It’s no secret that there is no shortage of letting agencies in Glasgow, so the thought of choosing a letting agent to fit your needs and manage your investment may seem daunting. From large national companies with thousands of properties to smaller, more “hands-on” management companies, it comes down to what you are looking for as a landlord.
Would you rather have a more personal experience with agents that know your property inside and out or have the marketing power of a large agency? Below we have outlined some questions you should be asking your potential agents in order to form the best opinion on what is right for you:
1. What is included in the monthly management fees and marketing fees?
Agents vary in cost due to a variance in services. One agency may seem more cost effective on the surface with lower monthly management or marketing fees, but they may also charge extra for things like inventories. Always double check for “hidden fees”, the most common being compliance certificates, tenancy referencing and tenancy agreements.
2. What qualifications do the agents have?
Are all employees of the company certified letting agents or is it only upper management? Are all staff General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) certified? Also ensure that the agency has documentation of public liability insurance and certifications for all contractors they utilise.
3. Agent Registration
It is illegal to operate without Letting Agency Registration. Ask the agency for their Registration Number or search on the Scottish Government’s website to confirm.
4. Rental Payments
Ask the agents how often rental payments are paid out to you, and what their process is if a tenant were to fall into arrears.
5. Deposit Protection Scheme
All deposits in Scotland are legally required to be lodged with a 3rd party Deposit Protection Scheme. Ask the agent what scheme they use and their process for claiming damages or rental arrears back from the deposit, if required.
6. Void Periods
Every landlord wants to avoid void periods as much as possible. Does the agency market properties before the previous tenants move out in order to reduce the void period or do they wait until the property is vacant?
7. Property Inspections and Inventories
Does the agency do their own inspections and inventories or is it delegated to a 3rd party company? How often are mid-tenancy inspections carried out?
When agencies use 3rd party companies to do inspections and/or inventories, they are solely relying on that company to relay the condition of the property. This can sometimes lead to issues, as it is usually a different technician doing the inspection each time. That could mean the technicians don’t always notice the new wear & tear or damages, due to have never seeing the property previously. This may also mean the agents you have hired to manage your property only enter the property when it is time for viewings.
We hope this blog has given landlords some valuable knowledge on things they should consider before choosing a letting agent, if you would like more information or would like to know more about how Gallus Lettings manages our properties, get in touch.