Choosing an agent

Finding the right agentChoosing an agent

Letting agents vary widely. At present there is no legal regulation so anyone can set up as an agent. It is important that you rent a property which is managed by a reputable agency. For example:

  • They will answer your queries promptly
  • They will deal with repairs reported to them promptly
  • They will not (normally) try to ‘rip you off’ by making excessive charges for routine items
  • They will carry professional indemnity insurance
  • Their staff will be properly trained
  • They will treat you with respect

You can often tell whether an agency is a good one by the way they treat you when you walk in through the door. Are their staff pleasant? Are they able to answer your questions? Do they listen to what you say?

However it is a good idea also to ask around your friends and work colleagues - they may be able to warn you off a nightmare firm! Students should check with their accommodation office. Agents registered with them will normally be all right.

You should also choose an agency which is accredited by one of the agents professional organisations.

Membership bodies

Although some unaccredited agencies can be very good, as a general rule it is unwise to use an agency which is not a member of one of the following organisations. There are five (the fifth being less well known) as follows:

All these organisations require their members to adhere to professional standards and offer training and other services. You can normally also complain to them about their members.

It is also a good sign if they are registered with the Property Ombudsman - www.tpos.co.uk

Be very wary indeed about using a company which is not registered with any of the above,. 

 

 

 

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