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More than half of all people involved in either buying, selling or renting property in the past five years have had problems with their estate agent or letting company. According to research by Propertymark, out of the 2,002 who took part in the survey, 54% had problems. The findings have led the company to suggest that this may be because they failed to use a regulated agent or one who belongs to a professional organisation.

Propertymark, which is a regulatory and professional body for estate agents and letting agents, said the survey also showed 42% of tenants had not thought about whether their agent was a member of a professional body before dealing with them. Furthermore, 14% thought all agents had to be regulated. These problems with non-regulated agents meant tenants struggled to get any items replaced, did not have their full deposit returned and waited long periods for items to be replaced or repaired.

Tenants pay a lot of money in rent and so service should be of the utmost importance. They need to have confidence in their landlord and feel that they will be treated with respect. This is where professional landlords will have the upper hand over small investors or accidental landlords who are renting out their homes. Professional landlords will know what is expected of them and will be up-to-date with all the rules, regulations and legislation surrounding buy-to-lets and assured tenancies. Part-time or hobby landlords who fell into the business because they want to invest in property or have moved out of their family home and decided to rent rather than sell will not be able to give such good service as the professionals. They will not have the depth of knowledge of the law or even the market. Also, the importance of having a well-informed landlord or agent who knows the property law should not be underestimated.

Landlords will be able to draw up proper contracts, arrange check-ins and check-outs, and know what needs to go in the inventory. They will know the right companies to call if something goes wrong and can give information about the local area, if necessary.

Professional landlords and agencies also have the wherewithal to invest in software which will automate a lot of their administrative work and ensure that they are always on top of their game.

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