The market for renting out residential property has dramatically expanded in recent years with the strong growth of buy-to-let and the increasing popularity of rental property as a long term investment.Becoming a landlord can be a daunting process, first you must invest wisely there are rules and regulations you must abide by and most importantly you need to find tenants to live in and look after your property.Choosing the correct letting agent can be as difficult as finding the right tenants. Letting agents aren't yet legally regulated, so start by looking for an agent who is a member of a nationally approved lettings scheme as they are all bound by a code of practice.A recent survey by London Trading Standards found that almost HALF of the lettings agents they had investigated were non-compliant with current laws.So, how can you be sure your agent is operating within the law?Ask for proof that your agent is a member of an approved scheme. This should be clearly shown in their office and on their websiteChoose a letting agent showcasing the ARLA propertymark It shows that the agent works to the standards set by its own professional body. Staff will be trained in Lettings with a full knowledge of, and working strictly within, the law regarding property letting. This is vital for landlords, where non compliance with laws regarding property safety can result in a criminal sentence and fines. It's important for tenants too, who need to know that the property they're renting is safe and their money and rights respected and protected.Under laws passed this year it is a legal requirement that client money must be held in a separate account and covered by an approved Client Money Protection Scheme. The amount of money which can be taken as a deposit is now limited (for most tenancies this will be limited to the equivalent of five weeks' rent), and information must be given to anyone handing over a deposit regarding how it will be held and protected.Jackson Property have a lettings team that are ARLA trained and have an in-depth knowledge of property letting legislation and procedure. Our years of experience are there to advise both tenant and landlord.If you have any questions when it comes to an investment in property or want to speak to any of our qualified staff, then please get in touch and we will be more than happy to help.It costs nothing to have a chat!