Whats the number one answer 'Let Only' landlords or landlords who advertise on Gumtree give us when we ask why not have their property managed by a letting agent?
Cost is a big factor in any transaction, but we all have busy lives, we’re all dashing about trying to fit 1000 things into 24 hours, and personally, do you know what means more to me? The thing I can never get back?
Agents spend on average 17 hours moving a tenant in.
Now, both of these types of landlords, whether they are a ‘Let Only’ type of landlord OR they are advertising through Gumtree, both have to give up their valuable time, which as we know they will never get back looking after that property, making sure they remain compliant and keeping their tenant happy.
As an example let me walk you through the average tasks it takes us a letting agent, to move a tenant in. First you have to drive to and conduct the initial market valuation with the landlord at the property, once a landlord signs you move on to taking photos, then to listing the property and adding a description (and photos) to rightmove, then creating social media content around the property, qualifying applicants who phone in and collating their details, driving out and conducting viewings, chasing the deal with the tenant, negotiating with the landlord, assisting the tenant with filling in their applications, conducting immigration checks, chasing referencing companies, drawing up a tenancy agreement and sending it out, chasing applicants, getting the property ready for let with cleans and key sets, instructing an inventory, instructing and chasing a Gas Safety cert, an Electrical Testing Cert, an EPC, a Legionella Risk Assessment. Getting move in paperwork in order, getting the right version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide, the prescribed information, registering the deposit with a deposit scheme, obtaining the deposit registration certificate, double/triple checking files, testing the smoke alarm on day of move in, dealing with last minute dilemmas, taking and processing initial monies to FINALLY sitting down with the tenant on move in day to hand over keys and make sure everything is signed. This takes on average a whopping 17 man hours per tenancy. Phew! So Gumtree landlords, do you have this time to spare every time you want a new tenant?
But ‘Let only’ landlords, how much time are you wasting on property?
However, this is just the start, this isn’t even before you consider the day to day management time once the tenancy begins. You’ve got the constant dealing with maintenance and queries, renewing safety certificates, issuing rent increases, re-checking immigration paperwork, re-doing contracts, dealing with emergencies, chasing arrears, conducting inspections, arranging check out reports, conducting deposit negotiations…this all takes countless hours down the line, and its important we get it right. Do you have this kind of time to throw away?
And are you even doing it correctly?
It is estimated that close to 170 different legislation changes or new legislation has been introduced into the private lettings sector in the last 5 years. You may say, ‘well I have steady tenants who have been in the property 10 years and pay me rent and don’t cause me any problems.’ Lucky you! But I’m afraid letting a property ten years ago, isn’t the same now that it was then. Have a read over the above two paragraphs again, anything I mentioned there you havent heard of, or not make any sense to you or you thought didn’t apply to you? And you’re managing that property yourself? Then it’s likely you may be in for some hefty problems if you get rumbled.
Massive fines for non-compliant landlords!
Fines, prosecution, Jail. These are all reality if you miss even one of the vital steps I talked about above. Every single tenancy you manage must be compliant in these areas, as not only could you face fines of £20,000, but you could face prison time, and you may not be able to get your tenant out when you want the property back. We see landlords being fined these amounts every day in the industry press and general press, it could be your face we're reading about on the next article about this.
How can we take this pain away from you?
So, before you immediately put your investment stock on the market to sell, consider how and who can take this pain away from you. Every day our day job, is to do this kind of stuff. It’s all we know as letting agents, its our business to be experts in it and keep up with it as it constantly changes. Do you want you and your wife to sleep better at night knowing this is taken care of? Do you want to spend that time worrying or doing this stuff (badly) or on the golf course? or shopping? or watching your favourite sport? Then I think you know what to do.
Get in touch with us for advice on how we can help you today.
Want more landlord advice? Check out this blog on investing in Gloucestershire HERE.
Angharad Trueman – Managing Director