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Warning over ‘desperately’ low letting fees

Winchester Branch Manager Jan Whitewick said: "Landlords should be aware when choosing a letting agent that you get what you pay for in terms of service and professionalism. Cut-price fees could result in a cut-down service, and worse, in the agent not having enough funds to deliver any service at all."

Leaders said there was more to letting and managing a property than met the eye.

Knowledgeable, well-trained staff are needed; prospective tenants should be vetted carefully; complex legislation must be complied with; a professional inventory should be compiled; tenants’ safety and landlords’ interests must be protected at all times – and maintenance issues addressed promptly.

Whitewick said: "All this and more requires a lot of time, expertise and resources which an agent charging exceptionally low fees may not be able to provide. Neglecting any of these could lead to serious problems for the landlord later on.

"Of course landlords will naturally want to keep their costs down and will be looking for a competitive rate.

"However, they should always read the small print carefully to make sure that the deal they are signing up for really is as cheap as it looks. After all, this is probably the most expensive asset you are asking someone to manage, so why risk your entire investment just to save a few pounds up-front?"

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