If you’re a new landlord, established landlord or even thinking about becoming a landlord, a letting agent can help you manage the load. Here are six reasons why you might need a letting agent.
Did you know that a third of the properties in the UK are rentals? And a large proportion of those are managed by individuals, not agencies? If you’ve inherited a house, or you’ve moved out of a flat but still own it, it’s more profitable to manage that property rental yourself, right?
Well, yes… and no…
Saving money by managing her property herself is exactly what Christine thought she’d do. Here’s her story:
When Christine’s mother-in-law moved into a nursing home, Christine found herself with a house to manage. Luckily, her friend’s son Ben was looking for a home for his family, so it seemed like the perfect solution to have him move into the vacant house.
Rent was paid on time, and the young family were happy in their new home. Until the month Ben lost his job and wasn’t able to pay the rent. Christine was understanding – after all, Ben was her friend’s son. But two months went by and still no rent. Ben stopped answering his phone, and so Christine approached her friend. After a frosty conversation, Christine’s friend arranged a meeting at the property.
More bad news – Ben’s family had bought a puppy. Christine was shocked by the deterioration in the property over only a few months (she had been reluctant to make regular visits out of concern for invading the young family’s privacy). The dog had chewed at the furniture and door frames. The house smelled.
Christine meanwhile was facing another problem; finding the payments for her mother-in-law’s care, which was dependent on the rental income from her home.
Financially stressed and emotionally drained by the strain the situation was putting on her friendship, Christine called us and poured out her story.
We contacted the tenant and kept a record of all our communications. Dealing with us in an official capacity, rather than with his mum’s lifelong friend Christine, we were soon able to work out a payment arrangement with Ben to recoup the debt.
Ben and his family eventually moved out, but Christine didn’t have to bear the brunt of that situation – that was our job. We then found her reliable tenants, who were not pet owners and who we visited for regular maintenance checks. Christine is now earning a regular rental income without the hassle or heartache of day-to-day management when things go wrong.
We know that managing your own rental can be a bit of a minefield, and in the majority of cases, you can avoid the landmines simply by renting your property via a professional letting agent. There are countless reasons to use an agency, rather than taking a DIY approach, and we’ve whittled these down to our top six reasons why you probably do need a letting agent to manage your property:
1. We keep you up to date with legislation
Legislation (the laws that govern letting) surrounding the rental market is forever changing.
Even for those landlords with a head for figures and reams of paperwork, the waters of compliance can be murky mires to navigate. For new landlords, it can be quite daunting. No doubt you are currently compliant – but with constantly updated regulations to be aware of, it can be time-consuming keeping pace with the changes.
For new landlords trying to juggle so many elements of property management, time spent on annual certificate checks and renewals is time that could be better engaged elsewhere.
It’s not just landlords being kept away by legislation headaches; this paperwork poses problems for prospective renters too. They can find it more difficult than ever to pass the required checks.
Save yourself the headache of trawling through Right to Rent legislation. Let us, as your letting agent, cross the ‘t’s and dot the ‘i’s for you.
As letting agents, we have a legal duty to know the score. Particularly in regards to mandatory gas safety certificates, electricity tests and the like (which can result in fines if not kept up to date).
We are just as liable as you are if something goes wrong and so compliance is a key focus for us. As letting agents, it is our job to ensure that you, the landlord, have all this documentation up to date.
Let us share the weight of responsibility with you.
2. We help you to free up your biggest asset…time!
Whether you’re a long-time professional landlord and investor, or new to the letting game, time is money. And when you’re not busy growing your portfolio, you deserve to spend time relaxing with the family.
The last thing you need is the phone ringing at 4pm on a Saturday only for a tenant to tell you that their boiler has broken. Again.
Don’t worry; as your dedicated letting agent, this task falls to us. Allowing your letting agent to step up and manage the day-to-day ups and downs a tenant encounters frees you up to focus on family.
Spend your holidays sunbathing on the beach and splashing in the sea with loved ones? Or spend them tied up on the telephone to an out-of-hours plumber?
Why not let your letting agent take this hit for you?
3. We help you to free up your headspace for more important things
Whatever your reason for becoming a landlord, it’s unlikely that it is because you enjoy tackling ants’ nests in tenants’ kitchens! (Trust us, it’s more common than you think!)
Sometimes, it pays to work smarter, not harder. Handing over the day-to-day chores involved in managing a property to a letting agent frees up your headspace. Headspace that could be so much better used in other areas of your life.
Whether you want to grow your property portfolio, or focus on business elsewhere; finding yourself in a muddle of paperwork, tenancy agreements and EPCs is a distraction.
Focus your time on the things that are important to you – a good letting agent will free up your time and mind, so you can focus on the things that mean the most to you and your family.
4. We help you find opportunities to grow your portfolio (if that’s what you want)
We’re in the know! We know people who can help you to grow your property portfolio into an empire if that’s an ambition of yours. The best plumbers, electricians and handymen that won’t rip you off? They’re in our ‘little black book’. And because we work with them regularly, they tend to respond quicker and charge less to our clients, because they value the business we give them.
And it’s not only tradesmen you need when you’re growing your portfolio – it’s also tenants and properties! We pride ourselves on knowing many of the tenants in our area personally, as well as the landlords. So, when someone is thinking of selling a potential buy-to-let property, we often get the nod before anyone else. And that makes us a very valuable source of insider information for you.
So, whether you want to grow from one property to three, or from ten to fifty, you’ll love the fact we have someone to help you at every stage of your journey.
5. Peace of mind
Ask any landlord what their biggest concern is, they’ll undoubtedly answer the same -Maintenance.
In point – the worry of whether your tenant is taking care of your property. This is particularly pertinent if the property holds sentimental value for you, for instance, a family home. For landlords who have moved away from the area or landlords with many properties, it can sometimes be a struggle to pay house calls. Property visits are essential for performing maintenance checks.
As a landlord, you may not have the opportunity to visit your properties for months or even years at a time. Wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that your properties are being looked after and maintained to a proper standard?
ARLA Propertymark letting agents bring with them the promise of peace of mind on this front.
As your letting agent, we carry out regular, scheduled inspections of your property. During visits, we will also take photographs to send over to you, the landlord, for that added comfort.
Letting agents provide reassurance in the first instance. But good letting agents also provide a way in which to troubleshoot potential problems early on.
Take condensation, for instance, a huge problem in lettings. Left unchecked it can lead to black mould and damp. It can also lead to costly repairs paid for out of your pocket. Yet, caught early on, a simple conversation between your letting agent and your tenant can prevent costs. A simple lifestyle lesson can save thousands of pounds. Your tenant will learn to keep the window open when drying clothes indoors and you will save money.
Spot early signs of damage to get repairs done where necessary before a crack becomes a crevasse.
6. Regular rental income
Managing a property can seem like a walk in the park when everything is going well. Your tenant pays on time and never misses; they even made you a cup of tea after you fixed the leak under the sink that time.
Before you know it, you’ve developed a rapport. And then one month, the rent is late. Rent you are relying on to cover the mortgage payment or the care home fees.
We understand how hard it can be to balance an approachable and considerate face (particularly when dealing with long-term tenants) with chasing payments. This can be of particular concern to those thinking about becoming a landlord for the first time.
Separate yourself from the discomfort, anxiety and frustration of chasing rent arrears.
Leave this task to the neutral middle-person; your trusty letting agent. With the personal element removed, our role will be proactive rather than reactive. And you will receive your rent on time.
So, as you can see, a letting agent can save you time, money, headspace and heartache. Let us take the burden off your shoulders before you even notice the weight.
With over 13,000 estate agents in the UK to choose from, the perfect partner is out there. But how do you know which one is the right fit for you?
Contact me today for more information on how a letting agent could help you better run your business. Let us handle the now, so you can look to the future.