As a landlord, using the services of a letting agent can make life a lot easier. If you own one property that you live close to, you may be happy to manage everything yourself. For landlords with bigger property portfolios or landlords who live very far from their properties though, a letting agent’s services are invaluable. Letting agents offer various services when it comes to property management, so you can be as involved or as hands-off as you like. But really, what do letting agents do for a landlord? Read on to find out.

What services do letting agents provide?

Every letting agent is different. Some provide full-service packages, some provide one-off bits and bobs, and they all promise something just a little different in order to compete with one another. This is why it’s important to do your research and find out which letting agent will be the best fit for what you need.

However, there are a few services that most letting agents will provide as standard:

Tenant finding

Tenant finding is a basic service provided by most letting agents. The service includes everything that goes along with finding a tenant: taking photos of the property, creating a floor plan, creating an inventory, and advertising the property. They may also coordinate and run viewings. After a prospective tenant has been found, the letting agent will organise referencing and the Right-to-Rent checks, set up the tenancy agreement and sort out dates for the tenant to move in. With a tenant found and a move-in date set, the rest is up to the landlord.

This service is usually charged at about a month’s rent. However, remember that every letting agent is different and will set prices differently.

Rent collection

Some agencies consider this to be part of tenant finding, whereas other agencies provide this as a separate service. As a separate service, it usually costs a percentage of your monthly rent collection up to about 10%.

The letting agency will collect the rent and handle any and all legal requirements. For instance, deposits have to be protected in a deposit scheme. There’s also the matter of if a tenant is late or fails to pay rent. This can be a tricky situation to be in, especially if you don’t know all the ins and outs of tenant law. The letting agency will chase up rent, serve notices, and be there to advise you if a tenant continually doesn’t pay their rent. Some agents even offer insurance that protects your income in case your tenant falls into arrears.

However, you should remember that this insurance will be more expensive for what you get than a comprehensive Landlord Insurance policy. These policies can cover you against a whole range of things, from property damage to rent arrears. Get a quote from us here at CIA Landlord Insurance today to find out how we can help you.

Full property management

Fully managed property services are ideal for a busy landlord or one who lives far away from their properties. However, it does come at a cost – usually about 15-20% of the monthly rent charged on the properties.

Full property management includes every part of tenant finding and rent collection, with more on top. When you engage a letting agent for this service, they will be in charge of any correspondence with the tenant throughout the tenancy. They’ll also organise maintenance, inspections, check-in and out, and any rent or deposit disputes.

Which letting agent service should I use? 

As we’ve said, every letting agent is different, and so is every landlord. The services you need will depend on your portfolio and how much time you want to spend on your properties. If you want your properties to be a full-time job for you, then it’s likely you’ll need less support from a letting agent. You may only want to engage them for help with financial or legal matters, such as rent arrears or deposit disputes.

If you want your properties to provide you with passive income, you may choose to invest a slightly larger percentage of this income into letting agent services so you can take a total back seat. There are landlords who prefer to manage their properties themselves, and leave tenant collection to an agency.

The takeaway from this is that you can tailor letting agent services to suit you. Do your research and speak to multiple letting agents to find the best option for you.

Which letting agent should I use? 

Now this one we can’t answer for you! As of 2022, there are nearly 20,000 letting agents in the UK. Not all of them will be right for you! Narrow down which services you think you need and how much of your money you’re willing to part with and go from there.

There will be service packages and letting agent fees to suit most budgets and most landlords – you’ve just got to find them! Spend time doing research and speaking with different agencies to find the best fit for you.

Should I use insurance from a letting agency? 

Insurance from a letting agency is likely to be more expensive than the average landlord insurance policy, whilst you’re covered for less! Check out the insurance types we offer or contact us today to find out how we can help. Here at CIA landlord insurance, we’ve got more than 20 years of experience in making sure you’re covered. Give us a call on 01788 818 670 to find out how we can help you.

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