Monthly archives: August, 2016

What Is a Letting Agent?

A letting agent is an agent that will take on the letting of a property that is to rent on behalf of a landlord. If you are a landlord of residential property then it is likely you use a letting agent for some or all of the property management. Managing a property or properties can be full time occupation and not everyone can afford to do it, so it makes perfect sense to employ an agent to shoulder some of the day to day work. But what should an agent be doing for you?

Initially a letting agents’ job is to find you a tenant. You could place ads in the local newspapers and online yourself but fielding the applicants, carrying out reference and credit checks and showing people the property is a huge commitment in time. Using an agent to do the leg work will not only save you time, but they are better placed to check references and credit histories, including carrying out the paperwork required.

A letting agent will likely mean that you get a tenant faster as well, as they will have access to advertising mediums you wouldn’t normally have. This reduces void periods where you aren’t receiving any rent and the property is, in fact, costing you money.

Then the most important job for any letting agent is to collect the rent on behalf of the landlord. This can be a particularly difficult job for an individual to do, especially when the tenant or tenants are unreliable when it comes to paying. By using an agent you can distance yourself from the job and they are much better placed to chase late payers and set up standing orders and direct debits to guard against missed or late payments.

They can also act as an intermediary between a landlord and tenant on such matters, which will avoid unnecessary confrontations and arguments.

Ongoing maintenance of a property or properties can also be a time consuming aspect of being a landlord. When things go wrong, like a broken boiler, damage to the property or even just scheduled checks of utilities, it is the landlord’s responsibility to carry out repairs or make sure the checks are done. This usually involves finding – and paying for – a contractor (not to mention the parts). While the cost cannot be avoided the time spent doing this can be. Employing a letting agent to manage the property on your behalf means they will find a contractor, arrange the repairs or checks and carry out payment.

The way this usually works is that the letting agent will pay the contractor and then deduct that amount from the rent they collect for that particular property before passing it on to you. This makes administration for the landlord very simple, as they will receive a statement from the agent detailing every penny spent.

Landlords should be aware that an agent will charge for these services, usually a percentage of 10-12% of the rent for any individual property and this should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to employ one.

To find a letting agent it is best to speak to other landlords you may know. If this is not possible, do an internet search for your local area – ie, “estate agents in ashford” – and contact three or four of the top results, asking for details on how they work and what they would charge for their services.

Letting agents can be incredibly useful and time-saving so weigh these benefits up against the costs before you make your decision.…


Your First Motorcycle

Everyone wants a motorcycle. It’s the image of Americana and freedom. You’ve passed your licensing exam and now you’re ready for your first bike. So where do you go? How do you know what to choose? And why choose it over a flashier Harley?

First, you need to consider how well you can maneuver with that bike. Can you comfortably navigate tight corners and sharp turns? Can you break as well with this motorcycle as with the one you took for your licensing exam? If you answered yes, you’ve found a good starting point. If not, however, then you need to look for a motorcycle that you feel more comfortable with. You may be asking yourself if something light, like a 250cc Honda, will be a boring ride. Sure it may not be as flashy as that Harley you’ve had your eye on, but at a red light, a ‘light’ motorcycle can accelerate faster than most cars can. A lighter bike can be easier to control, easier to reach a comfort level on than a heavy speed demon, and they can help the beginning motorcycle enthusiast decide just how he wants to ride. You may find that you even have more fun with a lighter vehicle than you thought was possible, and decide against that flashier bike in the shop. However, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to engine size, and you may feel more comfortable with a 500cc bike than with the smaller 250cc bikes. Your first bike should always be one that you’re most comfortable with, as your level of enjoyment can be impacted by how comfortable you are in riding a particular bike.

Now that you’ve figured out how comfortable you can maneuver with the bike, it’s time to think about where you’ll be doing most of your riding. Will you be using it in cities? Stick with a light two cylinder bike for even power distribution and control through sharp turns. Will you be taking it on vacation? Make sure you have adequate room to put your luggage. The important thing is to be sure that you’re as comfortable as possible riding your new motorcycle.

Should you buy new or second-hand? This is a question that can lead to a beginner spending far more money on a bike than he or she anticipated just because it’s ‘new’. New bikes require a break-in period, which requires quite a bit of attention from the rider. A first motorcycle should be second-hand, as the engine is already broken in and your attention can be focused on traffic, which is where a beginning rider should be focusing on.¬†sell my motorbike¬†online today to get great deals and fast cash for your next bike.

Always remember one thing. Your first motorcycle is a significant milestone in your riding life.

 

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