Northwood’s Compliance Manager AC Forscutt answers the questions that every landlord should ask a letting agent.
1. Are you a member of an accreditation scheme such as ARLA, RICS, NALS, NAEA?
Professional standards are of the utmost importance to us and we encourage all of our offices to be licensed by the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS). Many of our directors and staff are also members of ARLA, NAEA or RICS.
2. Do you have recognised client money protection (CMP) scheme in place?
Each Northwood office must operate under strict codes of practice and this includes having recognised CMP schemes in place. Northwood is one of the founding members of the SAFEagent scheme, a campaign and mark to promote the importance of CMP schemes.
3. Do you advertise on all the main portals especially Rightmove and Zoopla?
4. Can I have a list of all your charges?
There are no charges with our Guaranteed Rent service, which ensures landlords receive a rental payment every month. Otherwise, charges vary across the Northwood network depending on the service and local market but landlords are made available of them at the earliest opportunity.
5. On receipt of the rent from the tenant, how soon do you pay it across to the landlord?
As soon as it is practical to do so, making sure the tenant’s money has fully cleared in our account.
6. Which deposit protection scheme do you use?
Different deposit protection providers depending on the office. All Northwood offices comply with the relevant deposit protection legislation.
7. Do you have systems in place to track rental payments, repairs, compliance obligations etc?
Yes. Northwood offices use a bespoke system for landlord, tenant and property information which helps them to track every element of the tenancy and rental process, including rental payments, maintenance and inspections. The Northwood Network intranet also provides directors and staff with access to the latest news on legislation changes, compliance and other useful information.
8. What is your staff to property ratio?
This varies across the Northwood network.
9. Which Ombudsman Scheme are you a member of?
Every Northwood office is a member of The Property Ombudsman.
10. Will I be assigned a dedicated person to deal with about my property?
You will normally deal with different members of the team depending on the stage of your letting, but if you would like a dedicated person most offices will be happy to accommodate this.
11. Do you ensure the tenant provides a rental guarantor?
Due to the nature of Guaranteed Rent, most of our landlords enter into a tenancy agreement with the Northwood office and a guarantor is not needed. If a landlord uses one of our managed services, we will be happy to advise on whether a guarantor is recommended and ensure one is in place if required.
12. Do you undertake a check-in and check-out inventory, and also mid-term property inspections?
Yes. A full inventory with accompanying photographs is carried out at the beginning of the tenancy. This provides proof on the initial condition of the property and is used at the check-out appointment at the end of the tenancy. Periodic inspections are also carried out during the tenancy to ensure that the tenant is looking after the property.
For more information about Northwood please visit www.northwooduk.com
Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised lettings agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier ofGuaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.
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