In ever more competitive times when landlords like all of us are trying to save money there is a trend to go ‘let only’ and for them to manage the property themselves. After all what do we do for our 10% or whatever!
We’ve all been there haven’t we? If the tenancy goes well and the landlord never hears from you he wonders just what the point is of paying you. And if there are rent arrears and you are working your socks off to address it then he still wants to know what you’re doing for your fee!
Here are some of the reasons that you will no doubt be using during your appraisal visit.
• We have the knowledge and expertise to navigate the complexities of Statute which landlords must adhere to.
• Your time is precious so let us deal with the tenant.
• We have speedy access to reliable and affordable contractors.
• We have ready access to a legal help desk
• We carry out rent reviews ensuring you maximise your investment
• We will deal with dilapidations and deposit return at the end of the tenancy
• We can provide a statement for your annual tax return itemising all income and outgoings over the tax year.
• We will deal with utility companies and the council at tenant changeover as well as validating bills for the void period. This can be a minefield in itself!
• Management fees are a deductible outgoing for tax purposes
• Value for money – We can manage your property for less than a cup of coffee (Speak to Susie about her Starbucks™ Comparison)
So how do we ensure that we are able to discharge these responsibilities effectively? Of course that is down to training and staying current. Being a member of a professional body should provide both.
The ordinary landlord out there will have little idea of the legal complexities involved with letting a property. There are still landlords who do not renew the gas safety record annually. A rent increase will just be a visit to the property to let the tenant knows it’s going up next week! Sadly many get away with this.
I was talking to a landlord recently who was trying to move back into her property and was calling around all agents to find somewhere for her tenants. She had given them notice. During the discussion it became clear that the day she had served notice had no bearing on the rent period. I mentioned this to her and said that she may have to start again. Following a visit by the tenant to the council housing officer this mistake was discovered and indeed the landlord had to serve another Section 21. Hopefully such a mistake would not have happened had the property been managed by an agent.
We came across a landlord recently who has been paying his tenants utility and council tax bills for the last 12 months as he has not notified the companies that the property is tenanted. A very costly mistake that would have been avoided had the property been managed.
Of course if we offer Property Management it must be undertaken correctly. Staff must be aware of the requirements for safety testing and safety requirements (fire and furniture). The complexities if HHSRS will be unknown to landlords. Staff must know when to issue the Section notices the most common being Section 8, 13 and 21. The wrong date or incorrect information will make them invalid and may lead to a landlord taking legal action against the Agent.
Wyn Morgan