Renting a home can be a stressful and time-consuming task that we all end up doing at some point in our lives. One of the first places a prospective tenant will look to rent a property is on a property ‘portal’ (Rightmove.co.uk, Zoopla.co.uk, Onthemarket.com [to name but a few]) but (and as ‘old fashioned’ as this may seem), you should always contact a local, reputable agent (as they should have the local knowledge and expertise to match you with your ideal rental property). When it comes to advice though, the prospective tenants can sometimes be the "forgotten tribe", so here are a few tips on how to choose the right lettings agent.
1 . It`s always advisable to look for a reputable and reliable lettings agent
It is important to find a lettings agent who is a member of a professional organisation as they are bound by a Code of Practice and are kept up to date and required to comply with any changes in legislation surrounding the ‘letting’ or residential property.
The main professional body is:
*Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) http://www.arla.co.uk/find-agent/
..in addition to:
*National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS)
*UK Association of Lettings Agents (UKALA)
*National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)
2. Use a local lettings agent -
Not many people have the time and energy to go through thousands of property listings online, so the easiest way to get your hands on your next "dream home" is to find a local agent in your preferred area. They know what`s on offer in that location at any given time and they often have something ‘up their sleeve’ that is not YET on the market. Don`t forget to provide them with as much information as possible, so they can find you the most suitable properties. Don`t get stuck into too many details though, as every once in a while people fall in love with properties that slightly differ from their initial idea of what would be best for them.
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising there is, so call your friends and family. Check if they have recently or previously used a lettings agent that they would like to recommend.
Go online and do some research – the company website speaks for itself but don`t forget social media – that`s where you can get the good and the bad. However, real human contact matters, so give them a chance to prove themselves and just visit your local office. A genuine smile and a warm greeting is always a good sign!
It pays off to contact a few of the agents in your preferred area as you`ll have a better chance of finding a suitable property to rent. Keep in touch with your agent regularly - it is a fast-moving market and properties tend to come and go quickly.