Do Landlord’s Really Save By Managing Their Own Properties?
Landlords managing their own properties normally do so for one of two reasons, either they’ve had a bad past experience with a letting agent in the past and therefore want to control things themselves or they are self-managing due to cost. On balance though do you really save money by self-managing instead of instructing a professional letting agent?
If you are going to self-manage then you have to take some account of the time you will need to spend on this. Even assuming that everything runs smoothly with no major problems you will still need to check for the rent each month, chase up any slow payments, arrange to visit the property at least 3 times a year to keep an eye on things and arrange any maintenance repairs that are needed during the tenancy.
Over the course of a year I think conservatively and again assuming everything runs smoothly you could expect to spend an average of a couple of hours a month on managing a property. That’s either leisure time, time that could have been spend searching for your next investment or even just extra time you could have spent on your day job!
If you really look after tenants they will be happier which in turn means they will generally stay for longer and look after a property better. As an individual, it can be difficult to be as available as you need to be to offer the right level of service as holidays, day jobs and other commitments often get in the way. If you are away or in the middle of a meeting you are probably not going to be able to just drop everything and arrange the repair of a maintenance issue there and then.
A good letting agency will always be available and able to respond to any emergency works on a 24/7 basis. They will also have a trusted panel of contractors they have a good relationship with so will generally find it easier to arrange for quicker repairs. Of course, quicker repairs and easy communication whether through apps, email or phone will result in happier tenants.
In my experience, at least 90% of Landlords that manage their own properties are not fully compliant. Over the last few years there has been a multitude of new legislation that needs to be adhered to and most Landlords aren’t disregarding it they are just simply not aware of it. There is a huge risk to not being fully compliant as not only could this result in a fine or worse it will also mean that if you find yourself in the situation of needing to evict a bad tenant and your paperwork is not in order you will not be able to get a possession order.
As an ARLA licensed letting agent we have to commit to doing a minimum of 12 hours CPD each year to make sure we are fully up to date and adapting our processes to changing legislation. This means that all our Landlord’s properties are fully compliant potentially saving them from an awful lot of stress and expense!
Of course, the above is all based on the assumption that you choose a good letting agent to manage your property. There is definitely no shortage of choice for Landlords in Derby with so many letting agents competing for business. You might find our article on the 7 questions to ask a letting agent useful, take a look here.