Whether you’re new to the world of buy to let, or are a seasoned landlord, you may be asking yourself “should I use a letting agent to manage my property?” This is something on the mind of many of our first time landlords, unsure as to whether they should be managing their buy to let properties themselves or asking a professional letting agent to fully manage them instead. So what’s the answer?
Based on years of experience and feedback from tenants, here are 7 reasons to use a professional letting agent to manage your property:
- Tenants prefer it – on average, 83% of tenants prefer to rent a property that is fully managed by a letting agent. Why? This is probably a separate blog post in itself! Tenants know that when a letting agent manages their property, repairs will be dealt with in a timely manner. As letting agents, we’ve got a panel of hand picked contractors that we work with closely on a day to day basis on hand to deal with any maintenance issues. We can normally resolve issues quicker and more efficiently, plus we know the law inside out when it comes to what issues need to be prioritised. Also, unique to The Personal Property Shop, we have a fantastic maintenance app where tenants can troubleshoot problems in our properties, 1 in 5 of which are resolved there and then with no need for a call out. The app also gives the tenant the option to up
load photos and a details description of the issue, so that we can deal with it as quickly and effectively as possible. Tenants also realise that letting agents know the law, and will make sure properties are kept up to a certain standard. I am sure everyone’s heard horror stories of ‘rogue landlords’ and unfortunately it’s more common than you think. Most landlords don’t mean to be negligent, but they’re simply ignorant to the legal requirements. Tenants are much more likely to rent a property with us that is fully managed and more likely to stay long term too. We’ve even had a tenant withdrawn from a let when they found out the landlord would be managing the property themselves!
- We know the law – did you know that there are well over 100 pieces of legislation that affect rental properties? No? That’s not a huge surprise! Most landlords are not aware of all their legal requirements. A good example of this is a new landlord we started working with recently who’d rented his property out for several years. He hadn’t had a valid gas safety certificate in the property over the past 6 years! This was 100% breaking the law and he could have faced a nasty fine or even imprisonment. Thankfully he’s working with us now and we’ve made sure that the property is fully compliant for him. We come
across this kind of thing every week. You may not be aware of the huge consequences of not complying with the law, but it’s no laughing matter. It’s our job to keep up to date with everything and so we do! We know when changes in legislation take place and make sure all our managed properties are compliant.
- You don’t need the headache – even the nicest of tenants can be a little ‘needy’ at times and this can be a huge frustration when you’re trying to work, juggle family and have some sort of social life too. Tenants can ask the most ridiculous questions or make the most silly of request – we can manage their expectations properly and make sure they’re not wasting time with unnecessary call outs or issues that are their responsibility to resolve e.g. changing of light bulbs. We even once had a tenant ask if we could send someone round as they had a broken plant pot! In a very nice way, we’ll keep tenants ‘in check’, setting clear expectations and communicating effectively with them. We’ve got the set up to be able to field questions from them and weed out any time wasting phone calls or emails. You simply don’t want to be receiving calls about small issues when you’re on holiday, trying to work or enjoying some family time.
- We keep emotion out of it – even when you’ve bought a property as an investment, you can have a strong emotional attachment. Tenants and landlords can easily ‘rub each other up the wrong way’ and we’ve seen this first hand. A property that we now manage, was previously managed by the landlord directly. After 12 months, the landlord and tenant were at loggerheads, with various small issues escalating in to a furious argument between the two of them (totally unnecessarily I might add!). Both were nice people, but unfortunately when emotions are involved, landlords do not always act in the rational manner that we would as letting agents and tiny things can soon get out of control. Let alone the stress that it can cause both landlord and tenant in the process. As we communicate directly with the tenants, we keep everything calm and deal with issues in a sensible manner.
- It’s not much more expensive – the difference in cost between our ‘let only’ package and ‘fully managed’ is smaller than you would think. I’ll give you a working example: a property is let for £1000 per calendar month. Our let only service costs 8% of the annual rent (including VAT) which works out as £80 per month or £960 as an upfront payment. If the landlord were to go fully managed at 12% (including VAT) this changes to £120 per month, or £1,440 per year. On a fully managed basis, we deduct our fee from the monthly rent so there’s no upfront fee to pay, whereas on a tenant find only basis, the fee is taken from the first month’s rent in one go. The difference of £40 per month for all of the above benefits is totally worth it! Your time alone would work out far more than £40 in a month for the extra work involved. For the sake of it – go fully managed.
Hopefully there are some good reasons as to why you should always have your properties managed by a professional letting agent. We can be totally flexible and work in the way YOU like to work. We can be as ‘hands on’ or ‘hands off’ as you like. Some of our landlords like to be more involved than others and we’re totally fine with that. For example, with some of our managed properties, we run ALL expenditure past the landlord first, whereas others we just ‘get on with it’ and deal with things ourselves. Some landlords wish for us to use their contractors for work, which we are also happy to do. Some less reputable letting agents, add hefty commissions to their contractor invoices and rip landlords off by charging them extortionate fees – we don’t do this either.
If you already own buy to let properties or are thinking of buying your first investment, then please get in touch with Angela on 01279 940840 or at email@example.com . If you’re in any doubt if we’re the right letting agent for you, then check out all our glowing reviews on our home page – you won’t be disappointed. Should I use a letting agent to manage my property? Yes absolutely!