Many Edinburgh landlords choose a letting agent at the start of their buy-to-let journey and never change. While that’s fine for those who are completely happy with the service they receive, there are plenty of others who stay put because they think it will be too much hassle to switch.
A letting agent should make being a landlord a stress-free experience. From sourcing tenants to issuing safety certificates and carrying out regular inspections, everything should be taken care of. Good communication with landlords and tenants is also crucial, and any maintenance and repairs should be carried out to a high standard and in a timely manner.
Working with a letting agent who is aligned with your business goals can make a big difference and is one reason why it could be worth switching. The handover to a new agent could give you access to knowledge, expertise and other benefits that your previous agent didn't offer.
Not all property management services are the same
At the beginning of a contract, a letting agent should outline everything that will be provided as well as giving a breakdown of the costs. Not all property management services are the same, so it’s important to make sure the contract you sign covers everything you need. It goes without saying that a cheaper price is likely to indicate a lesser service, but price shouldn’t be the only consideration.
At Clan Gordon, we only work with landlords whose properties exceed the Scottish Government’s Repairing Standard and who are committed to providing an exceptional service to their tenants. We use only reliable and reputable local tradespeople to carry out maintenance and repairs, and we’re always just a phone call away, so communication is never a problem.
If your letting agent doesn’t uphold your standards, then it’s worth thinking about making a move to one that will. When tenants are happy, they’re likely to stay longer and take good care of your property. A professional property management service should offer complete satisfaction for yourself and your tenants while protecting your investment and your rights as a landlord.
The fees charged should be in line with local rental market rates, and you should be confident in the agent's skills in valuation, advertising your property, drawing up contracts and taking care of your obligations as a landlord.
Communication between landlords and letting agents is often an issue, especially if the landlord struggles to get in touch with the agent by telephone or the agent’s responses to emails are tardy. At Clan Gordon, we prioritise communication, and landlords are always assigned a named member of our team to look after their property.
Poor communication with the landlord could be a sign that tenants are also struggling to speak to the letting agent when they have issues, and this can have a negative impact on the tenancy so it’s worth considering switching letting agents.
Regular inspections of your rental property
A property management contract should include regular inspections to ensure the property is being well maintained by the tenants. It’s a red flag if a letting agent repeatedly claims not to have been able to gain access. If this happens on a regular basis, it’s worth checking with the tenants themselves if there is a problem. It may be that they haven’t been given enough notice or offered a variety of dates and times.
Letting agents need to provide a degree of flexibility when organising visits for inspections, so if this isn’t happening, it could be worth switching to a more accommodating letting agent.
Safety certificates and legislation for landlords
A property management contract should also take care of a landlord’s legal requirements, including safety certificates and compliance with the latest regulations. Gas and electrical appliance checks need to be carried out at prescribed intervals, otherwise the landlord is breaking the law.
If you have had to chase up your letting agent when certificates have expired, you should consider moving to one who is always on the ball.
Reasonable charges for letting agencies
When a tenant reports maintenance issues, the letting agent deals with these on the landlord's behalf, so it's important to be clear about maintenance charges from the start. Make sure you understand how the agent's process for maintenance and repairs operates so there's no misconception about timeframes and prices.
Is your tenant getting good customer service from your letting agent? You should expect high levels of professionalism, with advisors trained by the industry's leading trade body ARLA, offering expert advice on all issues, including the tenancy agreement, rent payments, inventory, legal documents and other paperwork.
Not on the same page as your letting agent?
Sometimes landlords and letting agents aren’t aligned on property management goals, whether it’s a disagreement about the rent being charged or differences over renovations and repairs.
It’s important to have a letting agent who works with you on any property issues and balances both your and your tenant’s interests. If the balance is off-kilter, it can lead to problems and arguments.
Finding a new agent who is willing to listen to your property management goals and accommodate them will make your lettings experience far smoother.
For information about switching your Edinburgh letting agent, schedule a call with one of our expert property managers. Changing agents is far easier than most people think, and we can manage it on your behalf every step of the way.