Property Management | Finding A Letting Agent For Your Buy To Let | Real Estate Investing Tips

You maybe in full-time employment and don’t
have any free time to manage your investment properties, or maybe your like me and you
don’t feel like you have the knowledge or experience to manage your investment properties
and the tenants. Or maybe you would simply prefer to spend your time in doing other things.
In which case you will require the help of a letting agent, and in this video I will
talk through the different levels of service that letting agents provide and how I go about
finding the best one. Hi, I’m Andy Walker from where
I blog online about my journey as a property investor and landlord, sharing what works
for me and what doesn’t, to help you start or expand your property portfolio. In recent years there’s been a number of
online letting agents appear with some very attractive fees, however, I don’t have experience
with these, my experience is based on the traditional type high street letting agency,
which is what i’m going to be talking about today. If I do make the move to an online
company one day, I will be sure to provide feedback to you when that day comes. Ok, First of all, let me tell you about the
types of services letting agents provide, there are 3 different types and each attract
it’s own level of fees: For a Tenant Find service the letting agent
will advertise your property online using popular portals like RightMove, Zoopla and
OnTheMarket. They will answer queries that they receive and conduct any viewings with
prospective tenants. They’ll also carryout tenant referencing and credit checks. Fees will vary, but to give you an idea, I
was recently quoted £195 + VAT to have a property let on a tenant find basis only Next is the Let Only and this package includes
all the services provided in the Tenant Find plus the issuing of the tenancy agreement,
taking the deposit from the tenants, and then registering that deposit with a deposit protection
scheme, setting up any direct debits and submitting meter readings to the utility companies. They may also offer to provide extra services
that will incur additional charges like creating a inventory, providing an Energy Performance
Certificate and a Gas Safety Certificate. It can be cheaper for you to arrange these
certificates as letting agents typically charge a percentage for spending time in making the
arrangements, so it depends on how much time you have to get those certificates in place. You can expect to pay anywhere between the
equivalent of 2-4 weeks rent for this service. So it could be that your fist months rent
is spent in getting tenants into the property. And the last one is the Full Management Service
which is the most expensive but it’s the one I use as it helps to keep my time free.
This includes all the services of the Let Only package plus regular inspections, day
to day management of the property and rent collection. Now with this service it means if the tenants
have any questions or any issues, they will contact the letting agent instead of me. The
letting agent fees will be a percentage of the rental income over the letting term and
will be dedicated from the rent that’s received. The fees typically range from 6 to 15 percent
depending on the type of property. I did manage to negotiate a fee of 5.5% for one of my properties
last year, but I take on any arrangements and supervision of any repairs that may need
doing which is very rare. So with this service the letting agent finds
the tenants, vets the tenants, takes the deposit, issues a tenancy agreement, secures the deposit
in a protection scheme, collects the monthly rent, pays the rent into my bank account less
their fees and handles any phone calls from the tenants. Now when it comes to finding a letting agent,
the easiest method is probably word of mouth. If your lucky enough to know someone in the
area who is using a letting agent that they would recommend because they are happy with
their services, then that’s great, but I would also recommend doing your own research.
I approach at least 3, and the first thing I do is look online for other properties that
they are marketing. I look for good photo’s and good descriptions. The properties with
the best marketing will attract the quickest viewings. Getting a prospective tenant to
enquire and getting them through the door of the property is what you want to achieve,
because hopefully the property will sell itself. And obviously, the least amount of time the
property is on the rental market, the better. I also like to visit their offices to have
a look and get a feel as to how they operate. Property is very much a people business and
if I have two or three agents that appear to be good at marketing and are good at conducting
themselves, then I will typical choose the agent who I resinate with most. To help you and your letting agent, make sure
your property is in a good state of repair and that it’s good to go because it will
save you and your letting agent time and most issues are easier to be fixed when the property
is vacant anyway. Having a letting agent can also help to make
sure you are compliant as a landlord. And the introduction of the Right To Rent Scheme
here in the UK in February 2016, is a good example of that. They should also check that the relevant safety
certificates are in place and my letting agents always contacts me and reminds me when those
certificates are due for renewal. That said, I also keep a log for myself so I know when
they’re due, because ultimately landlords are responsible for the safety of their tenants,
and if things go wrong, it will be the landlord that’s summoned to court and not the letting
agent. Before I finish, there are two other points
worth mentioning for UK landlords. Since October 2014, all letting agents must
belong to a redress scheme which provides a free service for resolving any disputes
between the letting agents and their customers, whether that’s landlords or tenants. I will
list the 3 government approved redress schemes in the description box below, but remember
to ask your letting agent which scheme they belong to. And for transparency, since 27 May 2015, letting
agents must display all their fees and charges for both landlords and tenants, on their website
and in a prominent place within their offices. And you should always check the associated
fees before entering into negotiations with a letting agent. This is my last video of the ‘Getting Started’
series. I hope you have found this video, and the seres useful. If you have watched
all 8 of them, you now have a basic understanding and knowledge of how to start investing in
property and become a landlord. If you still feel that you have some unanswered questions
about finding a letting agent, or starting out in property investing and being a landlord,
then please leave a question in the comment box below or head over to
This is just the start for this channel though, I already have over a hundred other video
ideas and I will continue to release one a week which, of course, will all be geared
towards helping you start or improve your property business. So if this is your first
time visiting this channel, please subscribe so you don’t miss any of them. If you found
this video useful, please give it a thumbs up, it will help me out a ton, and if you
think anyone else will share benefit from seeing this video, then please share. Thank
you for watching this video to the end, keep up the good work and I will see you in the
next one.

4 thoughts on “Property Management | Finding A Letting Agent For Your Buy To Let | Real Estate Investing Tips

  1. I guess a Letting Agent is like a Property Manager? first I thought it was like a Real Estate Agent. It makes sense to have an agent deal with all those dealings while we deal with finding more investment opportunities instead!

  2. What if a tennant refuses to pay rent – how does a letting agent handle this?
    I have always been put off by this scenario. I really couldn't handle the stress of bad payers.

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