Tim Hollingsworth, managing director of leading surveying and estate agency firm Rumball Sedgwick, offers valuable advice to landlords and tenants.

As I was watching TV the other evening, I was horrified to learn that there are still many lettings agencies around that are unregulated. It seems incredible in this day and age, but sadly, I wasn’t surprised. After all, the lettings market continues to grow and now that there are more lettings properties available than ever before, this inevitably means that there will be a few agents around who are prepared to behave Unscrupulously.

The good news for anyone who comes to Rumball Sedgwick for advice on letting or renting is that we take enormous pride in our work. I can assure you that our staff are fully qualified and always strive to maintain the highest possible industry standards.

Whether you are a landlord earning your living from a rental portfolio, or a small investor who is buying to let for the first time, you need to be assured that your asset is being looked after by a professional who is up to date with all letting legislation.

A good letting agent understands the ‘red tape’ and will always work within the law, so that both the landlord and tenant are protected. For the landlord, this means ensuring that the property is fit for the intended use and that it complies with all gas, fire and safety regulations. Be warned – the consequences for landlords who flout the rules could be fatal.

For the tenant, renting through a reputable agent gives you the peace of mind that the property is fit for purpose, that it has all the necessary documentation and certificates and that it is well managed, should anything go wrong. This is where well trained letting agents come into their own because, unlike the cowboys, we won’t cut corners.

So, next time you decide to rent or let a property, make sure you use a properly regulated firms of letting agents. Do check that they are regulated by ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) and also by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), both of which ensure that their members act properly and ethically. You won’t regret it.

Rumball Sedgwick has offices in Watford and St Albans. If you need a survey or valuation, please contact Tim Hollingsworth on 01923 200096 or