Should you self-manage your property or use a letting agent?
You may have seen that changes are afoot in the lettings industry: the proposal to ban letting tenant fees and also cap rent deposits has passed its third reading in the House of Commons and has now started its journey through to the House of Lords.
So, what does the Tenant Fees Bill mean for letting agents, landlords and for tenants?
For tenants in private sector rentals, it means they will no longer face excessive fees for minor damage to property and will no longer be liable to pay large sums to replace for responsibilities such as a lost key. Instead, landlords and agents will have to show “reasonable costs” incurred!
The tenants will become less accountable and also save costs, potentially up to £300 each time they move property. However, this could mean less stringently vetted tenants at large nationwide – which is why we believe that letting agents will need to to play an even more influential role for landlords.
The changes proposed will also mean big changes to agents – but it’s an opportunity for the ethical members of the industry to demonstrate that they are there to protect landlord assets as well as tenants’ interests.
With restrictive tax relief tightening for landlords already and stamp duty reforms meaning increased outlay to add to a portfolio, its understandable a landlord would want to reduce their costs as much as possible, but is managing a property/portfolio actually cost effective?
This is just as likely to be a false economy because the role of a letting agent is to remove the stress of the day-to-day management, leaving a landlord to focus on growing their portfolio. Even after advertising and sourcing desirable target tenant – that’s just the start, there are other key reasons why our specialist lettings management service is the smart choice for buy-to-let investors.
As a letting agent, we make sure your tenants adhere to the rental/tenancy agreements and ensure that the property is being looked after by carrying out inspections in line with initial photographic and written inventories. If any problems arise, we can advise on legal matters and our designated property managers are on hand six days a week if there are urgent issues/questions.
Tenant checks and services
Our full range of tenant management services covers obtaining thorough references for potential tenants and Right to Rent checks. We also set up the tenancy in accordance with legislation, covering areas such as inventory, safety certificates, Energy Performance Certificates, draw up the tenancy agreement and register deposits with the DPS.
Collect and chase
While we attract the right tenants for a landlord, problems occasionally arise in the current climate in which we all live. If a tenant does not pay their rent on time, our collect and chase service provides peace of mind to landlords and have the backing of further debt collecting services.
Those are key services to landlords that we believe add significant value to the security of a tenancy, but we perform other vital roles, including:
- Reviewing property rents on an annual basis and negotiating rent increases, where applicable
- Arranging tenancy renewals
- Serving statutory notices, where required (eg, section 21 Notice to Vacate)
- Negotiation of Deposit Reallocation
- Co-ordinating with local reputable contractors for property maintenance at competitive price
- Taking meter readings at tenancy initiation and providing to utility providers/council
- Undertaking both routine and emergency property maintenance
- Arranging the renewal of safety certificates.