Should a Landlord use a Lettings Agent for Property Management?
Letting platforms with specific support practices and fixed fees with self-selecting services are more commonplace now than say, five years ago. They have matured and are far more transparent now in what they actually do for you as a landlord. There is also more choice when it comes to listings and the internet provides more information than ever, providing they have their own website. Traditional high street lettings agents unfortunately are suffering from increasing costs (like paying their own commercial landlords) which have to be passed onto someone, which in most cases is the landlord. Hence leading to some of the inflated fees you see on the high street.
A recent poll revealed that 15 per cent of landlords use an agent just to ‘find a tenant’ before then managing the property themselves. But property management can be so much more than some people think, and recent changes in the rental market and government legislation has ushered professional bodies to advise landlords against this approach, arguing that “The difference between a let only service and a fully managed one is actually much smaller than many landlords think. It’s important to put a price on the time you will spend managing a property yourself, the responsibilities associated with letting a property in the current climate, and the problems that continue to exist which may use up your valuable time”
For those agents who feel that using an agent is the right thing for them, it’s important to be aware that not all agents are equal, so choosing the right agent for your needs is crucial. There are some very good agents and these are worth their weight in gold. But unfortunately there are also some very poor agents who hit the headlines, let you down when you need them most, and ultimately end up tarnishing the reputation of the entire industry. It is worth spending some time looking at the options, doing some research, reviewing their past experiences and ultimately identifying the best one for you!