• Southcourt Property Services Ltd. Est 1989.  Letting Agent Training since 1997
  • 020 3397 0070

Frequently Asked Questions

As setting up a letting agency is more than likely a completely new business area for you, we realise that there may be several questions buzzing around in your mind. For that reason we have listed below the questions we are most frequently asked by those who wish to become a letting agent, together with our answers.

If you have any others, or require elaboration on any particular aspect, please do not hesitate to by telephone or email.

The same way we have helped hundreds of other successful letting agents! Our business plan, or business model if you like, is based on methods learned in setting up and running our own London based letting agency, together with our 45 years of combined experience in the lettings industry. Our comprehensive step-by-step Letting Agency Training & Operating Manual is divided into 14 clearly laid out sections, and takes you in detail, in practical and operational terms, through the full Letting Agency procedures, from when the telephone first rings to when a tenancy ends. We explain our tried and tested systems, reveal trade secrets and our essential Top Tips, and describe the most effective and successful practices and techniques in use in the business today.

We provide a winning combination of practical, marketing, legal and back-office know-how and guidance, backed with our support, designed to enable you to quickly establish and run your own successful Letting Agency Business. Completely up to date and utilising the latest technology and innovative marketing methods we explain how to quickly establish a new letting agency business in 2016 whilst spending very little on advertising.

In addition to our comprehensive manual we also provide all necessary forms, legal documents, standard letters, a great software deal, a professional property website, ongoing support and an update service.

As long-term members of The Property Ombudsman Scheme (TPO) we are committed to property industry good working practice, and thanks to our 45 years combined experience in the lettings industry, the last 17 of which have also included the provision of letting agent training, you can be confident that you are in safe hands, and have by far the best chance of success by investing in the Southcourt Letting Agency Business Package.

Letting Agency Business Package     Live Property Website

Currently none are required in England and Scotland, but see ‘licensing’ below for Wales. As a letting agent you need to be comfortable dealing with people (both on the telephone and in person), ok with straightforward paperwork and basic computer use, and possess average common sense. Our comprehensive letting agency training and operating manual takes you right from the start, and covers all necessary know-how, procedures, techniques, legal knowledge, and tricks of the trade in a step-by-step, easy to follow format. A letting agency business is a true equal opportunity, and can be run by anyone, regardless of sex, age or even nationality.

Yes, you can enjoy all the benefits of working from home including minimal overheads, flexibility and convenience. Many people run a home based letting agency these days. Your website will be your shop window, and we provide a choice of professional and modern websites which will give you the right image from the word go. You meet landlords and tenants at the properties concerned, so you'll never need to invite callers to your home. Documents can be delivered personally or by mail. You could if you wish start an online letting agency and cover a wider area.

In England and Scotland no licence is required. However a scheme named Rent Smart Wales is being introduced from 23/11/15 for both landlords and letting agents in Wales which requires them to become licensed. Additionally since 01/10/14 it is a legal requirement for all Lettings Agents to be members of a Government authorised Consumer Redress Scheme. It is easy to join such a scheme, and no exam is required. We recommend our new letting agents join The Property Redress Scheme (PRS), for which membership costs just £95 plus VAT.

You'll need to study the training/operating manual and documents, and carry out local research and other preparations. Then, when you are ready, you can launch your Letting Agency business with our ‘Boost-Start Action Plan’. You can be up and running in about 3 to 4 weeks if you wish.

Specialised software simplifies the admin tasks and frees up more time for other tasks. If you neglect to use it from the start, you'll be missing out on its many benefits. With the Southcourt Letting Agency Business Package your Letting Agency business can be computerised from the word go, because we include professional Letting Agency software in the form of a special starter version and an exclusive half-price upgrade. More here: Letting agency software     

Of course! Any serious business these days has its own website, especially a Letting Agency - it's an important part of your marketing. We currently offer a fantastic deal on modern fully responsive property websites, with a choice of clean, modern and easy to navigate designs in any colour theme you wish, free .co.uk domain name registration, plus free hosting, email and backend software subscription for your first 3 months, and much more. Letting agency website

Our telephone and email support for new start-up agents is free and unlimited. Simply contact us with anything you don't understand or get stuck on. This is an invaluable part of our business package, and means that you have full access to professional advice and guidance whilst studying, setting up and in the early days of running your business. Although you will be independent, you will not be alone!

In the letting agency industry all fees are deducted at source, and you're paid immediately - there's no need to send an invoice and wait for payment. Tenants pay their fees before they move in, and you deduct landlords' fees and commissions from rental before you pass it on to them - we show you how. Therefore bad debts or cash-flow problems simply do not occur.

Quite the contrary. Existing businesses are a healthy sign, and indicate an active market. This is an expanding business, so there's always room for a well-informed newcomer. We show you how to ‘tap into’ the existing market, and exploit advantages which you will have over other letting agencies. Remember that you need only a very small percentage of local trade to produce excellent results for yourself.

Not at all. Letting Agents are becoming busier than ever. Unlike the property selling market, which has always been ‘cyclical’ (goes up and down), the rentals market is enjoying steadily growing demand, and supply. Everyone has to live somewhere, so those who cannot or do not wish to obtain a mortgage, and others who have their homes repossessed, become renters. Landlords and investors are always buying up properties to expand their portfolios. And many owners who are finding it difficult to sell are deciding to become landlords and let out their properties instead. All of which means more business for Letting Agents!
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We developed the cost-effective Southcourt Letting Agency Business Package in order to provide a much-needed alternative to the high letting agency start up costs associated with a franchise. Once you have your Southcourt Business Package and property website, assuming you are working from home or an existing office, you should be up and earning without spending much more at all. In our manual we explain several very effective methods of locating and signing up local landlords without spending a penny on advertising, and finding tenants is even easier. Our most effective methods are virtually cost-free. We also include promotional material. You will of course need a couple of essentials such as a computer and printer, a telephone, a digital camera, a clipboard, and a pack of white office paper.

The landlord is responsible for the expense of the upkeep of his property. Where you are ‘managing’ the property, you would arrange for a local tradesman to carry out any repairs, and deduct the cost from the monthly rental you receive before passing it on to the landlord.

If you follow our advice on selecting tenants, this is unlikely to occur. However, if it does, provided you have obtained satisfactory references on the tenant as we show you, you'll be totally above criticism. Rent arrears are a risk that the landlord takes, not his letting agent, and you can offer him rental guarantee insurance to cover such an eventuality. In the event of arrears there is a set procedure to follow which is quite straightforward, and fully covered in the training/operating manual.

Your influential position as a letting agent and property manager will enable you to enjoy several lucrative offspins which we explain, including how to receive consultancy payments from estate agents, contractors and financial advisors legally and without effort - this knowledge alone is worth £1000's. You will also be in a uniquely advantageous position if you wish to ‘buy-to-let’ - you'll often hear of investment property available at below market prices, and of course you'll be in an ideal position to ‘skim off’ the best tenants. If you choose, you will find it easy to diversify into other property related services e.g. estate agency, financial services, commercial lettings, business transfer etc.

Many people are interested in starting a letting agency business, but are either unwilling or unable to commit to the high cost and ongoing commitments and tie-ins of a letting agency franchise. There are others who simply wish to add a letting agency business to an existing concern, for whom a franchise would not be suitable. Our Letting Agency Business Package is also ideal for the independent minded property investor or do-it-yourself (diy) landlord. It is for the benefit of all of these enterprising individuals that we have chosen to offer an affordable and highly effective alternative to a letting agency franchise.

If you find these pages clear, you'll have no problem with our Complete Business Package. Although comprehensive (the contents list of the main manual extends to 8 pages), everything is clearly laid out, with cross-referencing throughout. We concentrate on practical issues, explaining exactly what to do, and how and when to do it, and have kept theory and law to the minimum we consider necessary. You'll find the Section headings and some of the topics covered on our Letting Agency Manual page.