With buy-to-let property investment becoming increasingly popular, and 47,400 new buy-to-let companies incorporated in 2021, letting agents in Nottingham are trying their best to win as many new instructions as possible in such a blossoming market. Recent reports have claimed that Nottingham is the best place to invest in the UK, making it a hotspot for prospective landlords, but with such a wide selection of letting agents in Nottingham, choosing just one can be a daunting prospect. So, if you’re new to the buy-to-let property market, or simply looking for a few pointers on how to navigate lettings in Nottingham, Centrick have curated a list of things to consider before deciding on the best letting agent:
Firstly, we recommend beginning your search for the best estate agents in Nottingham by approaching agents within your local neighbourhood. Not only will agents close to you have experience and knowledge regarding your postcode area, but they will be able to use this to advertise your property and show its maximum potential. This is particularly important when considering that 58% of tenants only move within five miles of their last rental property, meaning that it is far more likely that your future tenant is already familiar with your area. What’s more, viewings will be a breeze for your letting agent if their offices are located within close proximity of the property they’re letting and can give peace of mind to your tenants that in the event of any maintenance issues, their managing agency is local.
Speaking of managing agents, this is another aspect worth consideration: how much involvement do you want to have in your Nottingham property investment? Whilst many landlords take a more hands-on approach to property management, others fully delegate to a managing agency such as Centrick. A good lettings agent in Nottingham will be able to explain what types of management package they have on offer, and the associated fees for each one: from tenant-find only packages, to rent-collection packages, and full management, there is sure to be an option suitable for you.
It is worth quizzing any letting agencies in Nottingham about the many forms of paperwork they’ll be dealing with in regard to your property. For those enlisting the help of a lettings agency by purchasing their comprehensive management package, this applies to tenant referencing, right to rent checks, and identity checks for any prospective tenants. Your letting agent should also draw up a standard tenancy agreement for you and your tenants to sign. To make the paperwork as simple as possible for all parties involved, we recommend being prepared: have your EPC and EICR at hand or ready to order, as well as any risk assessments or gas safety certificates that are necessary.
If your property is sat on the market gathering no interest, it can be financially detrimental for landlords and letting agents alike. It is therefore vital that your agent is actively searching for tenants to live at your property. To determine how proactive an agency is, check which property portals they advertise on: Rightmove and Zoopla the most popular. Alternatively, ask about their existing contacts. Many letting agents will know of potential tenants who have recently moved out of a property or lost out in the lettings process to another applicant, and can contact these individuals before your property even launches on portals.
For both landlords and tenants, it is imperative that tenancy deposit money is held in a secure protection scheme. Although a rare occurrence, if any fraudulent activity occurs, both landlords and tenants can be reimbursed for any losses if a Client Money Protection Scheme has been used to protect funds. Ensure that you ask your agency if they use any such scheme, and what the associated costs for this are.
For those opting into a comprehensive management package with their chosen Nottingham lettings agency, it is worth asking your property manager about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The TDS holds up to five weeks’ worth of rent from your tenant which can be used to fix any damages that occur throughout the duration of the tenancy. Your managing agent will keep hold these funds on your behalf, and the monies act as a form of safeguard against potential indemnities. As with the Client Money Protection Scheme, ensure that you’re asking your managing agent about the TDS to work out what suits you.
Your Nottingham lettings agent should be up to date with any legislation that needs to be verified for the safety of your property and your tenant. Smoke alarms should be located on each floor of your property, and carbon monoxide detectors are compulsory in any rooms with open fuel burning facilities. Escape routes should be readily available in the event of a fire and, if your property is an HMO, it’s crucial that fire extinguishers are readily available. Safety regulations will change depending on the construction and form of your property – please ask your lettings agent for their advice and most trusted providers.
While your investment property is being occupied by someone else, it’s important that it is being checked over regularly to ensure it is in good condition. If you have signed up to a comprehensive management package, your lettings agency should be scheduling inspections to keep an eye on the condition of your property and have a list of reputable tradespeople to call upon for any maintenance issues.
On the topic of maintenance, it’s worth requesting details about maintenance floats. This is a sum of money set aside by landlords for any small repairs to the property and can usually be dipped into without the permission of the property owner to sort out any minor issues. Your letting agent will be able to tailor the maintenance float to your needs in terms of cost and which repairs it can cover.
Finally, clarify with your letting agent how you wish to receive your rent. Prior to signing any agreements, you should consider payment frequency, the account you wish to be paid into, and any monies that need to be paid to the agency for their services. Ask if your Nottingham lettings agency have any special offers on management fees to get the best deal.
Looking for a letting agent that can do all of the above, and more? Centrick Nottingham’s award-winning team can find you the best tenant – and fast! To find out more about what Centrick can offer you, get in touch via the form below, we’d be delighted to help!
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