Many landlords in Brighton ask themselves one important question: Should I hire a letting agent, or manage the property myself?
Brighton letting agents offer numerous advantages, but some landlords may still prefer to take a DIY approach to management. Understanding what an agent can offer will help you make an informed decision.
Why Hire a Letting Agent?
Not all investors are looking to become landlords. Having to deal with tenant issues and property maintenance is not everyone’s cup of tea. Truthfully, not all investors are suited to be landlords, either. But properties still need to be managed nonetheless. If an investor does not want to do it, they need to hire someone who can.
The primary benefit to hiring letting agents is that they offer the opportunity for hands-off investing. A letting agent will take care of all the day-to-day property management tasks. From repairs to maintenance, collecting rent and more, agents will look after your property, so you don’t have to.
What else do agents do?
Letting Agent Services
Letting agents generally offer two main level of services: let only and full management. Let only may be finding tenant only, or it may be finding tenants and collecting rent. Agents that offer full management services will take care of everything that goes into managing your property.
Full management services may include:
- Preparing the property for letting: An agent may make a rental assessment, and help a landlord find a suitable rental price.
- Market the property: An agent will market your property to find suitable tenants. The property may be listed on the company website, popular online property portals and local newspapers. The agent’s ultimate goal is to get a tenant into your property as quickly as possible.
- Conduct viewings: The agent will handle tenant viewings, including the scheduling and preparing.
- Tenant referencing: The agent will also carry out the necessary checks to ensure that the tenant is suitable. This information will help you make an informed decision on who to let to.
- Provide a tenancy agreement: It will be the agent’s responsibility to procure and prepare an up-to-date tenancy agreement.
- Take the deposit and first rental payment: The agent will also be in charge of collecting the initial deposit and the tenant’s first rental payment.
- Handover and check in: Agents will also handle the “handover” and “check in” process.
- Maintenance and repairs: A full service agent will handle any maintenance and repair issues that your tenants may face. Reputable agents will have a network of trade professionals that can make necessary repairs in a timely manner.
- Collection of rent: Agents may also collect rent from your tenants on your behalf.
How Much Do Brighton Letting Agents Cost?
That depends on the agent. Some will charge 10% + VAT of the rent, while others will charge a fee based on a multiple of the weekly rent. In the latter case, agents normally charge two weeks plus VAT.
Letting Agents Save Time
Some landlords may shy away from hiring a letting agent because of the costs. But the biggest thing an agent will save you is time, and time is money. Agents take care of marketing your property and finding suitable tenants. They will take care of routine maintenance and repair tasks if you chose full service management. They will take care of all the tedious aspects of finding, screening and letting your property.
In addition to saving you time, letting agents also bring something unique to the table: their expertise. Brighton letting agents know the local market, and they know how to market properties properly. As a landlord, this can mean the difference between letting your property in less than a month, and taking two to three months finding a tenant on your own.
Letting agents are also in a position to offer you advice. For a novice landlord, this advice can be invaluable.
Is a Letting Agent Right for You?
Ultimately, the decision to hire a letting agent is a personal one. If you prefer to take a hands-on approach and do not mind investing a great deal of time into managing the property, than a DIY approach may be the best option. However, if you are inexperienced or prefer to spend your time doing something more meaningful, a letting agent may be the best option.