Top 5 things lettings agents are responsible for
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to ensure your property is legally let and managed. Even if you’re not handling the management yourself, you’re the one who will be pursued and potentially penalised under the law if either the property or the tenancy falls short of legal standards and requirements.
There are hundreds of lettings laws to know and understand - it’s an ever-changing landscape and really is a specialist field. So the best way to make sure you and your property are always legally compliant is to partner with a lettings expert.
If you engage a professional letting agent on a ‘fully managed’ basis, they’ll handle most of the checks, processes and administration on your behalf. Even though you’re still legally liable, it can give you peace of mind that you’ve got a properly trained and experienced lettings team working on your behalf.
Here are the top 5 things we’ll take care of for you if we manage your property full time:
1. Tenant checks
We have efficient systems for carrying out ‘right to rent’ and referencing checks to secure the required information about your prospective tenants. We also have the experience to know what ‘red flags’ to look out for and will only accept tenants that we’re confident will be a good fit for your property.
2. Property checks and ensuring the required documentation is in place
We do all of the following:
- Arrange for gas and electricity safety checks to be carried out in good time, securing competitive rates from trusted contractors or working with your preferred contacts
- Ensure gas and electrical safety certificates - as well as a copy of a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - are correctly distributed to tenants
- Check that you and/or your property have the correct licence or registration in place. Each of the four nations has different laws and the rules for multi-occupancy properties can be particularly confusing
- Administer the tenancy agreement, making sure it’s the latest version and any additional clauses required for the let are legally correct
3. Collecting rent and managing payments
We handle the administration of the deposit and deal with any deductions at the end of the tenancy. We also collect the rent from your tenant and pass the balance on to you (less our fee). If a payment isn’t made on time, we’ll take the necessary action to secure payment.
4. Periodical inspections and maintenance
We make sure your property meets the required legal standard of condition at the start of the tenancy and that it stays that way, by making periodical inspections in person and arranging any necessary repairs and maintenance, unless you prefer to do this yourself.
5. Responding to tenants
When a tenant reports an issue, the landlord has a legal requirement to respond to them and fix the problem within a reasonable timeframe. Our dedicated property management team and trusted pool of contractors can resolve these matters quickly and cost-effectively on your behalf.
Choosing an agent: 3 things to look for
1. Membership of a government-approved redress scheme – a legal requirement for all letting agents in England. We belong to The Property Ombudsman.
2. Client Money Protection insurance, which will compensate you if the agent goes bust or misappropriates your monies - also a legal requirement for all letting agents in England.
3. Membership of a self-regulating industry body, such as ARLA Propertymark, NAEA or Safeagent (previously NALS). This will reassure you that the agent abides by a specific code of conduct and staff have received proper training.
See the GOV.UK website for full information on landlords’ rights and responsibilities.
At Your Move we’re always here to help with any aspect of letting, so you can contact your local branch for advice at any time. If you currently use our Tenant Find or Rent Collection services and would like to find out more about the benefits of being Fully Managed, you can contact your current branch directly or make an appointment via the website.