How do I find a good letting agent? 

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

As a landlord, you know that managing your own portfolio can be a time-consuming task. That’s where letting agents come in—they can help you find tenants, manage properties and take care of all the necessary tasks so you can focus on other aspects of your life.  

However, not all letting agents are created equal and choosing the right one is crucial to ensuring a smooth and successful rental experience. 

Not all landlords have the time or experience to manage their own properties effectively, which is why letting agents play a crucial role in the rental market.  

A good letting agent can make your life much easier by handling tenant searches, property management, rent collection and maintenance tasks. On the other hand, a poor letting agent can create headaches and cost you both time and money. 

Choosing the right letting agent is vital for ensuring a smooth and successful landlord-tenant relationship. By selecting an agent that meets your needs and expectations, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your investment is being taken care of professionally and responsibly. 

Clan Gordon are a highly professional outfit, who have been a pleasure to work with in arranging the let of my flat - from beginning to end. Quick, efficient, and clear communications at all times (my main contact, Hannah, was excellent). Plus friendly advice from a human perspective. Perhaps most telling though, was how they responded to a couple of hiccups along the way - both of which were outside of their direct control. They immediately got in touch to offer apologies (which weren't required!). And they remedied matters quickly and efficiently, providing reassurance that they took any drop in standards during the letting process very seriously, even though they weren't directly responsible. That to me, shows their professionalism. And I would not hesitate to recommend them for anyone looking to let their property in Edinburgh or the Edinburgh area.

Colin - All Agents Review

What should landlords expect from a letting agent?

Referencing for tenants 

A good letting agent goes beyond a surface-level credit check. They’re more like skilled detectives, digging deeper to unveil the full picture of a potential tenant’s financial and rental history. Financial sanctions checks expose hidden flaws, safeguarding you from potential rent arrears and property damage.  

Employment checks verify income, ensuring financial stability and reducing vacancy risks. Affordability calculations are an incredibly useful resource offered by letting agents, verifying and guaranteeing that tenants can handle rent obligations without strain.  

A lot goes into feeling secure about a tenant, but the more information you have, the closer you are to getting the full picture. A good letting agent will go above and beyond, seeking previous landlord references and guarantor details as early as possible to lay the foundations for a healthy relationship with your potential tenants. 

Documentation and legal requirements 

Lease agreements, legal jargon – it can all feel like a dense forest of paperwork. But with the right letting agent, you can stroll through this forest with confidence. They can give you clarity, demystify the different types of tenancy agreements and explain the nuances. Signing becomes a breeze with every step and question addressed.  

Financial responsibilities 

Renting or letting a property in Edinburgh can get you involved in a financial tangle but, with a good letting agent, the steps moving forward should be simple and clearly mapped out. A letting agent will decode the potential hidden costs, disclosing everything upfront, from agency charges to deposit requirements and rent payment schedules.  

Transparency builds trust and prevents unwanted surprises. No more council tax confusion – your agent becomes your sherpa, guiding you through the benefits system where eligible. And insurance is made simple with a good letting agent’s expertise, ensuring everything is in place so you can be sufficiently covered. At Clan Gordon we have teamed up with Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, which issues a block insurance to make this even simpler for our landlords.   

A good letting agent can also handle rent collection, securely managing the transfer of your money and guaranteeing you receive your payments on time, every time. With financial transparency, your rental partnership becomes an invaluable resource in staying informed on how to get the most for your money from your property. 

Property management and maintenance 

Knowing who shoulders the responsibility for a leaky pipe or a malfunctioning appliance is crucial. A good letting agent ensures you can relax, knowing clear procedures are in place for reporting and addressing maintenance concerns.  

You’ll have a direct line to reliable contractors and emergency expertise, guaranteeing prompt and efficient repairs. No more googling away trying to find a handyman on short notice.  

Think of them as your on-call property caretaker, protecting your investment and ensuring your Edinburgh rental runs smoothly and efficiently. 

Hannah at Clan Gordon was fantastic. She took care of all the necessary paperwork to keep the property compliant with regulations. She also quickly found tenants and was a pleasure to work with.

Stuart Rowa-Dewar

The benefits of using a fully managed service 

A fully managed service covers all aspects of property management, including tenancy agreements,
maintenance, inspections and even dealing with legal issues. With this type of service, landlords can simply sit back and wait for their rental income without worrying about day-to-day responsibilities. 

Using a fully managed letting service can be advantageous for busy landlords who want to minimise their involvement in property management. By choosing to have your property fully managed, you can: 

  • Save time: Letting agents handle all aspects of property management, allowing you to focus on other priorities. 
  • Ensure compliance: A reputable letting agent will stay current with regulations and help ensure you meet your legal responsibilities as a landlord. 
  • Maintain property standards: Regular inspections carried out by letting agents help identify maintenance issues early on, ensuring your property remains in good condition. 
  • Handle emergencies: Letting agents have protocols in place to deal with emergencies such as boiler breakdowns or leaks, saving you from having to arrange repairs yourself. 

While a fully managed service provides convenience and peace of mind, it’s important to choose a trustworthy and reliable letting agent to avoid potential problems down the line. 

Be careful of any letting agents that promise an exceptionally low fee while claiming to provide top-notch service. Cutting corners to protect profit margins could result in subpar service, leading to headaches and costly repercussions for landlords. 

To compare fees effectively, request an itemised list of charges from each letting agent you’re considering. A good letting agent should already provide you with this. This allows you to make an informed decision based on comparable offerings and helps avoid unexpected expenses. 

Checking if a letting agent is registered with a regulatory body 

The rental market has had its fair share of unscrupulous letting agents taking advantage of landlords and tenants. To address this issue, the government implemented measures requiring letting agents to register with redress schemes that act as independent mediators in case of disputes, for example, the Property Redress Scheme 

It’s incredibly important to choose a letting agent, such as Clan Gordon, who is registered with one of these schemes since membership ensures compliance with a code of conduct and provides avenues for official complaints free of charge. 

In addition to these two schemes, there are also regulatory bodies such as Propertymark and Safeagent that letting agents may voluntarily join. Membership of these organisations demonstrates a commitment to best practices and professional standards within the industry.  

At Clan Gordon, we’re proudly listed on both of these sites as a respected Edinburgh-based letting agent. When researching potential letting agents, verify their membership status by visiting their website or office. Confirming this kind of trustworthy membership will give you peace of mind knowing you’ll receive high-quality service and have recourse if any issues arise. 

What questions should you be asking a letting agent? 

Choosing the right letting agent isn’t just about finding someone with a friendly smile and a polished office. It’s about entrusting your valuable property and finances to a competent and reliable partner.  

It might feel a bit uncomfortable to get this out of the way, but to successfully make the decision of whether to enlist a letting agent you need to ask the right questions, probing beyond surface-level promises and delving into the nitty-gritty of their service.  

Here are some essential questions to dissect your potential agent’s capabilities: 

  • How do you manage my property’s repair budget?  
  • Do you provide detailed monthly account statements outlining all expenditures and remaining funds? 
  • How often am I responsible for covering repair costs? Is it on a per-incident basis, or is there a monthly cap on my liability?  
  • How often will rental payments be deposited into my account? Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly?  
  • Which money protection scheme do you use?  
  • Are you up-to-date on the latest landlord-tenant regulations and legislation?  
  • What is your average property void period? In other words, how long does it typically take to find a new tenant after one leaves? 
  • How often do you conduct routine property checks? 

Remember, you are the interviewer and these questions can make a huge difference concerning the future of your property. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if anything remains unclear. A good agent will welcome your enquiries and provide detailed answers with confidence. If their responses feel evasive or hesitant, consider it a red flag. 

Terms & conditions for letting your property 

Before signing any contracts, scrutinise the agent’s terms and conditions with the same attention you’d give a treasure map. This is where the details truly reside: 

  • What are the agent’s fees? Are they a percentage of rent, a flat fee, or a combination of both? Understanding the fee structure upfront helps you compare different agents and budget accordingly. 
  • How much notice do you have to give to terminate your contract with the agent? This ensures you have flexibility should their service fall short of your expectations. 
  • Never sign anything under pressure. A reputable agent will encourage you to take the contract home, read it carefully, and ask any questions you may have. This allows you to make an informed decision without feeling rushed. 

Don’t be afraid to walk away if the terms and conditions don’t align with your needs or raise any concerns. Remember, you’re entrusting your property and finances to this agent, so ensure you feel comfortable and confident in their service before signing on the dotted line. 

Finding the right letting agent for your needs 

Selecting the right letting agent is a crucial step in ensuring a successful rental experience as a landlord. By carefully considering the services offered and asking the right questions, you can make an informed decision that suits the needs of your property. 

Remember, choosing a letting agent goes far beyond finding the lowest fees; it involves finding a reputable and reliable partner who will help protect your investment and provide exceptional service. With the insights and tips provided by Clan Gordon, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the process and find the perfect letting agent for your needs. 

If you’re ready to start letting your property in Edinburgh with a letting agent you can trust, partner with Clan Gordon today and benefit from a stress-free experience. We’ll tailor our service to your needs and leave you free to focus on what matters most.  

Schedule a call with one of our property managers today. We’re here to make this easy for you.