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Essex landlords – five essential tips for choosing the right letting agent

Rising temperatures and the easing of lockdown restrictions have seen many people venture outside to enjoy the outdoors.

This, along with the successful vaccine rollout and rising demand for new homes, has resulted in a rental market boom, with the number of new prospective tenants reaching a record high in April, according to trade body ARLA Propertymark.

With demand set to continue, there is a good chance that you can find suitable tenants to occupy your property, helping you to generate steady income.

Of course, you will need a knowledgeable and experienced letting agent to facilitate a successful tenancy before you can begin.

Below, leaning on further information from ARLA Propertymark, we outline five important steps to choosing the right letting agent.

Do your research

Before picking the agent to rent out and manage your property, it’s vital to do thorough research to create a shortlist.

You can do this by checking forums, reviews, as well as asking other local landlords for positive recommendations.

Check Client Money Protection (CMP) schemes

You want to ensure that you pick an agent who is part of an organisation operating with Client Money Protection; a scheme designed to safeguard the money held by property agents in case anything goes wrong.

As of April 2019, all letting agents in England that deal with client money must belong by law to a government-approved CMP scheme.

Verify their membership of a redress scheme

Letting agents have a legal responsibility to register with a redress scheme to ensure that if a customer has a complaint about the service provided that cannot be resolved between yourselves, they can apply to the scheme.

Therefore, you must check if the agents you are researching are signed up with either the Property Redress Scheme or The Property Ombudsman.

Your working relationship

It is essential to ensure you are happy with how you are being dealt with by your letting agent. Try and meet them, which can be done virtually during Covid-19, or speak with them over the phone to see how you get on with each other.

You should also ensure that the agent you choose is proactive and professional. Employ someone who answers the phone quickly, has a professional website and conveys that they are hands-on.

Are they Propertymark protected?

ARLA Propertymark members operate to professional standards far higher than the law demands.

Members are backed by a CMP scheme, are required to undertake regular training, are members of an approved redress scheme and are kept up to date with complex legislative changes and best practice. They also adhere to a nationally recognised Code of Practice.

For landlords, fostering a good relationship with your tenant is all-important. Working closely with an experienced, knowledgeable letting agent – one which understands the area you are letting in intimately – can help to ensure a tenancy goes off without a hitch, with issues resolved amicably and efficiently.

As a top letting agent operating across Essex and East London, here at Ideal Locations we can help you to get the most out of your rental home. For more information on our current operations, please contact us today. We also offer a free, instant online valuation to give you an estimate on how much you could be charging in rent each month.