The vast majority of house owners with a property to rent use an estate agent to
market their property. Choosing a reliable and good quality estate agent who can
manage the renting process on your behalf brings a huge range of benefits and peace
of mind. Here are just some of the advantages of instructing an estate agent:
- Interviewing tenants can be very frightening especially for new landlords...agents
do this as a matter of course and can generally ascertain a lot more information
by experience and asking the right questions...A little homework at the start of
the tenancy can save a lot of grief and heartache in the middle of the tenancy if
by chance the tenant turns out not to be bona fide.
- Agents are very used to dealing with and handling landlord / tenant disputes and
can offer independent advice with no agenda except to solve the problem. Most established
agencies will agree to solve minor problems included in the service.
- Furthermore, the agent can give the landlord 'an arm's length distance' in the event
of a problem throughout the tenancy...landlords can sometimes be taken advantage
of...by an overbearing tenant.
- Agents, being a third party, do not have a problem chasing late rents and acting
as a go-between. When rents are late agents have an office where the tenant could
drop the late rent into the office for the landlord.
- Agents have experience of the current open market rental levels and can advise on
the best achievable rent applicable, taking into account the condition of the property
and market condition.
- Agents are used to dealing and negotiating with clients to get the best deal for
the landlord...not always the best rent available...but maybe, say...an excellent
tenant who will stay say 3 years with reviews built in each year.
- Agents are used to seeing all types of property and can often advise on the standard
necessary to attract the best quality tenant.
- Agents handle all the initial money transactions including rent in advance and deposits...including
cheques, bankers orders and foreign transactions...often these take some days to
- Some other services provided by agents include:
- Standing orders will be set up to the landlord's account
- Services such as ESB will be notified of the new tenants
- References will be sought and checked
- A binding lease will be signed by all tenants in the agency office
- Guarantors will be sought, if applicable
- Inventories are normally taken (normally if managed)
- Agents normally move tenants in and take meter readings and provide keys
There are typically two levels of service. 6.5% seems to be the standard in the
market for a let only service and 10% for management. The difference between letting
and management is that management will take all calls regarding the property during
the year and also track the rent.
- Multiple agencies run continuous adverts and generally have the largest database
of tenants and will also have established links to major firms/relocation agencies
enabling them normally to provide a list of quality, professional tenants at the
push of a button
- Agencies have access to existing tenants already in properties with good track records
who for one reason or another want to move...thus providing a more secure and reliable
- Agents can provide a management and/or rent collection service with regular inspections
and advise the landlord as to the condition of the property.
- At the completion of the tenancy, the agent normally advises the landlord of the
new market rent, negotiates with the tenant and grants, extends or renews the tenancy.
- Agents who are members of professional bodies are regulated and have ongoing training
in respect of current legislation and changing areas within the business. In essence,
these particular agents are accountable and always endeavor to carry out the letting
in a professional and ethical manner. Current legislation does NOT provide for that
all letting agents must have licenses or be bonded...therefore prospective landlords
should be satisfied before engaging any agency. An agency is not allowed by law
to hold money unless they are bonded.
- Lastly but very important...is that agents spend much time showing the property...generally
after hours...and as often as not are stood up or made wait at length. Many phone
calls can be taken on a particular property and sometimes can be very upsetting
by over sensitive or demanding tenants. Agents are used to this behavior and take
it in their stride.