Estate agencies and letting agents are entirely different specialisations. However, you might not have noticed that a good number of estate agents, who did not offer letting services before, have a letting department. Most estate agents make this move to supplement their income or increase their profits as the property market continues to stagnate.

Estate agents in the letting business

As estate agencies start letting departments and create letting banners reading “we now offer letting services” do they have what it takes? Probably not. Most agencies select a few junior staff members to run their letting facilities considering that some letting services can be outsourced to third parties.

Notably, estate agents who mostly double up as letting agents have no letting qualifications, inexperienced letting staff, and little or no knowledge of tenancy laws. You can bet that most of these estate agents offer services they do not fully understand to unsuspecting landlords.

The general public is often made to believe that estate agents can be letting agents. To explain – when you have a toothache, you visit a dentist and not a general practitioner. Using the same analogy, if you have a house to rent, you need a specialist letting agent, not a generalist estate agent.

Why letting agents?

Letting a property requires an entirely different set of skills from those required to make property sales. A letting agent needs to be tactful, an excellent communicator, manager, and someone who is conversant with laws tenancy laws. This ensures that the house will always be occupied (by the right tenants), no more renting arrears, and the property is maintained to industry standards.

There is a lot a state on the letting business. Getting something wrong and making avoidable mistakes could mean loss of revenue, extended void periods, and substantial legal penalties caused by noncompliance with existing legislation.

You can use an estate agent to rent out your property but at your peril!