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Hi All

 

Do I use a letting agent or do it myself? 

 

What benefits do I get by using an agent and giving up hard earned profit :)

 

Does anyone have a tenancy agreement I can use as a template? 

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Do it yourself! hahaaa I do...but I'm tight :-) I think tenants prefer to know they are dealing direct with the landlord too. Rather than being ignored by a letting agent who doesn't care about the property.

 

If you join a landlords association like the RLA, there will be tenancy agreements and other handy forms for you to download.

 

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1 hour ago, Mortgage_tom said:

 

Do it yourself! hahaaa I do...but I'm tight :-) I think tenants prefer to know they are dealing direct with the landlord too. Rather than being ignored by a letting agent who doesn't care about the property.

 

If you join a landlords association like the RLA, there will be tenancy agreements and other handy forms for you to download.

 

 

Your not tight, your doing it to put some beer tokens in the bank

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Ross hi

 

Some of the answer to this is that it depends how you value your time and what you want to do with it.  Tom has a viewpoint in his comment about tenants wanting to deal direct with a landlord rather than an agent who doesn't care about property but that is a particular stereotype that does nor reflect the whole agency world.  Poorly trained or resourced agents who are out for a fast buck at little apparent effort do exist and they are often the ones who try and win your business by offering low management fees but using these types are selling you and your investment short.

 

If you use a decent agency that is properly staffed with qualified, motivated individuals can save you £000s in finding  and retaining good quality tenants who pay you rent on time, look after your property and stay because they feel valued.  The agency will manage all your legal requirements, monitor your property with regular visits, give you reports regularly and provide you with accounts data ready to hand to your accountant for tax purposes.  you do not have to worry too much about GDPR, Right to Rent checks, annual compliance certification to be kept in date, deposit management and compliance, contractor locating and instructing, tenant finding,referencing processing - legal documentation provision and storage and keeping on top of the continuous raft of legislation that is pouring out of Westminster these days.

 

Go it alone & get it wrong ...... can cost you £000s and with current regulations it can mean you cannot evict a bad tenant either.  As I've posted elsewhere,I have helped too many landlords recover from a well intended, but doomed self managed project because they have not done their homework.  Property investment and refurbishment is only half the story and getting it wrong can break you.  I have frequently spoken to and helped landlords who have lost a few thousand but the worst case I had was £38,000 (alleged by the landlord) and that was with the assistance of a back street agent who helped the landlord do it all horribly wrong and put in the tenant from hell who almost destroyed the house.

 

That said you can do it yourself but you are going to need to do quite a bit of homework to get you head round complying with all the minimum legislation you can scrape by on without putting yourself at considerable risk.  As a minimum:

 

Mortgage - make sure you have a correct mortgage and understand the terms your mortgage provider demands about the AST you offer.  Many restrict the terms of an AST and to whom you can rent to

Leasehold - if your property is leasehold, make sure you have the right permissions from those owning the lease to be able to rent your property out and comply with their terms

EPC - Check your property complies with the current legislation  under MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency  Standards) and be aware of how these are going to change in the next 10 years - make sure you comply with regulations on how to advertise and issue these to viewers as well as tenants or you cant evict a tenant until complied with

Gas Safety - if your property is supplied with gas make sure that you use a proper accredited Gas Safe engineer and understand the legal requirements of how and when to issue your tenant with their copy of a gas certificate - get it wrong and you cannot evict a tenant under a Section 21 (Learn what this is)

How To Rent  paperwork - know what this is and when you need to supply it

Right To Rent - know the Home Office requirements and how to comply with this legislation for all adult tenants / occupants

Know about Council licensing schemes and if you are in a licensing area know compliance requirements and how to obtain and maintain the license

Smoke Alarm  & CO Alarm compliance regulations

Deposit management and administration requirements - getting this wrong could cost you a fine to your tenant of 4 x the deposit + court costs

HMO - if you are getting into the specialist realm of an HMO there is a whole extra lot of compliance legislation - but you also need to know about what an HMO is so that you do not accidentally stray into a field that can get you into a lot of trouble with the local council enforcement teams

Keep an eye out to on incoming legislation as there is more on the way which are likely to include changes to CO alarm regulation, 5 yearly electrical safety check requirements, tenancy fee bans legislation, minimum room sizing (for HMOs)

 

So as you can see from the above a good agent will cover all these aspects for you and in fact their fee is not a bad amount compared to the cost of your accountant or solicitor!  Always choose an agent wisely and avoid the low cost versions - if their cutting costs they're cutting corners and could cost you multiples of the difference in fee between even good and average.

 

That said it can still be rewarding and enjoyable to learn about and self manage but as Tom says above make sure you join either the RLA (Residential Landlord Assoc) or the NLA (National Landlords Assoc) as they provide a raft of support and resources that are now essential in this field and their membership fee is tax deductible (good news!).  Tom clearly is a member of the RLA and I have heard good things about them  - I have been an NLA member for a number of years and found it invaluable even though by day I am also a professional letting agent - I self manage my own.

 

Good Luck and I hope he above is good food for thought

 

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Hi Ross,

 

I've used agents and self-managed over the years and have found self-managing rewarding and much more reliable than using an agent. There are great agents out there, I'm sure and yes there is a lot of legislation to keep on top of but if you enjoy educating yourself (as you probably do if you're on here), it can be an enjoyable experience.

 

The big difference I've found is that finding tenants myself has resulted in a much more long term and positive experience for both me and the tenant. I get to decide who lives in my houses and they get to decide if they think we'll get on too. They appreciate easy, direct contact with me and I've never known a tenant abuse that.

 

To give an idea of the difference, I used an agent for the first 5 years of renting out my first property. I didn't have a clue, so didn't have a choice at that time. We had a succession of 6 month tenancies with significant gaps in between each and lots of hard work to put the place right after each one. I decided to get educated and had the same tenant, that I vetted and managed for 8 years. I know have 4 more (in separate tenancies) who have all been there for at least 2 years and the properties are in a great condition. I also helps if you enjoy meeting people and providing a good service.

 

With books such as Rob Dix provides, the support on the RLA (in my case) and this forum it's not difficult to provide a professional service with not a huge amount of effort. Obviously if you're time poor, a terrible judge of character and not interested in learning it's a different story ; )

 

 

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42 minutes ago, vicky mcmellon said:

Hi Ross,

 

I've used agents and self-managed over the years and have found self-managing rewarding and much more reliable than using an agent. There are great agents out there, I'm sure and yes there is a lot of legislation to keep on top of but if you enjoy educating yourself (as you probably do if you're on here), it can be an enjoyable experience.

 

The big difference I've found is that finding tenants myself has resulted in a much more long term and positive experience for both me and the tenant. I get to decide who lives in my houses and they get to decide if they think we'll get on too. They appreciate easy, direct contact with me and I've never known a tenant abuse that.

 

To give an idea of the difference, I used an agent for the first 5 years of renting out my first property. I didn't have a clue, so didn't have a choice at that time. We had a succession of 6 month tenancies with significant gaps in between each and lots of hard work to put the place right after each one. I decided to get educated and had the same tenant, that I vetted and managed for 8 years. I know have 4 more (in separate tenancies) who have all been there for at least 2 years and the properties are in a great condition. I also helps if you enjoy meeting people and providing a good service.

 

With books such as Rob Dix provides, the support on the RLA (in my case) and this forum it's not difficult to provide a professional service with not a huge amount of effort. Obviously if you're time poor, a terrible judge of character and not interested in learning it's a different story ; )

 

 

 

Thanks Vicky, one of the best pieces of advice I've had. I think being in control of who rents my properties is the main factor. Happy to learn

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Another thumbs up for Openrent and self managing from me....if you have the time.

Use the link below and you get your first advert on Openrent for free and I get my next one for free!!

 

openrent.co.uk/invite/869276

 

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Too bad I can’t show you my tenancy agreement as I consider it a bit confidential. But anyway, to help you with your problem, I personally think working with a letting agency would be a better choice. You just have to make sure they are reliable. By the way, I also own a rental property myself, which I manage with the help of this online home letting agency: https://hostnorthyorkshire.com/holiday-lets-north-yorkshire/. Such agencies can help market your property, drive more bookings and even increase your revenue. They are very helpful especially if you don’t want to spend too much time and effort in taking care of your rental property or even talking to potential guests.

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Hi Ross,

A third option could be to use companies that provide you with guaranteed rent regardless of whether the property is vacant or not. They manage the property on your behalf like an agent would, find tenants etc but wouldn't charge you any fees in the process. This would give you the chance to still have a hands-off renting experience without the hassle of having to think about agent fees. If you would like to have a relationship with the tenant/s then that would be more than possible.

I know a few landlords who benefit from this arrangement.

Something to think about.

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