Unsure whether to go it alone or enlist the help of an agent? We weigh up the pros and cons of both.
For anyone considering how to manage their rental property, the biggest decision to make will be whether to manage it yourself or use an estate agent to deal with the issue. The cost of a full management service may seem prohibitive, but if it provides peace of mind that your tenants and property are being looked after it can be money well spent.
Taking the weight off your shoulders
Advertising your property via social media, Rightmove or Gumtree might appear to be a cost-effective way of going about things, but using a letting agency has plenty of added benefits. From vetting potential tenants to showing people around your property, an agent takes on the main legwork allowing you to sit back and relax.
Credit checks and references are an important part of the process and something which many self-managing landlords often overlook. Agents will also manage legal and legislative compliance, inspections, maintenance and other associated elements of the tenancy agreement. Whether its repairs, break ins or evictions, an agent takes the hassle out of rental property management.
Do it yourself and stay in total control
Appointing an agent to find prospective tenants for your property might seem like a good idea, but what if they put someone completely unsuitable in your property?
If you conduct viewings of your property, you can make sure you take on tenants you like. Managing your own property would also ensure you avoid paying agent fees. Many charge 10% of your annual rent as a finder’s fee, plus a further 10% to 15% of the monthly rent to manage a property.
Doing it yourself ensures you retain all of the profit from the rental income and also gives you the chance to get to know your tenants better.
The type and number of properties can make a difference
If you're renting out a newly renovated property to a family or to young professionals, it's likely that you would have less issues to contend with than if you were targeting the student lettings market with an older property in need of some attention.
Single property landlords may favour self-management more than those who are renting out numerous properties, with an agent taking the strain out of the whole process.
Agents know the local market
An agent will have in-depth knowledge of the local market, such as achievable rental values and customer demographics, along with established relationships with councils, other landlords and tradesmen.
While handing over 'control' to a third party may seem daunting at first, you can do so in the knowledge that it is in the agent's interests to provide a high level of service. Their businesses rely on having a good reputation locally – keeping their landlords and tenants happy is key to this.
Weighing the pros and cons
While meeting prospective tenants in person, drawing up your own contracts and being a hands-on landlord may give you reassurance that your property is being looked after properly, using an estate agent certainly has many benefits.
From looking after all the administrative elements, to ensuring that any issues during the tenancy agreement are dealt with, appointing an agent for property management should ensure you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of rental property ownership.