Landlords beware! Top tips on how to protect yourself if you’re a landlord.
It’s often said that the devil is in the detail and that can also be true when it comes to lettings agreements. Landlords shouldn’t fall into the trap of appointing an agent who tells them all the main conditions, to tempt them into signing an agreement, without first scouring the small print. It’s always worth double checking, even if just to confirm their decision is the right one.
“The headline commission of full management, rent collection or introducing a tenant are the obvious aspects to consider when appointing an agent,” says Jade Bearryman who manages sales and lettings at our Haywards Heath office. “But there have been nationally reported instances about agents charging commissions on remedial or repair work they organise.”
“We strongly disagree with this practice so we don’t charge any commission on work carried out as part of landlords’ ongoing maintenance. After all, we’re already being paid a management fee.”
“I recommend that landlords ask their agent directly whether they receive any commission for works done on their property,” advises Jade. “It’s one area which is often mentioned by landlords coming to us for advice after they discover their previous agent is charging extra for every piece of work carried out on the property.”
For further information and advice, landlords can also contact the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA).
Jade suggests that landlords should study the small print before signing anything, “Ask questions of any potential agency to check the costs for all services being provided, from the headline monthly commission to references and inventories”.
“And don’t forget to ask whether the agent benefits in any way from commissioning work on the managed property - you might be surprised at the answer so this could protect you from paying more than you should.”
For further information on all aspects of lettings, including buy-to-let investments, please contact Jade at our Haywards Heath office on 01444 450528 or pop in and see one of our friendly team at your local lettings office.