With buy-to-let investment becoming increasingly popular and with 2.65 million landlords across the UK, letting agents in Solihull are trying their upmost to win as many new rental instruction as possible in such a booming market. In fact, the Office for National Statistics predicts that the population of Solihull is set to increase by 33,000 by 2031, making the property market in the area particularly lucrative. With such an abundance of choice, choosing a letting agent can be a daunting prospect. So, if you’re new to the Solihull lettings market and looking to find an agent that provides you with the best service and value, here’s what you should consider:
We recommend starting your search for the best lettings agents in Solihull by looking within your local vicinity. Not only will local agents have experience and knowledge regarding your neighbourhood, but they will be able to utilise this to advertise your property to show its maximum potential. What’s more, property viewings will be a breeze for your agent if their headquarters are located within close proximity to the property they’re letting and can give peace of mind to your prospective tenants that in the event of any maintenance issues, their managing agency is a Solihull local.
Speaking of managing agents, this is another aspect worth some serious thought: how much involvement do you want in your investment? Whilst many landlords take a personal, hands on approach to managing their property, others prefer to fully delegate to their managing agency. A good letting agent in Solihull will offer a variety of management packages to suit your strategy and budget: from tenant-find only packages, to rent collection packages, and comprehensive management, there is sure to be a suitable option for you.
It is well worth quizzing any Solihull lettings agencies you’re considering using about the paperwork they’ll be dealing with on your behalf. This applies to things like tenant referencing, right through to rent checks, and identity checks for any prospective residents of your property. Your agent should also draw up a standard tenancy agreement for you and your tenants to sign. To make this admin work as simple as possible for you, we recommend being prepared: have your EPC and EICR at hand or ready to order, as well as any legionella risk assessments or gas safety certificates if necessary.
If your property is sitting on the market and gathering no interest, this can be financially detrimental. Therefore it’s vital that your agent is constantly searching for tenants to live at your property. To determine how proactive an agency is, look on the most popular property portals – Rightmove and Zoopla – to see if they are promoting their listings. Alternatively, ask about their existing contacts. Many agencies 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.
To the benefit of both landlords and tenants, it is vital that tenancy deposit money is secured in a protection scheme. Although a rare occurrence, if fraudulent activity occurs, both landlords and tenants can be reimbursed for any losses if a Client Money Protection Scheme has been used to look after funds. Ensure that you ask your agency if they use any such scheme.
For those considering a full management package, it’s worth talking to your property manager about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, which holds up to five weeks rent from your tenant and can be utilised to fix any damages that occur during the length of the tenancy. Your managing agent will hold these funds on your behalf and acts 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.
Your Solihull letting agent should also be aware of any pieces of legislation that need to be verified for the safety of your tenant. For example, 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 you’re listing an HMO, it’s crucial that fire extinguishers are readily available.
Whilst your investment is being occupied by someone else, it’s important that your Solihull property is being checked over every so often to ensure it is in good condition. Your letting 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 should anything go awry. Ask for their top recommendations for plumbers, gas engineers and general maintenance repairs, and do your research on these companies and individuals.
On the topic of maintenance, it’s worth requesting further details regarding a ‘maintenance float’. This is a sum of money set aside by landlords for any minor repairs to the property and can usually be dipped into without the permission of the property owner. Your letting agent will be able to tailor this float to your needs in terms of cost and which repairs it can cover.
Finally, clarify how you wish to receive your rent. You should consider payment frequency, the account you wish to be paid into, and any monies that need to be paid to the agency. Ask if your Solihull lettings agency have any special offers on management fees to get the best deal.
Centrick Solihill are proud to be able to offer our clients all the above services through our range of management packages – you’re sure to find one to suit your needs. For more information on what Centrick can offer you, contact us using the form below: one of our expert Lettings Team would be delighted to help!
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