The market for lettings is extremely buoyant, (continuing on from how it has been for most of this year and last for that matter) and demand continues to outstrip supply. If you have a property that isn’t letting in the Barnet area when you know it really should be letting, then please allow us to give you an honest valuation based on fact, not fiction. With many High Street Estate Agents moving into residential lettings to supplement their sales income, there is a chance you may be offered reduced fee’s however it is very important that you are aware of the overall service you’re getting.
I have been in the lettings industry for over twenty years and can probably say that I’ve seen it all and heard it all – but I probably haven’t! I have met more quirky, funny, unfunny and utterly diverse characters than I care to remember. Without wishing to tempt fate, an experienced letting agent can quite often rely on gut feeling when letting a property.
Problem tenants are an occupational hazard if you are a professional letting agent and landlord. It comes with what we do and no matter how carefully you check out prospective tenants, there will always be the possibility of one or two bad ones slipping through the net. The way things are at the moment in the property industry, anyone can let out a property.
I would like to explain how I and my colleagues at De Vere Letting Bureau in Barnet work; to provide our landlords with peace of mind.
When we take a phone call, reply to an email or vet someone in the office we always have a set of questions which we ask prospective tenants in order to build a profile on them. These questions are not particularly intrusive, but it is surprising how many of these applicants disappear and don’t subsequently ask for a viewing appointment. Funny that, isn’t it?
At best they don’t want you to know their business, at worse they often have something to hide – by approaching the applicant process in this manner we are acting in the best interests of our landlords before an applicant reaches the referencing stage.
For all you potential landlords, I have noted some other points you ought to be aware of…
Problem payers often start off fine, but before long the rent is a few days late each month and soon they are three or more months in arrears. A whole catalogue of excuses will then be given and it won’t ever be their fault. Never let this issue escalate!
Clued Up Tenants:
Clued up tenants will know the law and their rights almost as well as their letting agent, so getting them out of a property if problems arise can be a long and torturous procedure. These tenants are experts at playing the system and will run rings around inexperienced landlords and Estate Agents who let properties here and there simply to boost their income during low house sale periods. As an experienced and dedicated letting agency for over 20 years we endeavour to not allow this to happen!
Noisy tenants are a headache in every sense of the word and will soon annoy everyone living near to them. This is why we will often look at the age of a tenant. Traditionally student tenants fall into this category so we ensure additional precautions are taken when it comes to students.
Many landlords don’t allow pets and for good reason: dogs, cats and small animals can damage carpets, flooring, skirting boards and soft furnishings. With a landlord’s permission, certain pets may be fine, but you don’t want to find nine cats or a family of illegal dogs have been in occupation and you are left clearing up the mess. In the best interest of our landlords, we take extra precautions with regards to pets.
There is nothing wrong with a tenant inviting family to stay for a few days, or a couple of weeks during Christmas and summer holidays, but if their entire extended family moves in for the duration of the tenancy, without notifying the landlord or letting agent, the property will suffer additional wear and tear and of course there are fire safety ramifications. This is why I’ll always ask for whom the property is for at the outset and make sure that, except for spouses and children, all potential applicants are referenced and named on the tenancy agreement.
When dealing with a person’s most valuable asset it isn’t all about securing a quick deal to impress your client, it is more important to get the job done correctly. Being prepared will help minimize the risk factor, so make sure you have appropriate procedures in place. We certainly do!
De Vere Letting Bureau has been established in Barnet since 1992 and we remain an Independent Lettings & Management Company.