Unlocking the benefits of using a Letting Agent

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  As the Scottish rental market shows signs of increased rents and future investment (other than Aberdeen), new or existing Landlords will be keen to weigh-up the benefits of keeping their portfolio’s and using a property agent to oversee the management, or, offloading (selling) their properties, which means there will be an opportunity for new investors, with a knock-on opportunity to Letting Agents.

Today, we want to talk about the many benefits of using a Letting Agent.

Firstly, not many Landlords may think about this one but, a large percentage of tenants actually prefer the property being managed by an agent (data collated from within our agency).

The three main areas covered were:

  A number of our tenants said they felt better knowing we had systems in place for securing their personal data; such as their national insurance number, home addresses, etc.  They also said they felt better dealing with a company rather than a stranger!

We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office which means we have a responsibility in processing personal information.

As a Landlord, what do you do with tenant’s personal information?!  The last thing you want is for personal data to be lost.  You could receive a hefty fine from the ICO, if it is found you have failed at keeping the tenant’s personal information secure.  Stress you really don’t need.

 

  Someone being on call for emergencies; From the 3am calls from tenants who have locked themselves out, to 6am calls from tenants saying “there’s water coming through the ceiling’, you really cannot prepare yourself for what may occur.  There will always be a call at an inconvenient time, rest assured.

If you’re a Landlord with a full time job, family and social commitments, how do you deal with emergency maintenance requests?!  Another thing to think about.

 

  Protecting tenant’s deposits; In 2011,  the Scottish Government  introduced legislation regarding tenant’s deposits.

The main concern for many tenants was ‘knowing where their deposit would be kept’.

Your duties as a Landlord:  if you receive a deposit in connection with a tenancy, you must register the deposit within 30 working days of the beginning of the tenancy, with one of the three approved deposit protection schemes.

A tenancy deposit scheme is a scheme provided by an independent third party to protect deposits until they are due to be repaid.

Due to good PR/Marketing of the deposit protection schemes, the government, and Shelter pressing on with their never-ending anti-private sector who-ha, tenants are becoming very familiar with the sector and how Landlords should be protecting their deposits.  Landlords, read – legislation.

 

Let’s have a look at whether it’s time for you to hire a Letting Agent;

Do you have plenty of time to manage your rental property?
Are you aware of safety regulations and is your property up to date on current legislation?
Do you have someone to deal with emergencies, such as reliable tradesmen?
Can you handle short-notice maintenance issues  yourself?
Do you have a high turnover of tenant rates?
Do you have to chase your tenants for their rent every month?
Are you currently trying to evict a tenant?
Do you spend a lot of time advertising and looking for a tenant whilst your property sits empty?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, we think it’s time you considered scheduling in a chat with your local Letting Agent.

 

How a Letting Agent could make your life easier; From listings on premium property portals to social media networks, most agents have great tools for marketing your property – allowing exposure to millions of prospective tenants.

What do Letting Agents do; The list is endless but in brief, a good agent should be able to market your property, screen prospective tenants, have knowledge of property law and their local market, be able to deal with any complaints, offer good financial management and should have good, reliable and competitively priced tradesmen.  Transparency is key.  A good agent will not shock you halfway through your agreement.

From my experience there is no real secret to a successful landlord/letting agent relationship.  Expectation on both sides should always be discussed at the start of your agreement, and you must like each other.   Quite simple. If you get these both right it should be plain sailing.  But as I said, from my experience 🙂

Over 41% of UK Landlords said using a Letting Agent reduced their stress levels.

 

Article written by our Property Manager/Owner, Nykky Banks.