December 6, 2023

Expert Advice: How to Pick the Best Lettings Agency for Your Property


Alfie Darko

Expert Advice: How to Pick the Best Lettings Agency for Your Property


Choosing the right letting agent is a pivotal decision beyond a simple transaction. The right agent holds your keys and actively manages your valuable property. This guide will help you navigate the key considerations, shedding light on the multifaceted role of letting agents and the benefits of innovative fee structures.

The Importance of the Right Letting Agent

Selecting an adept letting agent is invaluable. They serve not just as a property manager but also as a mediator between you and your tenants, and even as a financial advisor. For example, a proficient agent can schedule maintenance proactively to prevent costly future repairs. They should also be able to inform you of any changes in the UK property market. This foresight saves you money and frees up your time, allowing you to focus on your career, family, or expanding your real estate portfolio.

Research, Experience, and Recommendations

Making a hasty decision when choosing a letting agent could cost you. Take the time to consult with friends or family who are landlords, read online reviews, and consider industry endorsements. Experience is a plus, but don't discount newer agencies that bring innovative solutions. For example, an agency with an in-house maintenance team can resolve issues more swiftly. This efficiency translates into fewer headaches and more time for other business ventures or personal activities.

Services, Fees, and Communication

Range of Services

Letting agents offer a spectrum of services to fit various landlord needs. At the most basic level, some agents specialize in tenant-finding services. However, comprehensive property management packages go beyond this to include tenant screening, rent collection, and maintenance coordination.

Modern vs. Traditional Fee Structures

In terms of fees, there's a significant shift happening in the industry. Progressive agencies, like ours, have adopted a modern approach where fees are charged only for active work. This can significantly enhance your profit margins as a landlord. It means in many months, you will incur 0% management fees. In contrast, traditional fee structures often involve fixed monthly or annual charges, irrespective of the level of service provided during that period.

Caveat on Traditional Fee Structures

It's crucial to scrutinize the fee structures closely. Some renowned agencies, like Foxtons, continue to charge landlords even when no active property management work is done. This approach can eat into your profits and diminish the value you get from the service.

Importance of Communication

Communication is a cornerstone of effective property management. Agencies that are prompt in their responses and accessible across multiple communication channels—email, phone, or even messaging apps—empower you to make quick and informed decisions. This streamlined communication saves you time and optimizes your property management process, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life or business.

Preparedness and Insurance

Preparedness is crucial in property management. Evaluate the agency has a solid emergency response plan for unforeseen events like natural disasters. Additionally, inquire about their insurance provisions. Do they put the property under property insurance or offer rent insurance to safeguard against potential income loss? These considerations provide an additional safety net for your investment, giving you greater peace of mind.

Exit Strategy

Before committing, understand the terms for terminating your contract with the agency. An outlined exit strategy protects you from unexpected costs and complications, allowing for a smoother transition if you decide to change agencies or manage the property yourself.


Choosing a letting agent is a decision with long-term implications for your success and peace of mind as a landlord. This guide aims to assist you in making an informed choice, considering everything from initial research to insurance and exit strategies. The right letting agent is not merely a service provider; they're a valuable partner that can make your property investment as hands-off or hands-on as you desire.

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