protected? There have been several recent cases where landlords have lost their tenant's deposits because their letting agent has gone bust. Even where the tenancy deposit has been protected by one of the approved insurance-based tenancy deposit schemes the landlord still risks losing this deposit. Leaving the landlord potentially liable to the tenant to repay the deposit out of their own monies. If the letting agent is a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) the landlord and their tenants' deposit monies would be covered by their Client Money Protection Scheme even if the individual letting agent goes bust. Worth considering when choosing a letting agent. 4. How will the letting agent report? For landlords who have a fully managed arrangement on their rental property, getting a regular update on it is important. So it is worth been clear on the level of reporting the letting agent will provide as part of the service. Will they send you a regular report of the rent and charges? Will they email the details? It’s always important to find out when and how you will be kept informed. 5. Who is responsible for maintenance? There will be obvious ongoing issues over the maintenance of your buy-to-let property. If the letting agent is employed on a full management contract then you should agree on a scheme of delegated responsibility. Therefore, if any maintenance issues arise then the letting agent will contact you before employing a contractor to go ahead with the work. For many landlords, a sum of says £100 is a cost that they are comfortable with. Anything more than that the letting agent should contact you to ensure that you want to go ahead with the work and it’s ok to use their chosen contractor. This way it gives the landlord a chance to postpone the work or get somebody in that they know that may be cheaper. Do I need a letting agent? Finally, there is always the question of whether; a landlord actually needs a letting agent at all?
Five questions to ask your prospective letting agent content media
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Elijah Kamotho
Dec 14, 2021
In Property Questions and Answers
There are benefits to using a rental agent to place tenants in a buy-to-let investment, from assisting with the vetting of prospective tenants and monthly rental collections to pre-and post-occupation inspections and property management services if they are contracted to manage the maintenance of the rental property. However, not just any rental agent will do the job well, so how can you make sure that the rental agent you are using is the right one for you and your property? 1. Are you a rental specialist? 2. How do you vet potential tenants and handle late or non-payment of rent? 3. What happens if I need legal assistance relating to the rental property?
Top 3 questions to ask your rental agent content media
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Elijah Kamotho
Oct 26, 2021
In Property Questions and Answers
As a landlord, I'm wondering if anyone can offer some advice. The EICR on my property is currently being done and it's possible due to the age of the property the whole house may need rewiring. If this is the case, obviously my tenant will need to be away from the property for this period. I'm just wondering if anyone has been through this and what sort of costs were involved. My insurance covers the cost of hotel accommodation but only up to a certain amount. I'm pretty sure the tenant is going to go into overdrive on me around this as they are not the most pleasant or understanding, despite having quite a good relationship
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Elijah Kamotho
Oct 26, 2021
In Property Questions and Answers
Mary Latham " I agree that there are 2 different things: Corporate let and Rent to Rent. However, a proper Rent to Rent (Guaranteed rent) company will have a management contract with the owner that defines not only responsibilities, rights and also break clauses for both. It is not just a letting agreement. The company needs to be in compliance with ICO, PRS/Property Ombudsman, Insurance, etc, etc. The profit comes not only from a higher rent, but from a better tenant find and management to reduce the voids, a more proactive approach to bills, maintenance and repairs, adding services like regular cleaning, Netflix, etc... , upgrade of furniture and furnishing,... They are many RTR companies that start and fail because they do not fully understand the model and the amount of work that is required to run it. Both, Corporate Lets and Rent to Rent can be an excellent way to have consistent income and a hands free investment, when done it properly."
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