Using a qualified agent

26th January 2018 posted in Landlords

Letting agents are not regulated but good agents will ensure they offer the best service by joining a recognised accreditation body such as NALS, ARLA, RICS or SAFEagent.

Membership helps ensure the agent has a sound understanding of current legislation and, in an ever-changing legal environment, are able to input into changes that will shape the future of the lettings industry.

Choosing a letting agent

All agents are not created equal and having achieved a 96% customer satisfaction rate, we feel that Hunters stands out from the crowd in caring for you, your property and your tenant.

A good way to check out a letting agent is to act as a tenant yourself. Search property portals for agents which market and let similar properties to yours, and see which agents are the most active in your area.

When choosing a letting agent, these are the things we feel are important to offer landlords:



Accreditation: Agents are not required to be trained in lettings legals, but they do need to be a member of a redress scheme, apart from those in Wales. The vast majority of Hunters branches are members of an accreditation body which helps ensure we are compliant with the current law and input into future changes. All of these are provided on a voluntary basis to landlords over and above legal requirements. 


Experience: We have 25 years’ experience in the industry and local area.  We can advise on how to maximise rental returns and what properties are in high demand.


Training: We regularly attend seminars and workshops, and Hunters are members of the Lettings Council. Hunters has its own Training Academy with a full suite of courses available to all staff, ensuring we are up to date with existing legislation and best lettings practices. Our courses are endorsed by NAEA and ARLA and our training programme offers HNQ qualifications. Our knowledge assists us to ensure that our clients are complying with the law and keeping their tenants safe.


Redress scheme: All agents must join a government-approved consumer redress scheme. We aim to offer clients an exceptional service but where things go wrong we offer free redress via The Property Ombudsman.


Transparent costs: By law, all letting fees must be available for landlords to view. A list of fees can be viewed in all the Hunters offices for both landlords and tenants so you can see what and how much we charge.


Local knowledge: This is essential to know what a property will rent for to different tenant types. All Hunters branches are independently owned and run by dedicated people who are both experts in their field and in their local area.


Marketing: Tenants now expect to see property details similar to properties which are being sold. Hunters  market your property through our nationwide network, which includes local employers and relocation agents, and on all the major property portals.


Approachability:  Never underestimate the importance of building a good relationship with your letting agent as at times there will be tricky conversations about re-investing in your property to meet tenants’ rights, needs and expectations.



Other questions to ask a letting agent

•    What is the agent’s average void period? For comparison, ARLA says the average is 2.7 weeks per year.
•    How long will the tenant’s rent take to arrive in your bank account?
•    What other services do they offer? Newsletters, workshops, help with legal issues?
•    What are the full costs of letting a property, including set-up fee, management fee and renewal fees?


Decisions and checks to make when using a letting agent:



Decide whether you need a Tenant Find, Fully Managed or bespoke service.


Request a list of charges for each level of service.


Understand in detail how they reference tenants.


Understand how they carry out check ins/outs.


Check the terms of the business agreement and understand who takes responsibility for letting the property legally and safely then sign the agreement, understanding how to terminate the relationship if required.


Ensure the agent has a spare emergency number if they cannot contact you especially if you have services such as boiler repair.


Agree who is responsible for what during the tenancy. For example, will you or the agent carry out periodic checks? Who is legally responsible for gas safety checks?


Check and file the letting agent’s statements on a monthly basis, they will be helpful when you do your tax returns.


Check the rental income is going into your bank account each month and how long it takes to receive.


Meet or chat with your agent post any periodic visits to find out if there are any maintenance requirements now or in the future.