Reputable Rental Services by Heather Hilder on April 7, 2020 “Reputable Rental Services” Have you read the numerous reports in the media telling of tenants handing over money in good faith, hoping to move into their new home? They thought they’d signed up for reputable rental services, then… .. SHOCK! HORROR! What do you discover? The Landlord is not who he/she claimed to be The property doesn’t actually exist, or Someone else is living there. In one example, the applicant found that a property had been “let” to eight people, each of whom believed they were the rightful tenant! You need to know how to recognise a reputable Landlord and Letting Agent to provide the rental services you’re looking for. So, as a prospective tenant, how can you know for sure that you are not being ripped off? And, as a legitimate Landlord, how can you earn your tenants‘ trust? Our 5 Top Tips for Reputable Rental Services Tip #1 In the same way that it is better to buy a car from a recognised dealer than on an online shopping site, tenants should beware of dealing directly with a “Landlord” who advertises privately. Always choose a recognised lettings agency offering reputable rental services. They will ideally have a local office and plenty of properties on their website. You should check that the Agent is represented on at least one of the major property portals. Tip #2 A professional letting agency will be a member of a trade association such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark). But don’t assume that just because the agent has their logo on their website that the agency is actually a member. Go to the association’s website and search for the agent in their published list of approved agents. Tip #3 Ideally, use a letting agent who has been recommended to you and is relatively local to the property you are hoping to rent. If something went wrong – how easy would it be for them to respond? Deposits are protected. So do not hand over any deposit unless it is held in a properly recognised Tenancy Deposit Scheme account. As a result, you will receive a Tenancy Deposit Protection Certificate with a unique code on it. By law, a Landlord or letting agent must give you “Prescribed Information”. This document includes the contact details of both Landlord and tenant, the rental property’s address, the deposit amount and the information leaflet supplied by the scheme. There are stringent penalties in place for Landlords or agents who fail to adhere to these regulations. Compensation of up to three times the amount of deposit is potentially payable. The Landlord may also be unable to regain possession of the property. Check that your deposit has been registered (within 30 days of paying it) at tenancydepositscheme.com. Tip #4 As further evidence of reputable rental services you will receive Gas Safety Certificate (if applicable) Energy Performance Certificate ‘How to Rent’ guide. Tip #5 Letting Agents can only charge ‘permitted payments’/fees for their services to tenants. Security deposits are capped at 5 weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000 and six weeks’ rent where the annual rent is £50,000 or more. Holding deposits are capped at one week’s rent. Needless to say, Callaways fulfil all of the above criteria and more. As a result both our Landlords and tenants can be fully reassured that their money, and their home, will be safe. You can download my free ULTIMATE GUIDE FOR LANDLORDS if you’d like more information about our services. For all your residential letting needs, the only number you need to know is 01273-735237 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org .