Sunday, 5 October 2008

Landlords advised to choose regulated letting agent for peace of mind

As the credit crunch continues to bite, increasing numbers of estate agents are diversifying into lettings, without the necessary experience or training. In addition, more investors are putting their money into property over traditional stocks and shares, creating a higher demand for such services.

Getting it right the first time is always the best policy. Engaging the services of an ARLA-approved letting agent means the landlord will receive the professional help he or she needs to realise an income from their asset without the constant worry that something could go wrong.

Choosing a non-ARLA letting agent or going it alone may leave the landlord with a reduced financial return or hefty legal costs.

Potential pitfalls also include health and safety laws covering fire safety, gas and wiring, and Energy Performance Certificates. Breaches of the legislation can mean a big fine, or even losing the property to local authority control. Recent changes to tenancy deposit legislation require the deposit to be held in a protected account; if it isn’t, the landlord may have to pay three times the deposit to the tenant.

Landlords are invited to contact Spicerhaart if they have any queries, or would like to find out more about renting their property out. For more information, log on to

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