A recent Uswitch survey has found that almost two-thirds of landlords in the UK are considering switching to a managed let.
More than 2000 landlords, who took part in the survey, were asked how likely it is that they’d use a letting agent to look after their let in the future. From the 63% who answered yes, the most popular reasons for making the change included:
No longer having to deal with repairs (32%).
No longer having to find tenants (30%).
No longer dealing with legal requirements (30%).
Not having a strong enough knowledge of the market (29%).
With upcoming changes to lettings’ legislation, it is now more important than ever for landlords to give their full attention to their let. After all, in this lettings’ climate, it is no longer possible to be a part-time landlord without the help of a letting agent.
In this guide, we’ll run through what’s included in a managed let, how they work and the advantages of leaving the day-to-day running of your property to the experts.
What are property management services?
Put simply, property management services are designed to help landlords look after their rental properties.
A fully-managed let will include a range of property management services. The exact details of what’s included will differ between agents however, there are some of the common things that are covered.
Types of services offered by letting agents (and do you need them?)
Tenant-find services may include marketing a property, conducting viewings, qualifying and referencing tenants, and preparing an up-to-date tenancy agreement.
Usually a tenant-find service will also include conducting an inventory at the start and end of a tenancy and collecting the first month’s rent and security deposit, which is then protected, as required by law, in a government-licensed scheme.
Some agents may also liaise with utility companies for things like final meter readings and new tenant details.
Do I need a tenant-find service?
In the survey, 30% of landlords cited the hassle of finding tenants as a reason for using a letting agent. Furthermore, 27% of landlords would make the move to avoid scams and fraud. This suggests that using an agent to set up your let would be a great help to landlords.
It is telling that almost all professional landlords have rejected a tenancy application at some point, while only 88% of letting agents have done so. It’s likely the effective screening process estate agents have when they qualify tenants has something to do with this.
As well as providing a full referencing service, agents will credit check tenants and request a guarantor to avoid any surprises later down the line.
Rent collection usually comprises everything that’s included in the tenant-find service, along with a few other things. These may include:
Collecting the rental payments from tenants and paying this into the landlord’s bank account.
Chasing any missed payments or payments in arrears.
As well as this, a rent-collection service may provide a rental review each year so landlords will know they’re charging an appropriate rent for their property. It will also handle any tenancy renewals and changes, as and when they occur.
Do I need a rent-collection service?
Rent collection has all the benefits of a tenant-find service, with the security of an ongoing relationship with your agent.
In fact, with rent collection, the only things your agent won’t look after are maintaining your property or safeguarding you from any changes to legal legislation. Which brings us to…
A fully-managed letting service encompasses everything mentioned so far, along with legal protection and most repairs and maintenance.
No longer dealing with repairs was the leading reason landlords gave for considering a switch to a letting agent. As well as being time-consuming to arrange, property maintenance can be expensive. It’s estimated that repairs and maintenance updates consume one-fifth of landlords’ income, and is the second most common reason landlords give for selling their property.
A fully-managed lettings’ package comes with an assurance that your agent will keep you apprised of the latest lettings’ legislation, so you can make the necessary updates to your let.
Do I need a fully-managed letting service?
In order to stay compliant with ever-changing lettings’ legislation, landlords should use a managed letting service with an agent that they trust.
Not having a strong enough knowledge of the lettings market and the hassle that comes from keeping up with changing rental legislation are two of the key reasons landlords gave for considering the switch to a managed let. It’s therefore vital to choose a letting agent who is confident in both.
When you work with Martin & Co, you can be assured that we’ll be among the first to know about any legal changes to the way you let.
We offer our agents some of the best training in the industry and each branch has the support of a national network of agencies, each equipped with the latest market data, so you’ll always know that you’re getting the most from your let.
What are premium managed lets?
Some agents offer a premium managed letting service which goes one step beyond the standard managed let.
As well as guaranteeing your rental income - even during void periods - your letting agent will take responsibility for every aspect of your let, enforcing and safeguarding your legal rights, and offering legal protection in the case of any disputes.
To find out about our range of managed letting services, get in touch with your local branch today.