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Nov Sat 28, 2015, 12:26 AM

Pros and cons of using a letting agent

Anyone who is looking to rent out a property will at some point come to ask themselves “should I use a letting agency?” It can be a difficult decision to make and involves weighing up a lot of costs and time. So we thought it would be useful to help all you budding landlords out by going through some of the pros and cons of using a letting agency.

Cons of using a letting agency

Cost – The fact of the matter is you are hiring the letting agency and that costs money! Although they will do a lot of work for you and your property, you will have to be ready to part with some cash. All letting agencies will charge for services or take a commission on rent and so it is best to talk to a few and try and get the best rate.

Control – By hiring a letting agency you are putting the property in their hands and so will have to be willing to relinquish some control. They will find you tenants, sort contracts and control the rent meaning you will have to leave them to it and trust them with it (which may be harder for some than others).

Conflict of interest – Some landlords believe that letting agents just want to fill the property quickly, rather than take the time to find the best tenants and rates for you. This is debateable but something you might want to take into consideration before using a letting agent.

Pros of using a letting agent

Time saving – When you use a letting agent they will advertise the property, find you tenants, complete credit checks, get references, sort the contracts and control the rent! They do all of this at a cost but in return the weight is taken off your shoulders and they will save you a lot of time and hassle.

Attracting tenants – By using a letting agent you are likely to attract more prospective tenants than letting it yourself. This is for 2 reasons; 1) they will put a lot into advertising energy into the property 2) they will have a well known name (possibly a national business) that people will recognise and trust.

Quick return – Many believe that you will let a place quicker with a letting agent than on your own. Because they have a client database, experience and a tried and tested process they will be able to let it out quickly, after all it is what they do for a business!

Best price – We work with a lot of letting agents and it is clear they know the local and national markets like the back of their hand and will know exactly how much you can get for your property. Letting agents will also be able to tell you how to get more and how best to market the property for the highest return.

Issues – No matter how modern, new and well kept your property is there are always likely to be issues with it at some point down the line. What’s more, you may have other non-cosmetic issues, such as tenants refusing to pay rent, but with a letting agent you can let them deal with the problems rather than having to sort it, saving you a lot of time and hassle.

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