Where once landlords might have chosen to manage buy-to-let properties themselves to maximise profits, the constantly changing regulations mean this is a less attractive option.
Time and knowledge are key to a landlord embarking on managing their own properties, but there are plenty of pitfalls for the unwary.
To be a “hands on” landlord it is essential to keep up-to-date with the latest letting law along with health and safety requirements. Likewise you need to be available 24/7 to deal with leaks or problems at the property, chase up non-payment of rent; the list goes on…
Far easier to put the care of your precious investment in the hands of experts. This is particularly true if you live some distance from your property or are letting out your home while you are abroad.
Today’s tenants expect a swift response to their concerns and issues dealt with in a timely fashion. If the heating packs up who are you going to call? A qualified letting agent will have a list of reliable tradesmen who can respond quickly to a call out.
Property legislation is constantly changing and membership of ARLA Propertymark ensures that members are informed and knowledgeable about the latest legislation.
Crucially ARLA Propertymark protects consumers and their money by holding members accountable and empowering customers with knowledge and advice.
The professional body aims 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.
As well as offering a fully managed service for landlords, Greenslade Taylor Hunt is also a member of this professional body.
Many landlords don’t realise that letting agents are not regulated. To avoid potential pitfalls it is vital to engage one that belongs to a professional body committed to driving up standards in the industry.
Sonia Matthews, FARLA MAPIP MNAEA, who heads up the Lettings Department at Greenslade Taylor Hunt across Somerset, Devon and Dorset, said: “With constant legislation changes in the residential lettings industry it should always fill landlords with confidence when using a qualified ARLA member to manage their business.”
A qualified letting agent will ensure all the legal obligations are met and if anything should go awry, both tenants and landlords have access to an ombudsman free of charge.
A number of GTH staff have gained their ARLA qualifications this year including Janice Turner in the Ilminster office, Caroline Thomas and Shona Medcroft at Tiverton and Millie Bright in Taunton.
They join a large number of the experienced lettings’ team with this important qualification.
To find out how GTH can help, visit Lettings
- Make sure the letting agent is a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS); organisations that keep members up-to-date with the law and best practice.
- Have client money protection.
- Offer easy-to-read terms and conditions that clarify what the landlord and tenant are responsible for.
- Give clarity on fees charged.
- Carry out regular property inspection checks.
- It is worth remembering that any agent fees charged are currently tax-deductible.