One of the biggest decisions you'll make as a landlord is whether you should use a Letting Agent to manage your property or go it alone.
Here we look at the advantages and disadvantages of renting privately and of using an experienced local agent.
Some landlords have great success self managing but it is a demanding job and there’s much more involved than just collecting the rent. With the amount of legislation now on force around lettings, tenants’ rights, property safety, management of deposits and so on, it’s not an easy job even when things go smoothly and you happily install dream tenants. When things go wrong, it can turn into a nightmare (an expensive one) very quickly.
This is where a good local independent Letting Agent can save your sanity. They will help you find the dream tenants, ensure all paperwork is done correctly, and all problems are handled properly and lawfully.
We recommend that before you instruct the agent of your choice, you visit their office, talk to them, see if you both have the same thoughts and ideas about the property. Are you comfortable working with the person whom you are going to instruct? Build a positive working relationship with them, as instructing a good local independent Letting Agent can be one of the best investments you can make.
While cost will always be an issue, the cheapest agent will not always be the best choice and the most expensive offers no guarantee of a good service either, the biggest adverts and plush offices are no real indication of experience, value or attitude and a recommendation from a fellow landlord is worth its weight in gold when choosing an agent to work with.
What Does a Letting Agent Do?
Letting Agents deal directly with finding prospective tenants, saving you time and worry over marketing your property, as well as collecting rent, handling maintenance and repair issues, responding to tenant complaints, and even pursuing evictions.
Plus, a good agent brings their know-how and local experience to your property, giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your investment is in good hands.
Here are the main reasons you’d probably want to pay for a Letting Agent:
1. You don’t want to become a property law expert
Property law and legislation is a minefield of problems and pitfalls and can seem very daunting. It is not wise to jump straight into renting out a property without fully researching all the legislation. A Letting Agent has to deal with these issues daily and really can save you a headache.
2. You're not interested in hands-on management
Many landlords look forward to the challenge of finding good tenants and the rewards of maintaining a safe and attractive property on their own. But if you view rental property ownership strictly as an investment and want little or nothing to do with the day-to-day management of your properties, consider getting help to manage your property.
3. Your time is limited
Even if you enjoy hands-on management, you may not have much time to devote to your business, especially if being a landlord isn't your day job. And if you prefer
to spend your time growing your business, including searching for new properties, arranging financing for renovations, or changing your business structure, then a Letting Agent may be a good investment of your money.
If your business is growing, at some point you may find that you need a substantial amount of help to manage everything properly.
4. You have lots of properties
The more rental properties you own and the more units they contain, the more you're likely to benefit from an agent.
5. You don't live near your rental property
If your rental property is located far from where you live, using an agent can be invaluable in dealing with the many issues that you will not be able to handle from afar.
Should You Let an Estate Agent Manage Your Property?
During the downturn in the property sales market since 2008, many Estate Agents have been forced to set up as Letting Agents as well, simply to enable them to continue to trade. However we would advise that landlords only use a specialist Letting Agent whose only business is letting and managing your property.
We believe it’s a huge advantage to the landlord when the managing agent concentrates on this one sector of the industry, with no distractions or conflicts of interest.
Hmmm, now where can you find a dedicated, experienced Letting Agent in Farnborough… :)