The view tends to be that letting agents are there to serve the needs of landlords primarily. However, tenants too can benefit from letting agents’ services.
A letting agency helps a landlord by managing their property, and the same applies to tenants, because the agency will have certain legal obligations to ensure the landlord meets their essential responsibilities
What are tenants looking for
The key priorities of tenants are:
- to be able to rent within their budget;
- to find a suitable location to rent in; and
- find a property that is the right size for them.
According to a survey commissioned by property specialists Knight Frank, affordability is the top priority for private tenants in the UK. However, close behind this is location.
One of the crucial benefits letting agent should be able to offer both tenants and landlords is excellent local knowledge.
Therefore, when tenants are looking for the right location, having a specialist letting agency on hand can help narrow their search.
In terms of matching tenants to properties, letting agents are ideally positioned because they have landlords looking to let and a good grounding in what is available locally, including size and type of property.
When it comes to affordability, a letting agent can act like a search filter for tenants, helping them find rental accommodation within their budget.
Looking after tenants
Just as letting agents help landlords find reliable tenants, so they can help ensure that tenants get the full benefit of responsibly managed accommodation.
This means making sure safety essentials such as gas safety certificates are fully up to date.
Letting agents will regularly visit a property and keep on top of maintenance issues that are the landlord’s responsibility.
This might be servicing the boiler or radiators, plumbing issues or drain and gutter cleaning and maintenance.
A letting agent also provides other services that benefit tenants.
One of these is the property inventory. This is an essential part of the process of renting a property, and making sure it is clear and fully comprehensive is a means of protecting landlords and their tenants.
Similarly, just as a letting agent will help landlords with knowing that all their tenants’ references are satisfactory and complete, so they can also help tenants with essential paperwork and understanding their obligations around issues such as deposits.
No landlord can be successful without tenants, but at the same time, these tenants need the reassurance of a well-managed property, and to know someone is on hand with professional help and support should they need it.
That is the role of the professional, experienced letting agent.
While letting agents do not formally have a duty of care to tenants, in practical terms, a good letting agent acts in such a way that does take tenants’ interests and wellbeing into account.
The easy2let Approach
As a specialist, local letting agency based in Manchester, we understand that the private rental sector will only work well if tenants and landlords can work together. We always aim to make this happen.
You can also download our tenant pack here.