Lettings News

Stags support better letting agent regulation

Stags Residential Lettings Department supports the latest ARLA call for better regulations of letting agents when it comes to tenant fees.  

Andrew Luxton MRICS FARLA, Partner states said, “that whilst fees are necessary, a minority of agencies are over-charging. A better regulation is needed in the private rental sector to ensure consumers are not taken advantage of.  We want to see tenants paying a fair price for the services they receive,  Regulated agents do not don’t charge excessive fees”.  

Letting agents need to charge tenant fees in order to carry out actions such as; reference checks, drafting tenancies and managing extensions or renewals. However, with a correct pricing structure in place most agencies do not make any noticeable profit on these items.  

A recent ARLA survey confirmed that 74% of licenced agents charge no more than £250 in tenant fees.  On average its members charge £213 to cover the lettings process, a fee which is described as “reasonable”. 

It is important not only for landlords, but tenants as well, to ensure that when they rent their property they are doing so through an approved and licenced letting agent such as Stags who are members of ARLA and the RICS. By doing so, this ensures protection of tenants deposits and monies the letting of the property is dealt with within a strict code of practice and there is a suitable redress scheme.  

For further details on any aspect of letting your property, Buy To Let investment or management then contact your local Stags lettings office.  


 

Stags welcomes new regulations

Stags have joined other organisations in the private rental sector in welcoming the new mandatory registration of letting agents with one of the three property redress schemes.  

Since the 1st October all Letting Agents are required to be a member of one of the three approved property ombudsman redress schemes, the failure of which will lead to a fine and effectively being removed from practising within the industry.  Andrew Luxton MRICS FARLA Partner in charge of Stags Residential Lettings confirms that we as a firm will support any measures to ensure that bad landlords and agents are removed from the private rented sector.  However, as the involvement of the ombudsman scheme would only occur after the horse has bolted,   Landlords and tenants also need to choose letting agents that offer financial protection through client money protection schemes which would include those agents who are members of ARLA or the RICS.  It is one of the first questions that any landlord or tenant should ask when using an agent to confirm that they are a member of a professional body or at least signed up to one of the Property Ombudsman schemes.  

For further information on the benefits of using an ARLA approved agent click here>


 

Don't let bad weather lead to a stormy tenancy

Stags Residential Lettings Department are keen to remind landlords and tenants that it is vital that they are fully aware of who is responsible for what in the event of damage to a rented property.  Recent storm damage, power cuts and flooding can be unpleasant but familiarising yourself with your tenancy agreement can help ensure any problems are sorted as quickly as possible. 

Stags confirm that it is vital that tenants inform landlords or agents as soon as possible if weather related damage occurs.  In most cases landlords will be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the building’s exterior although tenants should do everything they can to minimise damage.  Remember, any damage may be subject to an insurance claim for the landlord.  During colder months, it is the tenant’s responsibility to make sure that pipes don’t freeze if they are away from the property for extended periods.  The best way to combat this problem is to set heating to come on at a low level during the coldest parts of the day.   The recent bad weather has affected many homes across the UK.  As well as the inconvenience and expense suffered by homeowners, many tenants will have been caught up too, and it is essential that they know where their responsibilities lie if they do experience weather damage.  It is not always as they assume it to be. 

Stags are obviously able to assist where they fully manage a property and this is often seen as a significant benefit by tenants and is a question often asked when tenants now rent a property.  For further advice or guidance or if you may wish to consider a full management option or change from your existing managing agent then contact your local dedicated Stags Lettings Department on 01404 42553. 


Five Stags letting agents successfully pass their ARLA exams

Andrew Luxton MRICS FARLA, Partner in charge of Stags Residential Lettings Department is seen presenting ARLA certificates to members of staff who have recently taken and passed the technical award in Residential Letting and Property Management and have therefore become members of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents.

As a firm Andrew Luxton comments that, “We take pride in ensuring that the advice we provide to landlords and tenants is correct and is as upto date with the ever changing legislation. With increasing members of staff at Stags becoming members of ARLA, the only professional body that is solely concerned with the self regulation of Letting Agents we are actively able to promote the highest standards across our lettings department. We as a firm, have encouraged and supported staff to both study for and take the exam which of course we feel will be of benefit not only to the individual but also, to us with the continuing growth and development of the lettings department throughout the region. It is vital that landlords and tenants know that they are placing their trust in a professional, qualified letting agent that works within a robust code of practice to include protection of clients’ money.


New letting manager appointed in Okehampton

Stags are delighted to announce the appointment of Maria Craze, who has joined the Okehampton Lettings team covering the Okehampton and Tavistock area. Maria brings a wealth of lettings knowledge and experience from the Tavistock and West Devon area, having worked for a prominent local firm for over 10 years.

Andrew Luxton MRICS FARLA, Partner in charge of Stags Residential Lettings Department commented “As a firm we have seen continued growth of our Lettings department across the South West, with a number of new appointments ensuring we continue to remain at the forefront of residential lettings and property management. Maria’s appointment will enable us to grow our coverage of the West Devon area from the Okehampton office.”

Stags have a network of 19 regional offices throughout the South West, with an established Lettings team employing over 35 members of staff dedicated to the letting and management of properties ranging from small high street flats and apartments to large rural properties with land and outbuildings.   

Andrew Luxton further comments, “The letting of a property is one of the most important decisions that any property owner will make and it is vital that they receive correct and informed advice before making any decision. There is a minefield of legislation that landlords need to ensure they comply with and the letting of a property is a fine balance between achieving a good market rent but also attracting a good quality tenant who is best suited to rent the type and style of property they take on. Good agent advice both for landlords and tenants is vital in order to ensure that this is achieved, which will help landlords have a trouble free lettings experience.”

To discuss your rental property, or if you are considering a Buy to Let purchase, contact the Okehampton Lettings office on 01837 659430.


Stags qualified lettings success

Andrew Luxton MRICS FARLA, Partner in charge of Stags Residential Lettings Department is seen presenting certificates to two members of staff at the Honiton office. Claire Staniforth, senior valuer, has successfully completed the technical award in Residential Lettings and Property Management and has now become a full member of ARLA. Paula Waltham, Property Manager has recently passed her exams and become a member of the Association of the Professional Inventory Providers.

Andrew Luxton comments that as a firm we take great pride in ensuring that the advice we provide to landlords and tenants is accurate, up to date with the ever changing legislation which helps to ensure landlords that they are placing their trust in professional and qualified lettings staff. The lettings office at Honiton comprises 7 members of staff dedicated to the letting and managing of property throughout the East Devon area, unrivalled by any other firm.

For further details or advice then do not hesitate to contact us on 01404 42553.


Successful Landlords Advisory Day

The Stags Residential Lettings Department in Honiton were delighted with the success of their Landlords Advisory Day held on Saturday, 27th April.

Andrew Luxton, MRICS FARLA, Partner in charge of Stags Residential Lettings commented, “We felt that a Saturday may encourage more landlords and it would be easier for them to drop in during the day whilst probably carrying out shopping in the town. We had landlords dropping in throughout the day with many wishing to come in and talk to representatives of A & O Financial Solutions who were there providing free advice on any aspect of Buy to Let mortgages.

The invitation was open to any of Stags existing Landlord clients plus any new potential clients who were considering letting a property, purchasing a buy to let investment or to discuss a change from their existing managing agent. However, we are obviously available to advise at any time and if you wish to arrange your free no obligation rental appraisal then do not hesitate to contact us on the Honiton office on 01404 42553.