Know worth of your man­ag­ing agent

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

PRES­SURE One of the biggest growth ar­eas in the real es­tate in­dus­try is man­age­ment of rental prop­erty on be­half of land­lords — de­spite the fact that buy-to-let in­vest­ments now only ac­count for about 7% of prop­erty pur­chases, from 25% in 2004.

“The main rea­son is that own­ers as well as ten­ants have come un­der in­creas­ing fi­nan­cial pres­sure in the past two years, and sim­ply can­not af­ford to risk rental de­faults,” says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt In­ter­na­tional prop­erty group.

Writ­ing in the Prop­erty Sign­posts news­let­ter, Everitt notes the de­mand for ex­pert help in man­ag­ing rental prop­er­ties is set to grow even more. How­ever, there are some im­por­tant things for own­ers to check:

En­sur­ing that the agent is reg­is­tered with the Es­tate Agency Af­fairs Board and has a trust ac­count for hold­ing ten­ant de­posits;

En­sur­ing that the agent has or is work­ing to­wards an NQF4 or NQF5 qual­i­fi­ca­tion by the end of 2011, when these will be­come es­sen­tial for an agent to prac­tice legally;

En­sur­ing that the agent has proper sys­tems in place to check on the cred­it­wor­thi­ness of prospec­tive ten­ants;

En­sur­ing that the agent will not hand over keys to the prop­erty un­til the de­posit and first month’s rent have been paid; and

En­sur­ing that there is a clear, writ­ten con­tract de­tail­ing what ser­vices the agent will pro­vide in re­turn for his or her fee.

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