The pros and cons of letting your property
Homeowners choosing to let their property in order to ride out the current property market slump are being urged to make sure they choose a reputable agency, experienced in residential property lets.
Carl Mimmack, Managing Director of Accord Lets in West 2, Birmingham, says the market is seeing an influx of ‘reluctant’ landlords whose inexperience means they are unaware of tenants’ rights and other legislation and often have unrealistic expectations.
“The letting market is currently extremely buoyant and if you present your property correctly, comply with your legal obligations and offer it at an appropriate rent there is no reason why it can’t let in less than two weeks,” he said.
“However many people are coming to us in desperation, having discovered it’s not quite as simple these days as placing a small ad in their local newspaper. Some have been trying, unsuccessfully, to sell or let for quite some time and we could have saved them so much time, effort and lost money.
“Some have used an estate agent to try to let or sell, but quickly discovered the agency has only recently opened a letting department and their inexperienced staff who have not been trained for this specialist service have struggled and their property remains empty.
“Legislation now means certificates have to be obtained for appliances, the property has to be maintained to a high standard as part of the contract, a deposit must be secure and landlords will need additional insurance. There will also be an inventory to carry out, prospective tenants to vet and a host of other things to do.
“With almost 20 years in the business, Accord can take care of all this, including finding tenants, and can look after the property once it is let and collect the rent. The alternative is an empty property earning nothing for its owners.
“It is vital to employ a specialist letting agent, registered with ARLA, with a proven track record and offices close to your property, even if you are trying to sell your home through a different agent at the same time.”