If you're planning to rent a house or a flat in the UK, there's a chance you'll be dealing with a letting agent and not directly with the landlord. Letting agents perform important services for landlords. Here's some information about the role of a Barnsley letting agent vis a vis property to let in Barnsley. What is a Letting Agent? A Barnsley property management agent is legally empowered to represent the landlord. This means that the agent can enter into legal agreements on behalf of the landlord. These agreements legally bind both the landlord and the tenant. The letting agent is not a disinterested third party. He represents the landlord's interests and as such has a number of defined duties and responsibilities, including: - To act in an ethical manner, to follow the law and not take bribes or special favours. - To follow his principal's instructions and to personally carry out those instructions. - Not to make secret or undisclosed profit. - To exercise due care and skill. - To keep a good accounting of monies owed and paid out for rental income in Barnsley. - Not to allow a conflict of interest. The Nature of the Relationship of the Letting Agent with the Landlord If the agent behaves ethically and performs his duties diligently regarding properties to rent in Barnsley, he accrues the following additional rights: - To claim payment for the services he performs. - To claim reimbursement for legally incurred expenses. - To exercise a lien over the landlord's goods and property until payment is received. The letting agent may be formally empowered by a written agreement, but in many cases there is not a written document. The agent's role is defined by implication from the conduct of the parties. This means that if a landlord engages a letting agent to manage his flats or houses to let in Barnsley, then by practice, implication and custom the agent is required to act on the landlord's behalf. Written agreement or not, the landlord retains a number of responsibilities that he cannot transfer to the agent. For example, if the agent fails to pay a third party, such as tradesman who works on the property, the landlord remains liable. Even if the landlord's identity is not known to the tenant or other third party, he (the landlord) is still responsible. Other Qualities of an Ethical and Professional Letting Agent The best letting agents are generally members of professional associations. They also carry professional indemnity insurance cover and are either bonded or have a secure deposit scheme. A competent letting agent should furnish references and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the local real estate market. He should be able to determine a fair rent for both landlord and tenant. The agent should also charge reasonable, competitive fees. So remember the right kind of property agent will only prove to be an asset for the tenant and the landlord, so keep that in mind when considering property to let in Barnsley.
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