The Dangers Of Renting Privately Through Social Media
There’s plenty of fun to be had on social media, as well as finding lots of useful information that can help with everyday life. However, when it comes to something as important as sourcing a new tenant for your property, social media channels can come up short and shouldn’t be used as a replacement for the expertise of an experienced and professional letting agent.
Why are people using social media?
People love short cuts, and if you have a do it yourself attitude, and don’t mind cutting corners at the same time as saving some pennies social media can look like an attractive tool for finding tenants.
It can also be an attractive option for tenants. Especially those who may not have good credit, want to avoid paying agent fees, or have maybe had bad landlord references in the past.
A lack of formal process sometimes leads to a lack of legal process
Legislation exists to protect both landlord and tenant and if these are not being followed by making an agreement via social media, it could lead to major issues for both parties further down the line. Unfortunately, there is a general lack of awareness about the legal requirements for both landlords and tenants when it comes to renting. While use of social media makes things quick and convenient, it also usually means that – whether intentionally or not – landlords aren’t upholding their legal responsibilities and tenants tend to default or breach their agreement.
Social media vs. the established letting agent
While social media is here to stay, paying for the services of an accredited letting agent is still as valuable as ever. For landlords, using an experienced agent gives them access to expert advice and guidance – which is vitally important when it comes to adhering to rental laws.
Not only can agents’ source and vet high quality tenants, but many will also provide property management services throughout the duration of the tenancy, ensuring the property is well maintained and taken care of by the occupant.
For tenants, using a letting agency provides a level of reassurance that your financial and health and safety rights will be protected. Reputable letting agents will have a traceable track record, compared to renting direct with a landlord via social media whose history will be completely unknown.
How to choose the right letting agent
There are hundreds of letting agents available on and offline which can make choosing the right one seem difficult. However, there are some simple rules to follow.
Always ensure they are an Propertymark protected agent and also have Professional Indemnity insurance. Before handing over any money for the deposit, check they are signed up to a government approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP).
These two requirements ensure both landlords and tenants are working with professionally accredited agents who can offer reliable advice. It helps to alleviate any concerns from either party and guarantees ongoing income for the landlord, while securing a good property for the tenant to enjoy. Importantly there’s none of the protection offered by these if you use social media to let your property.
At Regal Estates, many landlords have come to us after having a bad experience sourcing tenants via social media. Many have lost thousands of pounds due to this sourcing method, so using an established lettings agent with a tenant vetting procedure can avoid unnecessary losses. Call Regal Estates on 020 8459 2530 if you would like more information regarding our tenant referencing service.
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