The private rental market is a bustling sector with a constantly changing set of new rules and legislation for landlords to keep on top of.
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
 
Landlord checklist
  • 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.