buy to let mortgages
Information on this page is for information purposes only. It is not intended as investment advice
The letting agent acts as intermediary between the landlord and tenant. They are the landlord’s representative and are on call to manage your property in your absence.
How can a Letting Agent help
The letting agent may offer some or all of the following services:
- A shop window for your property
- Finding a tenant and taking references
- Arranging the tenancy and preparing the inventory
- Collection of rent and chasing late payments
- Regular property inspections
- Managing the repairs and maintenance
- Open office for tenants/tradesman to liaise with
A good letting agent will have a wealth of experience. They would be a very good place to start if you are new to managing property.
If you don’t have the inclination to manage the property then this might be the best option
How much do letting agents charge
How much you pay depends on how work you want the Letting Agent to do
Broadly, the choice is:
- Tenant finding which would normally include referencing and drawing up the Tenancy agreement
- Full management of property. Tenant finding, rent collection and full management of your property
For Tenant finding, you might expect a one-off fee of up to 1 months rent
For full management of property, Letting agents generally charge a percentage of the rent. Typically this is 10 – 15% of the rental income
The actual fees charged will vary in different parts of the country. This will be one of the factors to consider when you choose a Letting Agent
Talk to several letting agents, have a list of questions to ask – What happens if the tenant refuses to pay the rent etc.
This will give you a feel for which agent you are most comfortable with.
Regulation in the UK
In England and Northern Ireland there is currently no direct regulation of Letting Agents
In Scotland and Wales, Letting agents are required to be licensed
We recommend that you choose a Letting Agent that is a member of Propertymark (previously Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA))
Propertymark is a trade body that Letting Agents can voluntarily join. Propertymark require that their members behave in a fit and proper fashion and follow a code of practice which should ensure a good outcome for their clients
You can search for a letting agent near your property to find a Letting Agent that is a member of Propertymark
Such membership should help to ensure that the agent conducts their business in a professional manner.