Choosing a suitable lettings agent

James Thornett discusses choosing a suitable agent for your property search

As a prospective tenant, it can often be difficult to choose which agent to deal with to find a suitable property. A common view is that all agents use the same web portals, so are all very similar. However this is just not the case. The internet has certainly made property searches more transparent now than ever before and often properties will be listed with more than one agent, so how do you choose?  

Unless and until the government moves to licence agencies, there is still the potential for unscrupulous individuals to operate a lettings business with no regard for customer service standards or property legislation.  To avoid being caught up with such an operation, we would advise the following:

As a reputable and professional property consultancy we would advise all prospective tenants to take as much care with their choice of agent as they would with any other large transaction.  Check that your agent is a member of an industry body, for example ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) or NFOPP (National Federation of Property Professionals).  These bodies will have very clear service standards that all members have to abide by and this gives peace of mind to anyone using their services.  Look for an agent that is a member of a redress scheme, so that if something does go wrong, you have someone to turn to who can resolve the issue.

A recent change in legislation has meant that all charges made by an agent have to be very clearly advertised on their website and in their offices, so don’t be afraid to ask to see them.  The whole process should be clear and straightforward, and there should never be any charges made that weren’t clear from the outset. Click here to read our tenant fees

As an agent who takes customer service extremely seriously we ensure our staff are trained to the highest standards and most will have taken exams to demonstrate their technical knowledge.  In very rare cases where we fall short of the high standards we set ourselves we work very hard to put things right in as short a time as possible.