Rolfe East has hosted many property seminars, and will continue to do so, which are proving to be highly successful and popular. These have covered a range of issues; including first-time buying, commercial and residential property investment, becoming a buy-to-let landlord, and always with a vital input on explaining the legal aspects of any venture.
What comes out of these events is mainly positive, however, there are sometimes areas of concern raised; one of which was by landlords who complained about not receiving the rent they were owed from managing agents.
Some of the scare stories heard were that some inscrutable agents had amassed two to three months rents and told the landlord that the tenant hadn’t paid. However, it subsequently transpired when they made further enquiries that this was not true, the tenant had paid and – in the meantime – the “so-and-so had it away on his toes” with all the money.
When you consider that these ‘agents’ could be managing any number of properties, and collecting and withholding numerous rents, that amounts to a significant amount of money for them; and of loss to the landlords.
Naturally, there was concern in the room regarding this, but this is not intended to paint a picture that this is happening widely; there are always rogue elements in facets of business and life. Nevertheless, the question was asked what can be done to be safer and less at risk?
As with any venture, carrying out prior research and “due diligence” is time well spent. My advice is, firstly, to choose a good independent and local agent, who knows the area, and takes pride in their customer service and in advising what is best in particular circumstances. Secondly, and equally important, is to better protect your investment by putting your faith in an agent who is registered with the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
“ARLA was formed in 1981 as the professional and regulatory body for letting agents in the UK and are the foremost professional body for letting agents. They are specifically dedicated to promote standards in this important and growing sector of the property market, offering significant benefits to letting agents and consumers alike.”
As it happens, you can place your tick next to both of the above pieces of good advice for Rolfe East; you will find the ARLA logo on our website and on all our communications. In fact, we recently had our annual visit from their officers to have our accounts audited. This process takes two 2 days, which is a measure of how serious they take their role and responsibilities, and how much we do.