Whether you are a new landlord or one who has previously let out a property, there comes a time when it’s worthwhile considering “Would all of this be easier with a letting agent?”.
Often, the answer is a straight yes, but other considerations such as cost and time then come into play. Perhaps you have the time to sort out your own letting, but it could be spent more effectively elsewhere. Or maybe you’re put off by the cost of hiring a letting agent to manage your property for you?
Despite any preconceptions you may have, there are a lot of benefits of working with a letting agent and if just one or two of them makes your life easier or saves you time and money in the long run, then perhaps it is worth properly considering after all.
Here are just some of the benefits that landlords are able to take advantage of when working with a lettings agent:
We often find that if a person has been living in their property and moves in with a partner or similar, that they’re happy to rent their property in the condition that it is in. However, having a neutral property that has been depersonalised can add a lot of value to potential tenants, as this makes it easier for them to see themselves living there (and personalising it to their taste, with their own belongings. The more they want to move in, the more they will be willing to pay your asking price.
Picture moving into someone else’s house and there are ornaments or mismatched furniture that you have to keep. It will still feel like someone else’s house. Now imagine a house that has space for your own personal touches and an environment where anything from a potted plant to a picture of your wedding day wouldn’t look out of place – that’s when it will start to feel like it could be your house, as a tenant.
Speaking of what goes into a house, you will need to ensure that a full inventory has been done so that you can prove that the condition of the property or anything within it, is officially documented. Without this, you won’t be able to prove whether there’s anything that needs refurbishing or fixing, which you would be able to pay for using money from a tenant’s deposit.
There are specific rules around what you can and cannot do with a tenant’s deposit, including how to protect it properly, so having support in this area can be invaluable.
Usually, a letting agent can identify what needs to be done to make your property as attractive as possible to potential tenants (including taking professional photographs using effective angles, lighting and viewpoints, which a letting agent will be able to do for you).
To achieve a quick turnaround, letting agents analyse what price would be best to charge for rent and where is best to advertise your property. In most cases, a letting agent will have access to the tools needed to draw awareness to your property, from the people who are most likely to want to rent it.
If you’re dissuaded from using letting agents because you think you would lose money, the chances are that a letting agent would be able to secure you a higher rental figure anyway; based on their knowledge of the marketplace as well as how they market the property and who they market it to.
What you pay a letting agent should only make a dent in this, leaving you with a similar amount to what you would have achieved by yourself, but having gained a professional on your side and lost the burden of having to deal with any hassle.
One of the main reasons that landlords use letting agents is because it’s easier than making sure that every legal issue related to renting out a property is covered by themselves. Even if there are still some liabilities that you as a landlord will have to take care of yourself, a good letting agent will draw your attention to these, whilst they take care of everything else, including safety regulations and requirements. They will also ensure that you have a legally binding tenancy agreement that will properly protect both you as the landlord and your prospective tenant.
Another bonus of having a letting agent involved from a legal point of view, is that if a dispute were ever to arise between landlord and tenant, the landlord would be able to back up key facts with their own documentation. However, even before it gets to this point, the agent can be the ‘middle man’ between you both, which is often very helpful when trying to avoid a dispute.
Alongside this, if the worst was to happen and you needed to evict a tenant, a letting agent would make sure that this was done in a way that is fully legal and which minimises the risk of repercussions on you as the landlord.
To avoid the risk of disputes or eviction, the best thing to do is to find tenants who are likely to treat both you and your property with respect.
When using a letting agent to find a tenant or set of tenants for you, they will carefully screen candidates and take care of sourcing references. From their own experience, they will also be able to pick up on warning signs of bad tenants, which reduces the risk of problem tenants and those that do not pay their rent on time.
When something at the property goes wrong or if your tenant gets in touch with a complaint, what would have been your problem is taken care of by your letting agent. You shouldn’t even be aware of a problem until your letting agent has told you that they have dealt with it.
From early morning phone calls to say that a tenant has locked themselves out of the property, to a water leak in the middle of the night, these will be taken care of by your letting agent; saving you time and perhaps more importantly, giving you peace of mind.
Another important factor to mention, is that letting agents can take care of making sure that rent is paid on time and chase this up if there are ever any issues. Letting agents will also carry out inspections for you, so that they can see whether there are any potential problems or breaches to the lease.
Letting agents in Leicestershire
If you’re considering using a letting agent for a property in Leicestershire, our team of lettings experts will be happy to talk you through the options that we can provide. For more information, get in touch today using the following telephone numbers: