If you have recently bought a property to rent out, or if you have been a Landlord for a while, you might be weighing up the cost versus the benefits of employing an agent to manage your property.
It’s natural to look at the cost and think “I’d rather keep that in my back pocket”. But have you considered what you will have to do in order to keep the saving, or how much time it will take?
What is your time worth to you?
It’s worth thinking about…
Firstly, what is your hourly rate in your job or career? One extra hour at work might pay for a month’s worth of agency management fees!
How valuable is your spare time outside of work, and is it worth sacrificing that to work on your property?
What could you be doing with that time instead?
What is important to you? Is it family, or your career?
Everyone’s different. But not many people enjoy managing their tenants or fixing maintenance issues with their spare time. Who wants calls about the boiler breaking down at midnight?
Time is one issue.
The second issue is knowledge.
Legislation surrounding lettings and property management is vast, incoherent, complex, and it changes every year. With all the pieces of legislation you need to be aware of as a Landlord, and this is increasing every year, have you got the time or inclination to keep up? What if you don’t keep up and something goes wrong? The consequences could be dire.
In many ways you are personally liable for the tenant’s health and safety. Would you want that on your conscience? There are legal consequences, fines, and prison sentences for getting it wrong - and as mentioned you can’t legally regain possession of your property if you don’t follow a strict set of procedures. We are not trying to frighten you, just to tell you the facts.
A good managing agent is continually trained, qualified, licensed, and insured to look after all of this for you. They have all the systems, software, and processes in place to deal with all of this.
By outsourcing this work, your property will be looked after much more efficiently and effectively than the vast majority of Landlords who manage their property investments themselves. In fact we know from personal experience that almost all self managing Landlords are in fact in breach of the law in one way or another. We don’t blame them, its very difficult to fully comply with all of the burdens put upon them under the law. But this isn’t going to change any time soon. Every year it gets more and more complex as the Government grapple with the demands of a growing private rented sector and its disjointed legal system.
By leaving it to an expert, you are giving yourself peace of mind, and removing all the time and hassle so you can sleep soundly at night in the knowledge it’s all being looked after for you.
Unless being a Landlord is your only job and you live very close to the property, it doesn’t make sense for you to manage it. We believe property should provide passive income.
Don’t leave yourself exposed, don’t give yourself another stressful job, don’t waste your time. Go and do the things that are important to you instead.Management service details
Our management services take care of the process from end-to-end, meaning that you, the Landlord, need not have any direct involvement with the tenant. Remember this is the hands-off and hassle-free approach to owning investment property. You’re leaving all the hard work to the experts while you can relax and have peace of mind knowing your assets are being looked after properly. This is the way to passive income from your property. But don’t worry, we’ll keep in close communication with you so you know what is happening at every key step.
Valuation and Marketing
The first step is for us to come and meet you at the property. This not only gives us an introduction to the property and the opportunity for us to provide a valuation, we can also talk you through how the services work, what the cost is, and answer any queries you may have. Importantly it means we get to meet and start to get to know each other. This is very important as you’ll need to know and trust the people looking after your assets. We’ll give an ambitious but achievable valuation and we always aim to get the best rent we can for your property, in the shortest time, whilst selecting the best (not necessarily the first) tenants available. Good tenants, fast!
Your property will benefit from the best exposure possible. We utilise the best property portals including Rightmove and we continually market to our own database of current matching applicants.
Our team will carry out the viewings for you and we’ll give you regular feedback and advice. We follow up every viewing and negotiate the best outcome. We’ll always agree tenants with you before progressing to referencing.
Once we have secured the best tenants available, we’ll then carry out thorough tenant referencing using a quality third party referencing agency. Checks include income, credit searches, Landlord reference, ID verification and Right To Rent Checks. Only once we’re happy with all of this will we approve the references and go to signing of the tenancy agreement. We will then register the tenant’s deposit and issue the statutory deposit paperwork as required by law.
Health & Safety
We’ll ensure you are compliant with your many requirements as a Landlord including gas, electrical, smoke and carbon monoxide detector checks. Safety certificates will be routinely renewed as required.
We’re constantly engaged in legal training to ensure that we’re overseeing and managing our properties in a fully compliant way. We’ll look after the complex and ever-changing legal landscape to constantly protect your interests.
Inventory & Schedule of Condition
Before tenants move in we’ll compile a detailed time-stamped photographic report for the property including fittings and fixtures, décor, carpets, as well as any furnishings and appliances. This is designed to protect you in the case of a dispute over how the deposit is split after the tenant moves out. We need to evidence the condition of the property to be able to successfully make any claim against the deposit, and this report along with our other tenancy documentation allows us to do that.
Our excellent online system allows tenants to report any maintenance issues or request a repair 24 hours a day. The system allows for full audit trails, photographs, feedback and efficient communication between us, the tenant, the contractor and you the Landlord. We have a full team of third party contractors who provide good value, a high quality of workmanship and prompt service to us. Out of hours emergencies are covered by our professional around-the-clock team.
We have a team member dedicated to managing rents and ensuring prompt payments. We operate a separate Client Account following strict client accounting procedures for our regulating body, ARLA Propertymark. Our accounts are audited annually by an external Chartered Accountant, and all our client funds are insured and protected.
There is a huge amount of administration to deal with which is managed by our team. All data is processed and stored securely in accordance with data protection law and GDPR. Dwell Leeds are registered Data Controllers with the ICO.
As part of our service (with the exception of HMOs rented room-by-room) we negotiate tenancy renewals on a fixed term basis. Periodic renewals are also optional (or as standard for HMOs rented room-by-room) which come without any renewal fee. We carry out routine rent assessments at the same time as fixed term tenancy renewals and we will advise the Landlord where we feel a rent increase would be appropriate in line with current market conditions.
End of tenancy
We will carry out a Check Out on the working day following the end of the tenancy. We will produce a detailed Check Out Report which references the Inventory and Schedule Of Condition which was detailed at the start of the tenancy. The property will be returned to the condition it was in at the start of the tenancy, allowing for wear and tear. We will negotiate and agree deductions from the tenant’s deposit as appropriate. Where agreement cannot be made, we will make a claim to the adjudication service submitting all tenancy documents and evidence to support the claim on behalf of the Landlord.
ARLA Propertymark Letting Agents
We understand that Landlords have a choice of agency. Whoever you decide to use we would implore you to choose an ARLA Propertymark agent.
Why use an ARLA Propertymark agent?
The lettings industry is currently unregulated meaning that anyone can set up and trade as a Letting Agent without any knowledge, experience, training, and with very little insurance. Clearly this is does not serve the interests of their clients well, but do their clients know?
Most Landlords still haven’t heard of ARLA Propertymark. They just don’t have the funding for the marketing required for them to become a widely recognised name. However, this is the leading regulatory body in the lettings industry that the government turn to for expert advice and when making policy decisions.
To be a licensed member of ARLA Propertymark, agents have to sit and pass exams to demonstrate they have sufficient expert knowledge covering health and safety, law, and property management. Not only that but their agents must operate a client account and follow strict client accounting rules which were developed for solicitors. The agent’s accounts must be audited annually by an independent Chartered Accountant qualified in auditing. Client funds must be reconciled and processed regularly and these funds must be insured with Client Protection Insurance.
ARLA agents have to follow strict standards of professional conduct and accrue points annually for ongoing training and development time.
Without a separate client account, client funds get mixed up with business funds and without regular reconciliations, before long the agent can’t tell whose funds are whose and a big financial mess ensues..!
You as a Landlord can choose whoever you wish to manage your property, but without the above safeguards, it’s possible for your agent to vanish over night with your rent and tenant deposits, and there is no recourse for their customers. It’s for this reason that the bad apples have given letting agents in general a very bad reputation and are often unfairly viewed as “the bad guys”.
We’re sure you wouldn’t book an expensive holiday overseas without using a regulated travel company or without insurance. Why would you risk your biggest assets to the unregulated wild west of lettings?
With the pace that the private rented sector is growing, we find it hard to believe that regulation still does not exist in the UK. We avidly support the campaign for mandatory regulation across the industry to remove the rogue agents, to improve standards in our industry and the rep
utation of letting agents in general, who by vast majority provide a good service to their customers.