Tips on How to Choose Letting Agents in Brighton

Searching for reputable letting agents in Brighton? Finding the right one can be a difficult task. Unfortunately, many people choose to simply hire the letting agent that’s right next door rather than taking the time to research and find a reputable professional. Aside from location, there are several other things you should look for when hiring a letting agent.

Level of Service

What types of services does the letting agent offer? Most reputable agencies will offer three levels of service: tenant find and rent collection; tenant find only; and full management.

  • Tenant find and collect rent: The agent will find tenants and collect rent on your behalf.
  • Tenant find only: The agent will find tenants for your property, but his or her services end here.
  • Full management: The tenant will handle everything that goes along with letting from start to finish. The only time the agent will require your input is when an extraordinary situation arises.

Full management services are often the preferred choice of new landlords. Knowing that an experienced professional is handling the property’s day-to-day affairs can bring peace of mind.

More experienced landlords or those who like to take a DIY approach may not like giving up control of their property. In this case, you may consider choosing an agent that will simply help you find tenants, or will find tenants and collect rent on your behalf.

The Agent’s Location

Location should not be the most important thing, but it should still be considered. If you have a property in Brighton, it only makes sense to work with letting agents in Brighton. After all, they know and understand the market. They will also understand how to market your property to locals or those who would be searching for properties in the area.

Member of a Professional Body

Letting agents who are members of a professional body are generally more credibly and trustworthy than those who are not. Consider agents who are a member of the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), or the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

What are the benefits to choosing a regulated agent? For starters, it will give you peace of mind in knowing that the agent you’re hiring is a true professional. Remember, the industry is unregulated, so anyone can call themselves a letting agent. It’s often in your best interest to choose an agent that is registered and accepted by a redress scheme.

Effective Property Marketing

A vacant property will cost you money. If you’re going to hire a letting agent, he or she needs to be proactive in finding you tenants for your property. Find out how the agent will market your property. Which newspapers will the agent advertise in? Will your property be listed on the most popular internet portals, like Zoopla and Rightmove? Perhaps the agent already has a list of a few tenants that may be interested in your property.

Ultimately, you want to ensure that the agent will be doing everything in his or her power to market your property to the right people.

Member of a Client Money Protection Scheme

Both landlords and tenants want to ensure that their money is protected. For finding reputable letting agents Brighton agents are members of a Client Money Protection Scheme. This scheme will ensure that in the case of fraud, the tenant and landlord will be reimbursed for their losses. All of the landlord’s money should be held in a client account that is separate from the letting agent’s account.

How Repairs and Maintenance Are Handled

Every property needs repairs and proper maintenance. Find out if the letting agent will carry out inspections from time to time to ensure that the tenant is keeping the property in good condition. Also, inquire about the agent’s network of trades people. Any reputable agent will have a long list of professionals who can handle general repairs, garden maintenance and other annual tasks.

Follow Your Instincts

Is there something off about the agent? Do you not like his or her personality? If your gut is telling out that the agent is the wrong choice, then search for someone new. There are numerous letting agents in Brighton. It’s just a matter of finding the right one for you.

Student Accommodation Tips in Brighton

Brighton is where a lot of students choose to go to university. The University of Brighton has over 21,000 students alone making it the perfect location for landlords to let properties. For student accommodation Brighton has housing opportunities around every corner, but the right accommodation depends on the student’s needs.

Packing your life into a suitcase, or two, is a scary thought.

Knowing what accommodations are available will allow you to save a lot of stress and time looking for the right property. Many universities offer student accommodation on campus, which is a smart idea for anyone new to the Brighton area. However, there are plenty of options for anyone that doesn’t want to live on campus.

Shared Apartments and Flatshares

The rent in the area of the city you want to live should be considered. Many areas have higher rents that may not be affordable for the average student. However, there are a few options to consider:

  • Flatshares
  • Shared apartments
  • Shared houses

Many students want to have the real experience of living on their own when they go to university. This means that they will need to find living accommodations that allow for more freedom than campus accommodations.

Sharing a place with a friend or with other students is a great idea.

Flatshares, apartment shares, and shared houses are all great options. These will allow you to expand your options when looking for a place to live and will often come at a cost that is less than having your own accommodation.

A letting agent in Brighton will be able to help you find student accommodations in the area.

There are many other ways that you can search for an accommodation that will fit your needs. This includes:

  • Facebook groups
  • Online forums
  • Classified ads

Tax Considerations

Local tax laws should be considered. As a student in Brighton, you will not have to pay council tax on a rental property. This is a law that covers the entire United Kingdom, so if you live outside of Brighton, you will also be covered under the law.

One thing that students don’t realise is that anyone who is not a student and is living in the same apartment or flat will have to pay this tax. Flatshare prices may include this tax built-in, so make sure that you’re not paying a tax without knowing it.

Most of the time, students will live with students so that they never need to worry about council tax.

As a student, you will need to pay local and state taxes. This should be included in your monthly rent budget.

Ask About the Bills

Before you decide to sign a rental agreement, it’s very important to ask about the bills. While some utilities may come with the rent, there are some that may not be included. The worst thing students can do is go over their budget and have to stress about paying rent that they thought would be much lower.

A few bills that may not be included are:

  • Heating
  • Water
  • Broadband
  • Phone
  • Electric

Ask the landlord prior to signing a lease just how much these bills average every month. In many cases, some of these bills will be included.

Always Use Google Streetview

One great thing about Google is that they allow you to see where you will be living even if you can’t view the location in person. Someone living in London who wants a student accommodation in Brighton can simply use Streetview to view the neighborhood.

This lets you know a little more about the area and if it’s worth going to Brighton to view the property.

Renting Help

There are a lot of services offered to students that will make finding the right property easier. These services include:

  • Student Services Office: Your University may have a student’s service office that will help you find the right accommodations to fit your needs. These services may be able to help you find a property to let or even a rental agency to work with.
  • Rental Agencies: The easiest route is to choose a rental agency to help with your letting needs. These agencies may charge a fee, but they will help you find the perfect accommodation within your budget.

Just remember: Brighton is a beautiful place to live, but finding the right accommodation takes time and patience.

Tips by Letting Agents in Brighton for Quick and Efficient Rentals

What do letting agents in Brighton recommend for any landlord wanting a quick and efficient rental? There are a few recommendations on ways to get the most out of a property viewing that will lead to a faster rental.

These include:

Property Management Services

The right property management service will take care of your rental to ensure that all of the proper repairs and maintenance are carried out on your behalf.

Clean the Rental

Statistics show that a clean and tidy rental will be rented much faster than a property that is unkempt. Start at one end of the property and begin cleaning (interior and exterior). Tenants want to be able to picture themselves in your space. If there is too much of you involved, the tenant will not be able to picture themselves letting the property.

This means:

  • Remove all papers and bills from sight.
  • Remove family pictures.
  • Keep the space furnished, but neat.

You don’t have to remove décor or do anything drastic. Just imagine the space from a potential tenant’s perspective. If the rooms are tidy and clean, it will shorten the letting process greatly.

Make Proper Repairs

Even the smallest repairs will need to be made to boost your chance of a successful letting process. This means:

  • All lights must work.
  • Light switches must be intact.
  • Holes should be fixed.

All major repairs need to be handled first. If a roof is leaking or a pipe is broken, fix it immediately. A dripping sink or running toilet should be fixed. If the paint is old and shows, this can also turn potential tenants off. A fresh coat of interior paint will increase the speed at which your property is let.

Remove Your Odour

Odours are left behind by every person. These odours may not be what another person wants to smell when they walk into a potential home to let. This means:

  • Cleaning up after animals (especially cats).
  • Removing cigarette smells.

Ventilating the room can be as simple as opening a window and letting in some fresh air. An air freshener can also be used. This will help keep the space smelling great and tenants interested at the same time.

Never underestimate the small things that you can do to make your property more appealing.

Letting agents in Brighton also recommend accentuating the good aspects of the property to make them sand out. This means that you may need to rearrange flowers next to a new appliance or use lighting to accentuate a fireplace.

It’s all about making your home’s strong points shine.

Faster Renting Through Proper Processing

Once all of the aesthetics are complete, it’s time to examine your letting process. There are always a few process changes that can be implemented that will make the process faster and more efficient. These include:

  • Marketing: The best marketing methods need to be implemented to get potential tenants to view the property. A letting agent is the best choice for marketing purposes.
  • References: Do your potential tenants like to throw parties all night? You need to know if your tenants are trustworthy, and the best way to know this is through the use of references.
  • Regular Inspections: Once a property is let, you will want to conduct regular inspections. This doesn’t need to be done monthly, but you will want to do this every 3 months at a minimum. Discuss this with tenants prior to letting the property so that they know your terms.
  • Credit control: Unless you want to spend time running after tenants who don’t pay their rent, it’s recommended that you have credit control measures in place. These controls will allow you to have less of a risk of non-paying tenants. The right property management services should take care of credit control on your behalf.

Letting agents are meant to make your life as a landlord easier. The right letting agent will be forthright with you on what you need to do to ensure that a property is let as fast as possible. Many of the changes we recommended can be implemented quickly and easily, such as cleaning up the space and ensuring that all necessary repairs are made before a property is viewed.

The rest of the fine details can be handled by a reputable letting agency.

Should You Hire Brighton Letting Agents, or Manage the Property Yourself?

Many landlords in Brighton ask themselves one important question: Should I hire a letting agent, or manage the property myself?

Brighton letting agents offer numerous advantages, but some landlords may still prefer to take a DIY approach to management. Understanding what an agent can offer will help you make an informed decision.

Why Hire a Letting Agent?

Not all investors are looking to become landlords. Having to deal with tenant issues and property maintenance is not everyone’s cup of tea. Truthfully, not all investors are suited to be landlords, either. But properties still need to be managed nonetheless. If an investor does not want to do it, they need to hire someone who can.

The primary benefit to hiring letting agents is that they offer the opportunity for hands-off investing. A letting agent will take care of all the day-to-day property management tasks. From repairs to maintenance, collecting rent and more, agents will look after your property, so you don’t have to.

What else do agents do?

Letting Agent Services

Letting agents generally offer two main level of services: let only and full management. Let only may be finding tenant only, or it may be finding tenants and collecting rent. Agents that offer full management services will take care of everything that goes into managing your property.

Full management services may include:

  • Preparing the property for letting: An agent may make a rental assessment, and help a landlord find a suitable rental price.
  • Market the property: An agent will market your property to find suitable tenants. The property may be listed on the company website, popular online property portals and local newspapers. The agent’s ultimate goal is to get a tenant into your property as quickly as possible.
  • Conduct viewings: The agent will handle tenant viewings, including the scheduling and preparing.
  • Tenant referencing: The agent will also carry out the necessary checks to ensure that the tenant is suitable. This information will help you make an informed decision on who to let to.
  • Provide a tenancy agreement: It will be the agent’s responsibility to procure and prepare an up-to-date tenancy agreement.
  • Take the deposit and first rental payment: The agent will also be in charge of collecting the initial deposit and the tenant’s first rental payment.
  • Handover and check in: Agents will also handle the “handover” and “check in” process.
  • Maintenance and repairs: A full service agent will handle any maintenance and repair issues that your tenants may face. Reputable agents will have a network of trade professionals that can make necessary repairs in a timely manner.
  • Collection of rent: Agents may also collect rent from your tenants on your behalf.

How Much Do Brighton Letting Agents Cost?

That depends on the agent. Some will charge 10% + VAT of the rent, while others will charge a fee based on a multiple of the weekly rent. In the latter case, agents normally charge two weeks plus VAT.

Letting Agents Save Time

Some landlords may shy away from hiring a letting agent because of the costs. But the biggest thing an agent will save you is time, and time is money. Agents take care of marketing your property and finding suitable tenants. They will take care of routine maintenance and repair tasks if you chose full service management. They will take care of all the tedious aspects of finding, screening and letting your property.

In addition to saving you time, letting agents also bring something unique to the table: their expertise. Brighton letting agents know the local market, and they know how to market properties properly. As a landlord, this can mean the difference between letting your property in less than a month, and taking two to three months finding a tenant on your own.

Letting agents are also in a position to offer you advice. For a novice landlord, this advice can be invaluable.

Is a Letting Agent Right for You?

Ultimately, the decision to hire a letting agent is a personal one. If you prefer to take a hands-on approach and do not mind investing a great deal of time into managing the property, than a DIY approach may be the best option. However, if you are inexperienced or prefer to spend your time doing something more meaningful, a letting agent may be the best option.