10 reasons using a letting agent makes sense…
If you know the industry inside out, have the time, the negotiating skills and the inclination to work with tenants direct. If you know how to put problems with your property right and you’re confident you understand your legal obligations then no, you can probably live without a letting agent. But if you’re not in the fortunate position of being able to tick all those boxes, you might want to consider this…
1. You get a better rent with a letting agent
It’s a question of reputation. The letting agent who secures you the best return is the letting agent you’ll return to again and again. So it’s in a letting agent’s interest to find the best price for your property.
2. Fewer, shorter void periods
Empty homes are every landlord’s kryptonite, but your property is likely to spend less time empty when you use a letting agent. Why? Because while you need to start the marketing process from scratch, your letting agent has all the mechanisms in place (social media, website, shop front) to get things moving faster.
3. Create a more marketable property
Most landlords have no more than a handful of properties to let. Letting agents deal with hundreds of properties. They know what makes a property ‘hot’. They see the shifting trends. And they can help make the tweaks that can be the difference between an instant lease and a lengthy wait.
4. Do you know all your legal obligations?
Gas certificates. Energy performance certificates. Deposits. Selective licensing areas. Dealing with problem tenants. You get the picture. Being a landlord exposes you to a whole new world of legislation. A letting agent means you don’t have to face it alone.
5. How do you find the best tenants?
Every landlord wants good tenants. A letting agent helps you feel more confident about the people to whom you let by handling the references, credit checks and screening.
6. Is your investment protected?
A detailed inventory is an essential (and time consuming) part of every lease, but there’s a better reason to entrust your inventory checks to a letting agent than simple convenience. If you ever need to resort to arbitration the adjudicator will want to see your inventory. An inventory drawn up by you, the landlord, is likely to carry less weight than one completed by a third party.
7. Who’s looking after your property?
When wear and tear presents a problem for your tenant – when the fridge breaks, the window seizes up or the central heating starts to sound like a skiffle band, do you want to be the one on call? Your letting agent will handle minor repairs, agree maintenance schedules and keep a regular check on the property so you don’t have to.
8. Rent on time
Some letting agents (we’re one of them) offer rent guarantee schemes, so you always get paid on time, regardless of whether your tenant takes a more ‘relaxed’ attitude to payment. You can find out more about rent guarantees by emailing us.
9. It’s not what you know…
When companies are looking to relocate staff it won’t be individual landlords they choose to deal with. The organisations likely to pay a higher rent will only work with professional letting agents.
10. The buffer zone
Unless you’re a seasoned negotiator, entering into a landlord/tenant agreement on your own could leave you making promises you wish you’d never made. A letting agent handles negotiations for you, putting a layer of process between you and the tenant that makes objective decision making and negotiation easier.
Of course, you need to be sure your letting agent will do all the above and do them well. And for that, you need to give them a call. You can make a start here.