A letting agent’s job is to find suitable tenants for a property on behalf of its owner. The house rental letting agent works on behalf of the landlord and will begin by visiting the property and providing a valuation of a fair rental income.
Once the landlord and the letting agent have agreed on the rent, and appropriate legal agreements signed then the property will be advertised, either as a furnished or unfurnished property rental. Many rental properties are now advertised on the internet to find the largest audience possible.
The house rental letting agent will usually show prospective tenants around the property and inform the owner of any interest shown or offers made on the property.
Once the landlord and the prospective tenant have come to an agreement, the letting agent will draw up a tenancy agreement, the legal contract which both parties must sign.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents ARLA has a database of member agents, searchable by area. ARLA, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, is the only professional self-regulating body to be solely concerned with lettings.
Many letting agents offer a tenant vetting service, which could include taking up references or a credit check. Some agents also offer an inventory check service. This is a full list of the condition and contents of the property drawn up during an inspection at the beginning and end of the tenancy, in the presence of the tenant.
Most agents also offer to collect the rent and deposit on behalf of the landlord and arrange to renew a tenancy when the original period expires. Many offer a management service, which involves general maintenance and organising necessary repairs over the period of the tenancy. This is useful if you live away from the property or don’t have the time or inclination to deal with plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople.