To manage or not to manage?
Accidental landlords always have the dilemma as to whether they should use and agent to manage their property. The can be under the illusion that paying an agent is unnecessary. Here are the positives of using a good agent!
Better quality tenants! – a good management company will always thoroughly reference the tenants. The agent wouldn’t want there to be any issues at a later date.
Less wear & tear on the unit – photographic inventory/frequent property checks.
Less chance of rent arears – the agent keeps on top of them!
Maintenance dealt with keeping the tenants happier!
Shorter void periods! – a good agent will ensure the property is ready to re let, quickly and efficiently.
Determining the best rental price – too high and it will sit on the market!
Effectively marketing your property – they know what the tenants look for, and how to show your property in the best way.
Better tenant retention – tenants like a good management company, it makes them enjoy their life more. They want maintenance dealt with swiftly. They love good communication. They also like it when a property is thoroughly cleaned and all maintenance carried out before they move in. It gives them confidence when they have a good inventory – it means less hassle for them if they move out. All things points make them stay longer as they are comfortable. Particularly if items are improved or upgraded when needed.
Many landlord needs to be prepared for the 1st April 2018. It’s when new-to-market investment properties need to meet new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES). It will actually be illegal to let out a new property if its EPC rating is lower than an E, so both landlords and agents will need to check EPC ratings with care.
As for existing lets – those that are already in the market – there’s another date to watch. From April 2020, all buy-to-lets will need to meet the new MEES standards. It’s worth examining the EPCs of your managed buy-to-let portfolio now so you can identify properties with F and G EPCs and flag the issue up to landlords. This gives them two years to get the energy standards up to scratch and book a new EPC for a reviewed rating.
Two years may sound like a long time but in terms of accessing a rented property to carry out potentially major and disturbing works, it’s important to have as much notice as possible. If letting agents aren’t actively working with landlords, they may face losing stock because it has become illegal to let.
Buy-to-let investors have traditionally had two choices when it comes to finding tenants and managing properties – pay a letting agent a sizeable fee or do it themselves.
Lettings agents will typically offer a “let-only” service, where they will find, interview and vet tenants, do the paperwork and take the deposit and first month’s rent for a fee of around £600 plus VAT. Then there is a “full management”service, which can cost 10 per cent of the rent or more. Here, the agent will continue to collect rent and deal with the day-to-day running of the property.
An agent’s services can be essential for landlords who have properties far away or a large portfolio to manage. But for those seeking a more hands on approach, Railton-Meeks can offer a more bespoke option to the landlord, see our list of services in our management section.
Happy to discuss your personal requirements.