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The advantages of letting from a Letting Agent

So your looking to rent a new property, is it best to use a letting agent or a private landlord to find a rent a property? We'll tell you here the pro's and con's to using a letting agent.

A letting agent is an individual or a organisation that deals with rental property on a landlord's behalf in exchange for a fee.

First its important to understand the role of the agent so you can decide if its the best option for you. They tend to offer one of three services to a landlord; full management, tenant find only (let only), and rent collection. As a tenant, your involvement with the agent will varry depending on what service the landlord has opted for, for exampled if the agent fully manages the rental property it is unlikely that you will have any contact with the landlord, on the other hand, if the agent is providing a tenant find only service for the landlord you will only deal with the agent during the viewing and application process. To summarise briefly what the three services offered by the agent often included.

Fully Management - this includes almost everything regarding the tenancy.

1) This normally includes advertising and viewings at the property, handle the application process, arrange the tenancy agreement, take and register the deposit.

2) Arrange inventory report, handle maintenance/repairs over the tenancy, meter readings, tenancy checkout and closing inventory, return of deposit.

3) Set up the monthly payment methods (standing order/direct debit)

Let Only - this includes the advertising and the set up of the tenancy. This will include everthing under 1 in the fully managment summary. However, it is important to note that the agent may or may not register the deposit in this service depending on what they have arranged with the landlord.

Rent collecting - this includes the advertising and set up of the tenancy, AND the ongoing payments. This service will often also register the deposit. Its best to think of this option as it covers everything other than except the maintenance which you would report direct to the landlord.