Should I Manage My Property Myself?
As a Landlord you need to decide whether to manage your rental properties yourself or to instruct a Letting Agent to manage them for you. If you do decide to manage your property then you will need to be comfortable and have the free time to do the following:
Collecting the Rent
First and most importantly is collecting the rent from the tenant each month. With a good tenant and no problems this is a pretty straightforward task as it is just a case of checking that the rent has arrived as expected. An agent can still help though as it removes the need for you to have to check your account on the rent date and the rent statements you receive detailing income & expenditure make filling in your tax return straightforward.
If the rent is late or worse not paid at all than there is significantly more work to be done. Not everyone would feel comfortable chasing late payments and in a worst case scenario of non-payment then there is a certain process that must be followed in order regain possession of the property. This is where for many a letting agent can come in really handy and make what would be a stressful situation easier.
Being the Tenants Point of Contact
Successful property management means offering your tenants an excellent service so that they will in turn look after the property and hopefully stay in it for as long as possible. If you are going to manage the property yourself then you need to be able to answer calls from the tenant’s raising queries and maintenance problems whether they are in the middle of the working day or the middle of the night! Having a good team of reliable tradespeople that you can use will also be very important.
Provided you have reliable contractors you can use then for most Landlords there is no reason why they couldn’t do this themselves. It really comes down to whether you have a job that will allow you the time to deal with issues as they arise and are able to put arrangements in place to still look after the tenants whilst you are on holiday. The advantage of having a letting agent manage your property is that you have someone else looking after all this for you!
Inspecting the Property
A common mistake made by Landlords managing their own properties is that they will often not carry out any inspections if they feel that they have a good tenant. Property Inspections are important not only to make sure that the tenants are looking after the property but they are also a good opportunity to spot any minor maintenance issues that can be easily fixed before developing into bigger and more expensive problems. Some Landlords may also find it difficult to challenge tenants directly over any concerns that they have with the way they are looking after their property without it becoming confrontational.
The above isn’t an exhaustive list and there are many other things that go into managing a property well. If you do decide to manage the property yourself then it would be a good idea to become a member of a Landlords body such as the National Landlords Association (NLA) as that way you will get some support and will be able to keep up to date with changes in legislation to make sure that you don’t fall foul of the law. Alternatively property management can be great value and at AKS Residential we can fully manage your property from just £42 per month!
Click Here To Read 3 Reasons To Consider Letting To Tenants With Pets.