If you are already a landlord, you may manage your rental property portfolio effectively; however, you may find the support of a letting agent a helpful way to offload some of the responsibilities. If you are starting out on your landlord adventure, the services of a letting agent could prove invaluable and good practice to follow on your learning path.
Managing your portfolio yourself
There are cost savings to be made if you take on full responsibility. Managing tenants and the problems that may arise can be time consuming; however, if you are living in close proximity to your properties and you like to be fully involved, this could be a suitable setup for you. You will also need to have access to reliable and reputable suppliers that will be needed along the way, such as plumbers, glaziers and decorators, and keep up with the paperwork that will be involved, including the current legal regulations. You will also be responsible for finding your own tenants.
Outsourcing to a letting agent
If time is short for you – perhaps you are in full-time employment elsewhere and your landlord status is a side project – or you are new to the property letting business, engaging the services of a letting agent may be a sensible solution for you. Living some distance from your rental could also mean you would rather someone else manage it for you. Your agent will deal with day-to-day problems, repairs, legalities, contracts, regulations etc. They will also find and vet appropriate tenants for you, with reference and credit checks, and deal with deposits and inventories.
There is a fee associated with bringing on board an agent; however, this can be worth every penny. Property inventory software from providers such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/ can be a very useful management tool.
Choosing an agent
Check your agent belongs to an appropriate standards body for compliance and has protection against any liquidation issues. You may find one by recommendation – word-of-mouth is highly regarded and others’ experiences can contribute to your decision making. Ensure they know your market so that they can match your property to the right tenancy, advising and guiding you on your income potential. Don’t be attracted to just the lowest fee, as this can be an indication that they are not offering a quality service.