Landlords looking to save money often decide to go it alone and manage their own properties rather than use the services of an established lettings agent. However, many landlords have learnt, often from painful and costly experience, that using a professional lettings agent brings with it many advantages and can save them a considerable amount of money in the long run.
So what are the advantages of working with a reputable lettings agent?
Established residential lettings and property management agents are the experts when it comes to making sure you get the best returns from your investment. Not only can they significantly reduce many of the headaches often associated with being a landlord, they can also help landlords save money, even after paying management fees. But for this, landlords get to enjoy many benefits and, more often than not, longer-term cost savings.
Some of the benefits of working with an approved letting agent are detailed below:
- Agents deal with all the paperwork and legislation associated with letting a property including safety and other legal checks.
- They handle and place tenants’ deposits in a secure deposit protection scheme (now a legal requirement for all landlords)
- They can manage day to day problems and repairs, especially useful if a landlord lives away from the property
- They can advertise and market the property and provide advice on the market thus securing higher rental yields than an individual might be able to get themselves
- Agents will vet and reference potential tenants to weed out those who might prove unreliable thus avoiding situations such as non payment of rent or tenants leaving a property empty without notice – empty properties cost money!
- A good agent will act as a go between for the tenant and landlord in the case of any disputes
- Investing in their services can save a landlord time by reducing their workload as well as their stress levels
- Agents will often advise and help to prepare a property to let out in order to gain the highest potential rental income
- They manage rental collection
Landlords may, of course, still decide that they prefer to manage their properties themselves. But beware of the potential pitfalls:
- Unreliable tenants who fail to maintain rental payments, cause damage to a property or leave without notice leaving the landlord with a void period with no rental income
- High tenant turnover requiring the landlord to continually invest in preparing the property to return to the market as well as advertising it and going through the tenant application and vetting process.
- Falling foul of private rental legislation – it is vital for all landlords to ensure that they are up to speed with relevant safety checks and other associated paperwork and legal requirements.
- Time is money – landlords need to ask themselves honestly if they can really spare the time to manage their property and if they live close enough to do this effectively. Going it alone can run smoothly and work well until a problem occurs. It is only then that the DIY landlord often realises just how stressful and time consuming, not to mention expensive, things can prove.