Firstly, Why Do You Need A Letting Agent?
Letting a property is not quite as straightforward as it might seem. Finding a suitable tenant, collecting rent and managing a tenancy can be complex and time consuming. The letting industry operates within a strict legal and regulatory framework which embraces property law, health and safety law (including fire, electrical and gas regulations), The Housing Act, The Landlord and Tenant Act as well as general commercial and civil law. This framework is designed to protect landlords and tenants and ensure fairness. In the event of a dispute between landlord and tenant or where a landlord needs to take possession of a property, there are often set statutory procedures laid down. If the procedures are not followed diligently, the landlord’s position could be compromised. Employing a reputable letting agent offers the landlord relief from this burden of responsibility and peace of mind.
Choosing the right agent
The first criterion used by many landlords when choosing a letting agent is the commission charged. This is often ill-conceived. Invariably, as the price comes down, so does the quality of service. In this business, where in most cases a landlord’s most valuable asset is involved, quality of service is paramount.
Key questions to consider when choosing an agent:
Is the agent ARLA licensed, trained and qualified?
ARLA, The Association of Residential Letting Agents, leads the industry in setting and regulating the highest standards in the industry and demands certain levels of professionalism and commitment to customer service from its membership. ARLA members are required to work within a robust Code of Practice, which covers the key stages in letting and managing a property. There are comprehensive membership Byelaws which include compliance with such issues as handling and accounting for Clients' money; the mandatory ARLA Client Money Protection Bonding Scheme; Professional Indemnity Insurance; Dealing with Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures.
ARLA members are required to employ a minimum of at least one member of staff, in any office, who holds a suitable industry qualification, recognised by the Association. The industry qualification, The Technical Award in Residential Lettings, comprises an exacting four part programme of study and examination. It is both comprehensive and demanding and it has greatly enhanced the status of the profession and the qualified individuals practicing within it.
ARLA keeps its members up to date with changes in legislation and provides wide-ranging training and guidance to help members understand and interpret all aspects of letting and managing a property.
Is the agent a member of a recognised ombudsman scheme?
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme provides a free independent service dealing with disputes between member agents and landlords or tenants of property in the UK. Member agents must follow The Property Ombudsman Letting Code of Practice, which sets out the framework within which member agents should operate and the standards of service they need to provide for both landlords and tenants.
Do they operate from high street shops that are visible and easily accessible to prospective tenants?
Does the agent have an effective marketing programme to procure tenants?
Do they have a comprehensive tenant referencing procedure?
If they are managing the property, do they conduct regular checks and produce a report following each check? Tenants Fees Landlord Fees
So why choose Brown & Cockerill Lettings?
We feel we are the only management firm within our field to provide an honest and trustworthy service by charging our clients solely for the work we provide. We will not charge additional fees for industry “add on's”, such as tenancy renewal, empty property checks and inventory check out. Our fee is simply what we agree from our initial instruction and nothing more thereafter.
Brown & Cockerill offer a high quality lettings and property management service. Since our expansion into new office premises after 15 years within the town, we have developed an in-depth understanding of the regulations, the business and the local market.
Property services are solely what we specialise within. This allows us to concentrate on what we do best.
We operate as an owner run business. The result is a passionate desire to get things right and an uncomplicated decision making process, providing the flexibility to react quickly to any given situation. ARLA licensed, trained and qualified and a member of the TPO (The Property Ombudsman). We are committed to continuous investment in technology to promote properties to the widest possible audience.
Our ethos: Efficiency, Integrity, Results
Our reputation within the property sector of Rugby has been built over the years on providing an ethical, friendly, reliable service. We are dedicated to continuing to drive standards to ensure that we provide landlords and tenants with the best possible quality service.