Employing an agency to manage a property that’s rented out
If you are renting a property out and looking for an agent to manage it, this checklist might help your conversation with them, to ensure that you’re both on the same page re what’s covered and what isn’t.
You may not want them to do all of the things listed below. You may feel they’re not necessary. However, you may not have thought of them, and after having a read, you may think it’s necessary and find it worthwhile to discuss it.
What to ask the letting agent you’re considering
What are the steps from start to finish if I don’t have a tenant?
- Advertise the property – when, where and how often will this be done?
- Show tenants around – do you have flexibility regarding this to enable those who work late, or have a long commute?
- Reference check – who caries it out, what is the criteria for passing it and what happens if they don’t pass?
- Will they show you the result of the references?
- How much of a deposit is needed and when is it paid?
- Who keeps and protects the deposit?
- Is the inventory check-in done with them present?
- Will you create photos of how the property, furniture and so on, looks so it can act as a reminder when they check-out and can be used if there’s a dispute
- If so, how will you ensure that they receive, check and acknowledge that they have seen and agree with the photos?
- Ensure that the tenants know the date that the rent will be due each month
- The tenants and the landlord should know what will happen if rent isn’t paid on time
- If the agency is collecting the rent, will they produce and send a yearly statement of accounts about rent paid?
- Create and go through the contract with the tenants
- Will there be a clause for them to come out of the contract?
- Discuss when will the contract be set to renew?
- The tenants and landlord should know how many times the property will be inspected
- Inform the tenants that their availability or access to the property will be needed when the GSC needs renewing
- Ask the agent if anything else need to be renewed
- Make sure the tenants know how they should get in touch with the agent and the hours that they’ll be available
- If they leave will the following be included in the process?
- Check-out against the previous inventory
- Check that the number of keys that were given are returned
- Use the photos to assess the state of the property and items within it
- Who will take meter readings and turn heating etc. OFF and inform the utility company?
- If they renew
- Will the agent do another inventory and take photos?
- Will the agent renew deposit?
- Renew contracts and amend if need be
Organisations and insurance
Is the agent a member of ARLA?
“We protect consumers and their money by holding our members accountable and empowering customers with knowledge and advice. We aim to reassure all of those renting and letting out property that agents who display the ARLA Propertymark Protected logo offer a better service and financial protection for their clients than the alternative.”
Are they a member of the National Approved Letting Scheme?
“When you decide to let your property, employing a good agent to handle the letting for you can give you peace of mind. You can trust a good agent to protect your interests by dealing responsibly with the procedures involved in letting and subsequent management.
This means that the tenancy should run smoothly. You can let a property under an assured shorthold tenancy which will allow you to get the property back empty by giving formal notice after the first six months of any tenancy has elapsed.
Agents who have been licensed by NALS will provide a written agreement for managing your property, setting out the services they provide and what that will cost. You should agree the details before you employ an agent.”
Have they signed up for the Propertymark Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme?
The Propertymark Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme provides compensation to landlords, tenants and other clients should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other client funds.