Recent months have seen a lot of talk and media speculation over the rental sector which culminated in the government’s call for greater regulation across the lettings industry. As an established agent who aim to deliver the best possible service for all our customers – tenants, landlords, buyers or vendors - we welcomed the news about lettings regulation to help create a fair and more transparent sector that benefits the customer.
This month, we thought it was timely to take a closer look at our lettings services and how we work with our landlords and tenants. Did you know, for example, that there are more than 400 rules and regulations that tenants, landlords and properties need to abide by, to legally let and manage a property?
Carrie Alliston, Head of Lettings, says “Abiding by the rules not only helps keep tenants safe, but good maintenance protects a landlord’s investment. Councils now have powers to fine landlords up to £30,000 if they don’t follow the rules – and persistent offenders can even be banned from letting”.
Tenant referencing is a crucial part of the lettings process, as are a whole range of property checks and required certifications such as Gas Safety checks. A letting agent will carry out Right to Rent checks to ensure a tenant can legally live in the UK and they will fully reference check a tenant and their financial situation, not just purchase a basic online reference check for a few pounds.
Carrie commented, “A good quality agent will check tenants into the property and provide a helpful service in giving them a tenant information guide, often including local information, rubbish collection days, taxi numbers, contact info for a cleaner and more. They will also test the smoke alarms on moving in day and, if required, ensure carbon monoxide alarms are fitted”.
All this is important, not only for legislation, but to help ensure a happy and content tenant. Carrie added, “Happy tenants tend to stay longer and are more inclined to look after a property as if it were their own”.
You can find out more about what a lettings agent does by reading Carrie’s full interview here.