What should landlords look for in a Leicester letting agent?

If you’re a busy landlord that can’t devote a lot of time to managing properties (maybe it’s not your full-time job) then a local Leicester letting agent could be the answer to ensure that both you and your tenant(s) are happy. If you’re a first-time landlord then working with a letting agent such as Readings could prove beneficial as we can offer support and advice and relieve you of some of the responsibility.

Questions to ask a potential Leicester letting agent?

1. Do you belong to a client money protection scheme?

A reputable Leicester letting agent should belong to a client money protection scheme to ensure that clients’ money is not mishandled. At Readings, we are a RICS regulated firm so we belong to the RICS client money protection – it’s about the best you can get!

2. Are you a member of a professional body?

A nationally recognised professional body ensures that agents adhere to a strict code of conduct and are committed to ongoing training. Readings are members of The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark), The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA Propertymark).

3. Are you registered with an approved tenancy deposit scheme?

Letting agents are responsible for security deposits at the start of each tenancy and by law, these deposits must be registered by a government-approved deposit scheme. Ask us for information on Tenancy Deposit Scheme, the scheme that we use to register deposits.

4. Are you registered with a letting agent redress scheme?

In case of any disputes, a redress scheme offers free independent resolution service. We don’t think you’ll be needing to contact The Property Ombudsman (TPO), the scheme that Readings are registered with but it’s good to know that you are covered.

5. How do you handle repairs and maintenance?

Each and every property will need some kind of maintenance a central Leicester letting agent that can easily travel to and from your property for regular inspections is invaluable. At Readings, we have a list of trusted contractors that we use for jobs big and small and we use an online repair reporting system for an easy way for tenants to inform us of any issues. This is a 24/7 service which documents and streamlines the process.

6. Are you organised when it comes to paperwork?

Any professional letting agent should be able to handle paperwork and tenant screening. At Readings we can do all of the following for you:

  • references
  • credit checks
  • confirm employment
  • right to rent checks
  • tenancy agreement
  • gas/electrical safety certificates
  • obtain an Energy Performance Certificate

7. Do you have a good marketing strategy?

A letting agent has to be able to effectively market your property. Your property would be listed on the Readings website, potentially used in email and social media campaigns and listed on online portals such as Rightmove, OnTheMarket.com and Zoopla.

8. Can you demonstrate good knowledge of the Leicester rental market?

Your Leicester letting agent should know the city well and understand what rental rates similar properties to yours are achieving. Rental yields can vary depending upon the area, size of the property and the potential tenant that you are targeting. For example, a semi-detached family home on the outskirts will vary in comparison to a city centre apartment that will appeal to professionals.

9. What service levels do you offer?

You need to decide what you want the letting agent to do – is it just a tenant find service or a fully managed property service? At Readings, we offer a variety of service levels to suit your requirements, call us to find out more.

10. Finally, check the management contract!

Read the contract very carefully and if you’re not sure of anything then simply ask! We’re happy to discuss any issues with you and hopefully allay any fears.

If there are several agents that have equal standing then consider choosing a letting agent that has a longstanding history (Readings, a history dating back to 1935). It’s more than likely that their knowledge will be priceless to you!