How do I choose a letting agency? 

Clan Gordon is an award-winning letting agent voted one of the best at managing properties and securing tenants in Scotland and Edinburgh.

How do I choose a letting agency?

Owning a rental property is an investment that requires careful management. While the potential for passive income is enticing, navigating the complexities of tenant selection, paperwork and maintenance can quickly become overwhelming.  

This is where the right letting agency comes in, acting as your trusted partner in maximising your return and minimising your headaches. A competent and reliable letting agent will help you find suitable tenants and ensure that your landlord experience is smooth and hassle-free. But with countless options out there, how do you choose the perfect fit for your needs?  

When it comes to managing your rental property, choosing the right letting agent can make all the difference. The last thing you need is any unwanted surprises when protecting your property investment. To steer clear of these pitfalls, follow Clan Gordon’s expert tips for choosing the best letting agent for your rental property. 

Competent and professional lettings agents. We moved to Clan Gordon from another large lettings company and are happy with our decision. They have dealt with various property and tenant issues well, with good communication.

Richard Honeywell

Tenant-find only vs property management 

Tenant-find only services involve the letting agent finding tenants, handling initial paperwork and potentially collecting rent. With this option, you would be responsible for managing the property yourself once the tenancy begins. 

On the other hand, property management includes finding tenants and taking care of day-to-day issues throughout the rental period. This involves organising repairs, inspections and handling maintenance requests on behalf of the landlord. 

The choice between these services depends primarily on how much time you can dedicate to managing your rental property and your preferred level of involvement. If you live far away from the property or frequently travel, property management may be more suitable.  

However, if you are confident in your ability to handle day-to-day matters, tenant-find only services may be the right fit. 

Choosing the right service level for your property 

Whilst seeking help from a letting agent just to find tenants is cheaper than having them fully manage your property, it does escalate your involvement in the day-to-day tasks. 

You’ll be the first line of defence when it comes to repairs, inspections and maintenance, being the first person your tenants call when the pipes leak or the boiler breaks down. If you thrive on a hands-on approach and relish the responsibilities of being a landlord, then managing your own property will be worth the effort. 

On the other hand, choosing a reliable letting agent to fully manage your property comes with the peace of mind that your investment is being professionally taken care of.  

But remember, convenience comes at a cost. Full property management services incur higher fees, and you relinquish some control over the day-to-day decisions. However, if time is your most precious asset, or if you prefer a hands-off approach, this might be what you’re looking for. 

Questions Landlords Should Ask.

With all this in mind, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision regarding the level of service that best suits your needs as a landlord. Ask yourself: 

  • How much time can I realistically dedicate to managing the property? 
  • Do I live near the property or can I access it quickly if needed? 
  • Am I comfortable navigating tenancy regulations and handling repairs? 
  • Do I enjoy the responsibilities of being a landlord, or do I prefer a more passive approach? 
  • Can my budget comfortably accommodate the fees associated with full property management? 

Researching and comparing local letting agents 

Once you’ve determined the services you require, it’s time to conduct thorough research to find reputable agents in your local area.  

You can start doing this with a simple Google search. For example, try searching for “letting agents Edinburgh” or “letting agent near me”. It’s helpful to search for letting agents with specific location-based keywords for somewhere nearby to you or the property. Local letting agents have some of the best expertise and knowledge surrounding the nearby rental markets that you can put to great use. 

Visit websites like allAgents, where you can find reviews by location or specific agent names. Pay attention to any recurring themes in the reviews, such as communication skills, efficiency and professionalism.  

Look for agents with positive feedback from landlords and tenants, as this indicates a commitment to excellent service. By considering real experiences shared by others, you’ll gain valuable insights into the quality of service each letting agent provides. 

Before making a final decision, you’ll want to visit each agent’s website and social media pages. What impression do they give? Are they professional and informative, or do they leave you with confusion? Look for clear explanations of their services, fee structures and areas of expertise. 

Clan Gordon are outstanding in everything they do! From receiving a call on a Sunday evening 2hrs after enquiring to my property manager to the attention to detail and professionalism that they show consistently every day.

Tom - All Agents Review

Comparing letting agent fees and services 

As with any professional service, cost is an important factor when choosing a letting agent. Understanding typical letting agent fees will help you make an informed decision regarding value for money.  

Letting agent fees vary depending on factors such as location, services offered, and rental property type. However, as a general guideline, expect to pay around 10% of the monthly rent for tenant-find only services and approximately 15% for full management services. 

Keep in mind that since June 2019, letting agents are no longer allowed to charge fees to tenants for inventories, referencing and other administrative tasks. Some agents may compensate for these losses by charging landlords higher fees. When comparing letting agents, inquire about their fee structure and whether any additional charges apply due to the new regulations. 

In addition to standard fees, it’s essential to ask about any extra charges associated with specific services. For instance, some letting agents may charge separately for conducting credit checks or arranging maintenance repairs. Be aware of these potential costs so that you can accurately compare quotes and choose an agent that aligns with your budget. 

 

Meeting the right regulations and property letting standards 

When entrusting your rental property to a letting agent, it’s crucial to ensure they adhere to regulatory requirements and meet professional standards. Legally, letting agents must be registered with either the Property Ombudsman Service or the Property Redress Scheme. Confirm that the agents on your shortlist are compliant with this legal requirement. 

Furthermore, find out if the letting agent is part of an accreditation scheme like safeagent (formerly known as the National Approved Letting Scheme) or a member of a professional body such as Propertymark. These affiliations demonstrate that the agency adheres to specific codes of conduct and meets industry standards. 

We’re proud to say that Clan Gordon is a listed member on both platforms, a testament to our commitment to the wellbeing of our customers – landlords and tenants. 

As a landlord, you need assurance that tenants’ deposits are protected in government-approved tenancy deposit schemes. Since April 2019, all letting agents in the UK who handle client money must belong to a government-approved client money protection scheme (CMP).  

Ask for evidence of membership and check whether the letting agent holds appropriate insurance coverage for professional indemnity. By asking the right questions, you’ll have peace of mind that your rental property is in safe hands. 

Letting Agent Property Marketing Strategies 

A savvy letting agent is more than just a tenant-finder – they’re a master marketer, effectively showing off your rental property and attracting the perfect tenants like moths to a flame. So, when you’re evaluating potential letting partners, don’t just inquire about their services, look into their marketing strategies.  

While online portals like Rightmove are essential, ask about their full marketing arsenal. Do they leverage social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram to showcase your property’s charm? Do they explore targeted online advertising to reach the ideal tenant demographic? All of the above?  

A comprehensive approach to getting your property on the rental market will get new tenants in as quickly as possible. 

Professional photography is your property’s red carpet. Ask if the agency invests in high-quality photos that showcase every corner and highlight its unique character. Even better, inquire about virtual tours – a great digital tool that lets potential tenants virtually explore your property from their phone. 

Ask about the agency’s recent successes in renting out properties similar to yours. This track record reveals their expertise in attracting the right type of tenants for your specific rental type. Look for a portfolio of speedy tenancies and happy landlords – those are the telltale signs they know what they’re doing. 

A great agency knows the local market like the back of their hand. You should ask your letting agent how they target nearby renters. Do they understand the demographics and trends that drive rental success in your area? This local knowledge is the secret sauce that attracts the perfect match for your property. 

Establishing expectations and open communication with your letting agent 

Choosing the right letting agency is like laying the cornerstone for a successful rental experience. Just like any sturdy building, a lasting partnership needs more than just a solid foundation. To avoid cracks in communication and misunderstandings down the line, it’s crucial to set clear expectations and establish open channels from the outset. 

Find out about the letting agent’s availability, including evenings and weekends. Some agents may have limited office hours, which could hinder effective communication between all parties involved.  

Remember, a readily available partner is your lifeline, especially when urgent matters arise. Ensure someone’s always at the helm to address both your concerns as a landlord and your tenants’ needs. 

If you’re interested in full property management, your agent should be a meticulous house manager, keeping your rental in tip-top shape. Discuss their inspection frequency and approach to handling maintenance. Do they have a reliable network of skilled professionals ready to tackle repairs and emergencies? Knowing their procedure for leaky taps and broken lights keeps your rental running smoothly. 

On rent collection, transfers and fee deductions, make sure you understand how your letting agent intends to manage the rental income, notifying you of deposits and deducting costs. Clarity and frequent balance transfers are your compass, keeping you financially informed and in control.  

Things can take unexpected turns so it’s important you don’t feel like your financial future is at stake. That’s why it’s also vital to find out the notice period required should you decide to terminate the landlord-agent relationship 

Most letting agents stipulate two months’ written notice for ending a rental management contract. Having a good understanding of the smaller details early on will help manage expectations throughout your partnership. 

Choosing the right letting agent for your property 

Deciding on the best letting agent for your rental property is crucial to ensuring a smooth and successful landlord experience. Remember, this decision involves more than just comparing prices. Consider their services, track record and ability to meet your specific needs as a landlord.  

Taking the time to find a reliable and professional letting agent will pay off tenfold in terms of stress-free property management and peace of mind. 

Choosing the right letting agent in Edinburgh can feel overwhelming but with Clan Gordon by your side, navigating the rental landscape becomes smooth sailing.  

We’re an award-winning letting agency that prides itself on serving Edinburgh landlords with first-class property management. Our comprehensive services, combined with our dedication to your individual needs, will ensure a stress-free journey from finding reliable tenants to maintaining your property.  

Schedule a call with a Clan Gordon professional property manager today and discover how we can guide you toward a successful rental experience.