When you decide to let your property, employing a good agent to handle the letting for you can give you peace of mind. You can trust a good agent to protect your interests by dealing responsibly with the procedures involved in letting and subsequent management.
This means that the tenancy should run smoothly. You can let a property under an assured shorthold tenancy which will allow you to get the property back empty by giving formal notice after the first six months of any tenancy has elapsed.
Agents who have been licensed by NALS will provide a written agreement for managing your property, setting out the services they provide and what that will cost. You should agree the details before you employ an agent.
What are the levels of service that landlords can expect from NALS licensed firms?
The NALS Service Standards which all licensed firms agree to meet are as follows:
(Note: If the agent is not employed to manage your property, only the sections of the service standards which are relevant to finding a tenant and letting the property will apply).
Before the letting the agent will:
- Visit the property and advise on any action you need to take before letting the property. This includes any repairs and refurbishments needed to put it into a fit state for letting.
- Give you advice on the level of rent you can expect.
- If you ask, they will arrange safety checks on gas and electrical appliances.
- Explain your rights and responsibilities, and the tenant's rights and responsibilities
- If instructed by you, request identification from your tenant. Before the start of a new tenancy, all occupiers aged 18 and over will be asked for identification to check they can legally rent a residential property in England
- Give you advice on what action to take if the property is mortgaged.
- Give you advice on insuring the building and contents, and other insurance schemes which may be available to protect interests not normally covered in standard household policies where a tenant is in residence.
- Protect the deposit with one of the Statutory Tenancy Deposit Schemes, if requested
- Go with possible new tenants to view unoccupied property.
- Choose a tenant in a way agreed with you, taking up references or checking the tenant's rent payment record.
- Arrange for the preparation of a schedule of the condition of the property and its contents for you, together with acceptance by the tenant of a property so described.
- Provide and fill in a tenancy agreement and take a deposit to protect against possible damage or agree with you another sort of guarantee.
- Transfer the bills for the services for which the tenant will be responsible into the tenant's name.
During the tenancy the agent will:
- Collect the rent and pass it on to you every month or as otherwise agreed. The agent will keep a separate clients' account to hold all money and (except for Registered Social Landlords) belong to a Clients' Money Protection Scheme.
- Give you a statement of account as often as agreed with you (usually monthly).
- Visit the property periodically during the course of the tenancy as often as agreed with you (e.g. every three months) to check it is being suitably looked after.
- Arrange to have routine maintenance work carried out, up to a limit agreed with you. The agent will refer expenditure above that limit to you for approval.
- Respond promptly to the tenant's enquiries.
- Keep an eye on the rent payment record and take reasonable steps to safeguard prompt payment of any money owed.
Before the tenancy ends the agent will:
- Give you advice on your options including reviewing the rent.
If you want to end the tenancy, the agent will:
- Serve the correct notices on the tenant.
- Check the condition of the property and any contents and discuss any repairs with you before giving the deposit back or arranging for repairs.
- Collect the key and make sure that the property is secure.
To locate a NALS licensed firm in your area simply use the search facility at the top of this page.