Selecting the best HMO leasing agent to manage your home
Check to see if the agent is located near your home
When choosing the HMO agent to choose and which one to choose, we suggest using a local agency in the area. We recommend that your HMO letting agent London should be located no more than 15 miles from the property. This is due to a variety of reasons, with the most important is that they understand the local market more detail than other agents that are 50 miles away, and therefore more able to provide you with information on rent and demand. Another reason is they are able to get to the property fast if they need to in the event that there were any maintenance issues to address. It’s not to say that big agents in the distant aren’t able to do this, but through our previous experience of agents that manage properties from afar We have observed that the local approach has always appeared to be the best option because of the speedy response time and the local expertise. We are also big advocates of supporting local economies and small businesses that are independent.
Find out if the agent owns HMOs themselves
One of the most important things to consider is whether the agent you are considering has any personal BTLs or HMOs or at minimum, has experience managing the same. It’s normal sense that the person looking to hire to manage your properties must be performing what they claim they’re doing. It’s unlikely to have someone perform surgeries on you if there were no doctors. This isn’t the most extreme case however the concept is. You’re looking for an agent who has owned or previously purchased investment properties, so that he or she recognizes your viewpoint when speaking to them and making inquiries for their properties. The agent will be able to communicate with them with greater ease. This also indicates that the management procedures and systems are adequate for the property of the agent, and therefore you’d expect that they will be the same for the properties of their clients. It is a great benchmark for the agent you is looking to collaborate with.
Verify that the agent for letting is experienced and certified
You have already established that agents that are local and operate their own HMOs their own, but among the most crucial aspects to know in depth about how credible the agency is. This is best done by studying the professional bodies they are a part of or awards they’ve been awarded. It is essential for your agent to be a member of a national let program or professional association. The three most important things to look to find are
Association of National Letting Agents (ARLA)National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS)UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA)
It is also important to ensure that you are a member of a Property Redress Scheme. In law property Agents must join the government-approved consumer Redress Scheme. The aim of this scheme is to provide customers from their Property Agent an escalated complaints procedure in case they are unhappy with the way their complaint has been handled by the agent.
The two most important things to watch out for are:
The Property Redress Scheme (PRS)The Property Ombudsman Scheme (TPO)
If you are interested in joining one of these schemes for redress, the agent that is letting must implement a complaint handling process and be advertising for the person, at least on their website, and at a minimum within the homes.
In the event that a property manager wants to do a repost, they need to be a member of a Deposit Protection Scheme. This permits the agent save and track the deposits of the tenant until the expiration of the tenancy. The main benefit that comes with being a part of an approved scheme is that should there ever be disagreement, the third party could solve the issue. It is important to note that when a letting agent receives an advance deposit and fails to register within 30 days, the landlord will be required to pay a large amount of rent to the tenant because of not registering it and therefore, make sure that the agent you select is registered with the deposit protection scheme.
The most important two are:
Deposit Insurance Scheme (DPS)My Deposits
The agent should be a included in a Client Money protection scheme, which is the place where all money from clients is kept, and is separate from agent’s accounts for letting. At a minimum, the agent must have an individual bank account, referred to as a Client Account which is an active member of the Client Money Protection scheme to resolve disputes when required.
Additionally, you need to verify that the agent has the public Liability Insurance. Your responsibility is to check whether the agent has it or does not. The easiest method to do this is to request the agent to show you the copy of their PI Policy. If they don’t have one, or don’t provide you with one, you shouldn’t to work with that agent.
Verify that the agent is knowledgeable about HMO law and compliance?
Residential property that is rented out is a complicated process in terms of legislation starting from Serving Notice to registering deposits and if you do it incorrectly, it could cause serious problems, especially in dealing with tenant. The problem is that dealing with HMOs creates an additional layer of complexity as well as regulations that landlords must be aware of. Therefore, you must ensure that the person you want to choose to manage your HMO is knowledgeable and up-to-date with the latest legislation in relation to HMOs as well as shared homes. This brings us back to the benefits of an agent who owns HMOs because they need to know the law that was enacted after purchasing HMOs prior to.
In addition to the usual laws your agent must be aware of renting family homes, they should be aware of the following rules concerning HMOs:
Authorization Planning, Licensing Planning as well Article 4Fire Regulations Safety Certificates, Licenses, or Regulations
If the agent you are inquiring about isn’t familiar with these terms, then they’re not the right person to work with. So make sure you inquire about the subject and you are confident you know what they’re discussing.
One way to test this is to do a mystery buying the letting agent’s services to determine how they compare.
Be sure that the agent is knowledgeable about sharing rooms in shared homes.
It is essential to make sure that when you are deciding on the right agent , they are knowledgeable about HMOs as well as letting rooms on a room-by-room basis. The most effective method of doing this is to request the potential agent to demonstrate previous HMOs they’ve managed. We’ll guide potential landlords through several of the properties we manage, so that they are confident that we know what we’re discussing and are doing, and can understand the ways we could manage their property on their behalf. This helps build the connection between landlord and agent and provides the landlord with the assurance that we’re a professional and the most suitable agent for them. It’s not the same as we are an HMO agent. You would expect us to have prior experience in managing HMOs and letting them manage their properties. If you’re considering an agent you aren’t certain about their experience with managing and letting houses, then ask their assistance in showing you the area or get you in contact with other landlords whose agents manage their HMO for them.
Make sure the agent you choose to let your property is an expert on the kind of tenants that you have in your home or want to get
It is essential to ensure that the agent you choose to let deals with the type of tenant you would like to include in your HMO such as if you have students living in your house, you will need to locate an agent that has a focus on students. You shouldn’t have an agent who is only dealing only with LHA and attempting to run an experienced tenanted HMO. These are two distinct skills and certain agents are more adept at dealing with certain types of tenants more than others. This doesn’t mean the types of tenants aren’t interchangeable. If you have an LHA in your home and you want to change to students, you’ll need an agent for student letting to take care of this. We’re very transparent and truthful about the fact the only tenants we deal with are professional because they are the ones we have experience with and specialize in, and therefore have become more knowledgeable about this. We are not the best agent to work with for an LHA property since we are not able to deal with this kind of tenant and aren’t familiar with the market, and would suggest an agent who is more suitable should that be the case.
The agent should be contact on a regular basis with the landlord.
The landlords would like to stay informed of what’s happening regarding their property. Check to see if the agent is in regular contact and provides information about the rental property, and is notifying the landlord. Make sure that they are quick to respond to questions and emails, so that you’re satisfied that they can be contracted often and will receive prompt responses.
Make sure the agent is VAT registered or not.
An excellent idea is to inquire if your agent’s VAT is registered, or not. If they’re not, you won’t have to pay VAT in addition to the fees for management, saving the money you would be spending on other agents that have VAT registration. This 20% is a huge help!
Are you unsure of what agent is the right choice for you? Come and visit us or give us an e-mail and we’ll aid you in determining which is the most suitable person for you!
HMO Letting Agent
020 8191 2080