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The benefits of full property management in a fee-free world

It's fair to say the announcement earlier this month that the long-awaited ban on tenant fees will come into force in June has got landlords and lettings agents thinking.

For most agents, planning for a fee-free market has been going on ever since 2016's autumn statement.

For landlords, many will be expecting management fees to rise.

While that may be a decision many agents are forced to make in light of the fees ban, a full management service for landlords has arguably never been more valuable.

Growing landlord legislation

While the tenant fees ban affects agents in the main, the knock-on effect for landlords comes hot on the heels of other big changes in legislation over the past 15 years.

Those changes include:

* General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

* Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)

* HMO room size regulations

More landlord legislation on its way

As well as the tenant fees ban and cap on tenancy deposits and the third phase of mortgage interest tax relief withdrawal from April, landlords could soon be impacted (not always negatively!) by these other proposed pieces of legislation, should they become law:

* Three-year tenancy terms

* Client Money Protection (CMP)

* Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill

* Mandatory electrical safety checks

Benefits of a full management service

Even for smaller scale landlords, keeping track of legislation in the private rental sector is a full-time job in itself.

Not only that, the penalties for falling foul of these rules and regulations are, in many cases, severe.

Here are some of the penalties you could face:

MEES: Fine between £5,000 and £50,000 (rises to between £10,000 and £150,000 if no compliance after three months of rental)

GDPR: Fines of either 4% of turnover or 20 million Euros

HMO licensing: Fine up to £20,000

Right to Rent: Unlimited fine or up to five years in prison

Tenancy Deposit Protection: Deposit return plus between 1 and 3 times the deposit as a fine

These are not insignificant penalties at all and landlords self-managing need to make sure they are compliant with all the current legislation, and aware of incoming changes, before renting their buy-to-let properties.

Full management property services mean responsibility for compliance falls on your managing agent and provides you with peace of mind that all your obligations as a landlord are being taken care of.

Moreover, things do go wrong during a tenancy, no matter how on top you feel you are when it comes to maintenance.

A full management service means further peace of mind that should an emergency occur, an approved and trusted list of contractors are on hand to sort things out.

Other services under full management

As well as dealing with maintenance and tenant queries throughout the tenancy, there are a host of other benefits that come with a full management service, including:

* Monitoring of tenant's credit status throughout the tenancy

* Regular visits to inspect the property

* Payment of property-specific bills

* Check-out and recommended deductions

* A key role in any landlord / tenant dispute

* Managing transfer of utility bill liability between tenant and landlord

Martin & Co Camberley also offers landlords a 'Manage & Protect' service, which includes full management services plus:

* Rent protection

* Repossession service

* Legal representation for defended action

* Squatter eviction

* Legal representation for property damage

* Legal defence

* Helpline services

If you're worried about how forthcoming legislation, including the tenant fees ban, could affect you as a landlord, contact Martin & Co Camberley's lettings experts who will be happy to help.

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