I am often asked why a landlord should employ an agent when letting property. To my mind the answer is a combination of saving you time, aggravation and quite possibly substantial amounts of money.

It all begins with finding the right tenant. You may well be quite happy to advertise your property, arrange and conduct viewings and make follow up calls to ascertain whether the person liked the property and if not why not. Once you find someone who is interested there are the referencing and tenant checks to carry out.

The problem is that it can become difficult not to get emotionally involved with people. You may find you get on well with them or they may have a hard luck story that you find yourself sympathising with. Perhaps you don’t need to be quite as thorough with the checks.

That way lays disaster. One of the best reasons for employing an agent is that for them letting your property is purely a business arrangement. They will carry out all the required procedures in a professional and thorough manner, ensuring they find the most reliable tenant for you.

An agent will also deal with all the regulations and red tape you need to comply with including a compliant tenancy agreement, a deposit that is protected, a gas safety certificate, an energy performance certificate, ensuring that smoke alarms are fitted as well as carbon monoxide detectors in any room containing a solid fuel burner.

If you do decide to employ an agent, make sure they are well established and comply with the required regulations. Talk to other landlords for advice or take a look at testimonials on their website.

Using an agent guarantees you a diligent and stringent screening process and ongoing professional service. In my opinion, it is essential.