A letting agent's job is to find suitable tenants for a property on behalf of its owner.

Key Point

A thorough inventory check (with photos) should help solve any disputes concerning the condition of the property and any compensation which the landlord may claim.

Top Tip

Ask the letting agent how they intend to market the property. Small agents might simply put a sign up outside the property and a small ad in their shop window. Bigger companies might charge a slightly higher rate, but they will have the resources to advertise in the press and on the internet.


House Rental Letting Agents Roles and Responsibilities

The letting agent works on behalf of the landlord. A letting agent will begin by visiting the property and providing a valuation of a fair rental income.

Once the landlord and the letting agent have agreed on the rent, and appropriate legal agreements signed then the property will be advertised, either as a furnished or unfurnished property rental. Many rental properties are now advertised on the internet to find the largest audience possible.

The letting agent will usually show prospective tenants around the property and inform the owner of any interest shown or offers made on the property.

Once the landlord and the prospective tenant have come to an agreement, the letting agent will draw up a tenancy agreement, the legal contract which both parties must sign.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents ARLA has a database of member agents, searchable by area. ARLA, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, is the only professional self-regulating body to be solely concerned with lettings. 

Many letting agents offer a tenant vetting service, which could include taking up references or a credit check. Some agents also offer an inventory check service. This is a full list of the condition and contents of the property drawn up during an inspection at the beginning and end of the tenancy, in the presence of the tenant.

Most agents also offer to collect the rent and deposit on behalf of the landlord and arrange to renew a tenancy when the original period expires. Many offer a management service, which involves general maintenance and organising necessary repairs over the period of the tenancy. This is useful if you live away from the property or don't have the time or inclination to deal with plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople.