Is Hiring A Letting Agent Right For You?
I was able to talk to some young landlords recently and, in our discussion, I discovered a common question that they had – “Should new landlords hire letting agents?”
Other property experts may say that you should stay away from lettings agents due to their less than stellar track record for treating landlords. But I say, if you’ve only had your rental property for less than a year, then I guess you should hire a letting agent right away.
I believe that newbie landlords would benefit the most from the service of a letting agent because they still don’t have the experience and know-how required to operate a rental property and finding the right tenants.
No matter how many “how-to” articles you read in print or online, it’s a different ball game when you’re actually there; that’s why I suggest hiring an experienced professional for the first year of your operation so you can observe first hand on how things are done.
Probably one of the advantages a letting agent can help you solve in your first year as a landlord is how to get past all the industry red-tape.
Many people go into property investment thinking that it’s an instant way to get rich. It’s not. In fact, being a landlord means that you’ll have to comply with a load of industry/ regulatory requirements from day one. If you are being assisted by a trustworthy letting agent, they can tell you the process of acquiring important requirements such as: securing of tenant deposits, energy compliance certificates, and gas safety certificates.
Another tip you can pick up from them is how to conduct proper maintenance and repairs on your property.
Just because your property is either newly built or newly renovated, it doesn’t mean that your tenants won’t report about something being broken around the house.
Maintenance and repairs are part of the life of a landlord from the first day you operate.
When you have a letting agent, they will notify you in case any request for maintenance or repair will come up from the tenants. Then they can recommend you to some handymen near your area and also guide you to the process of hiring professionals for repairs.
After a year of working with an experienced letting agent, you can then decide to either retain their services or take the responsibilities of managing your rental property personally.
I’m warning you this early that while there are some agents who remain professional when you cut business ties with them, there are a select few who won’t let you off the hook so easily.
Some lettings agents include a “Tenancy Renewal Fee” into their employment. Beware of this clause because it entitles them to a fee each time one of tenants they’ve found sign a new contract with you, even if you have already ended their services.
Being a landlord is a long roller coaster ride and some of the warnings I shared in this article are just the tip of the iceberg. But as the saying goes- no guts, no glory, and with the help of these tips, I hope you’ll surpass any challenge when building a property portfolio.