Letting Agents Fees and Charges - A Guide for Landlords

From 1st of June 2019 lettings agents and landlords in England will no longer be allowed to charge admin fees to tenants.

As a result many agents will be reviewing their charges to landlords – so we think it’s a good time to look at what those charges cover to help you compare and choose the best agent to let and manage your property.

Intro

Working out the fees and charges associated with renting out is an important step in understanding how much profit you will make from your property.

It also helps you decide whether to do some or all of it yourself – check out our guide here.

Most agents charge separately for finding a tenant and ongoing management of the tenancy and property. But not every agent charges in the same way. For example some may include transferring utilities in the tenant finding service while others will only do this if the landlord opts for on-going management.

A lower fee may mean that certain services are not included or cost extra. This can save money if you don’t need them, but can add up if you do.

Make sure you read the agreement carefully and ask if there is anything that isn’t clear - the lists below will help.

Preparing the Property

Any decent agent will provide a valuation and rental income assessment free of charge. And hopefully offer plenty of sound advice (if they don’t, talk to us – we are happy to help and advise any prospective landlords).

Before you start to market your property you may need:

  • EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
  • Gas safety certificate (if there is gas)
  • PAT testing
  • Smoke & carbon monoxide alarm installation and testing

Tenant Finding

Once your property is ready, you’ll want to find a good tenant. This involves:

  • Taking photographs & measurements for marketing the property
  • Listing the property online
  • Marketing the property (e.g. Lettings board, promoting on social media)
  • Accompanied property viewings
  • Negotiating the rental
  • Tenant references & credit checks
  • Drawing up the tenancy agreement

 

Moving In

Once the tenant is found there are a few steps to getting them moved in quickly and easily:

  • Draw up an Inventory and Schedule of Condition
  • Take the first month’s rent
  • Register the deposit with an approved scheme
  • Transfer utilities

Management

Once the tenant has moved into their new home, your lettings agent can manage all the day to day issues for you for a monthly fee. Some agents charge a percentage of the rent, others a fixed monthly fee.

This covers things such as:

  • Collect the monthly rent
  • Chase any rent arrears (hopefully not often!)
  • Be the first point of contact for maintenance issues
  • Organise repairs
  • Regular property inspections & reports
  • Provide statements to the landlord
  • Negotiate tenancy renewal
  • Check tenant out of the property at the end of the tenancy

Remember

Any fees charged by your lettings agent can be claimed as expenses when working out your tax liability.

Make sure you keep accurate records so you don’t pay too much!

 

Thinking about renting out a property in Doncaster? Give us a buzz on 01302 247754 to book your free rental valuation.

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