Beware The Cowboy Letting Agents!
If you are a landlord who wants a few bedtime horror stories, simply Google "rogue letting agents". I did this morning and was amazed to find 141,000 results!
Most landlords will not be aware of the fact that there is hardly any regulation in the lettings industry and that you can set up as an agent with little or no experience and no real accountability if things go wrong. So, who can you trust?
At REB Letting we have always maintained the highest of standards so naturally becoming one of the first Licensed Letting Agents in Wales was a fairly straightforward process. (Google "licensed letting agent").
We comply with the best industry Standards that set us apart from the average agent who may lack qualifications and the necessary experience to do the job properly.
We hold separate bank accounts for Client's funds (Client Accounts) which are audited annually and protected by insurance known as Client Money Protection Insurance (CMP). We also hold Professional Indemnity Insurance as well as the usual Employer and Public liability insurance.
To provide further protection for Clients, we also must be members of an independent redress scheme, abide by strict codes or practice and keep up to date with changes in the industry by undertaking continuing professional development.
It is important to remember that this is a specialist field that requires specialist knowledge. The average Estate Agent that does a bit of rental "on the side" really does not compare to a dedicated letting agent who is involved with rentals day in day out. After all, you would not ask a plumber to mend your car would you?
Even if you do choose a specialist Letting Agent you should be asking some questions:- Are they are a member of a Professional Body? Do they hold any qualifications? Do they maintain separate Client Accounts? Are they audited? Are they a member of any redress scheme? If the answer to any of these questions is no, think long and hard before handing over the keys to one of your most valuable assets.
Martin Adshead MARLA
18 January 2010
Martin has been a successful portfolio landlord for over fifteen years. REB was established as a Letting Agent in June 2002. He holds an advanced qualification - Certificate in Residential Letting and Property Management - and is a Member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (MARLA). Outside of work he enjoys Scuba Diving (Instructor Trainer) Skiiing, Motorcycling and Sailing.