Residential Letting agents – what are your property management fees
In an age of Easyjet, Ryanair, Orange Wednesdays, voucher codes, 2for1s and Café Nero stamp cards (that last one springs to mind as I sit in the tranquillity of Café Nero, Quartermile writing this blog, only 2 stamps off a ‘free’ Americano!) , everyone is always looking for a deal. We all love value don’t we? It’s no different in property lettings; people want the best possible fees from a letting agent. However it’s worth looking further than the agent with the lowest fees.
Maximise rent – A good letting agent will know the market inside out, will have a branch network and will advertise on all the main lettings portals in order to attract a greater number of prospective tenants and therefore maximise rents. They will also keep on top of things and suggest rent increases, where possible, to maximise your property investment return.
Reliable service – ‘You get what you pay for’ so be wary about agents who offer rock bottom management fees. Do they have the credentials and track record to provide you with a high quality service. It’s fine when rent is coming in on time and when there are no maintenance issues but if property management issues arise this is where an agent may be found out if they don’t have the team, experience or processes to deal with issues quickly.
Transparent pricing – Beware of agents who may lure you in with a low management fee however the bills may soon rack up due to ‘hidden’ fees and you may end up paying more in the long run. Watch out for agents adding fees around things like lease renewals, inspections and other items which should really come under the management fee…otherwise what are you paying your agent for!
Safety certificates and maintenance – a good guide as to whether an agent will deliver value for you is the price of their safety certificates. An agent has the opportunity to negotiate good terms with trades due to the large number of work they pass to the tradesman. Any savings made should be passed onto the landlord so beware agents who have worryingly high safety certificate prices.
Expertise – As it stands, anyone can set up a letting agent, with little or no experience. Thankfully this is changing with letting agent regulation coming into play in 2018. Choose an agent who is ARLA Propertymark regulated as their processes and finances are put under scrutiny by governing bodies and so you can rest assured that do things ‘the right way’. So, as you can see it’s not just about fees. Yes, you want good value but don’t confuse ‘value’ with ‘cheap’! Umega Lettings is one of Edinburgh’s leading letting agents, regulated by ARLA Propertymark and operating complete transparency when it comes to pricing. We have a fantastic team of 23 people working from our Marchmont and Quartermile offices and we pride ourselves our or market-leading service. You can see what our customers really think of us by looking on google (just search for ‘Umega Lettings’) or on Allagents.