When it comes to deciding how to manage your property, you have choices.
For landlords with little spare time and even less inclination to keep up with the UK’s ever-changing legislative landscape, full property management will sound tempting.
For those who prefer to be an armchair landlord rather than a DIY landlord, taking this route is the obvious option.
Here we explore ten benefits of full property management and how embracing the expertise of a professional letting agent can deliver real rewards.
Benefit #1: Less stress
Being a landlord involves much more than simply finding a tenant, collecting the rent and sitting back to count your cash. If it was that simple, everyone would be doing it.
Even if your portfolio extends to just one apartment, the associated responsibilities and paperwork can easily overwhelm. Whether that’s due to time restraints, lack of industry knowledge or because you’re personally not cut out for the job.
Step forward an agent offering a full property management service to take away all that potential stress.
A comprehensive package could include:
tenant search, reference checks and renewals
rent collection and protection
compliance and safety knowledge and updates
annual gas safety certificate
plumbing and electrical cover
legal eviction cover
property licence checks
monthly income statements
agency support helpline
document storage and sharing
When you hire the experts to do all these things for you, you get to relax. No more worrying how to persuade your awkward tenant to pay their rent this month, no more trying to track down an emergency plumber on a Sunday morning, no more sleepless nights wondering if you’ve understood the latest legislation properly.
Benefit #2: More time
Imagine fitting in every task on the list above into your busy life.
Being a landlord is an exceptionally time-consuming job. And, naturally, the more properties you have, the busier you’ll become.
While you’re happy to invest cash into your portfolio, investing your precious time into it too isn’t so appealing. You know your time can be much better spent on your full-time career, your friends and family.
A full property management service takes over this micromanagement. Your agent will be the one finding that plumber with immediate availability and digesting the latest government announcement about updates to Section 8 legislation.
Their fee will simply buy you time. Time to focus on your day-to-day life and what’s most important to you.
Benefit #3: Compliance certainty
As a landlord, your legal responsibilities have never been more complex. The upcoming abolition of Section 21 evictions, COVID-related legislation, the introduction of tenancy deposit schemes, the newly announced Breathing Spaces guidance, the Electrical Safety Standards, the Fitness for Human Habitation Act… the list goes on.
Not being aware of these obligations leaves you vulnerable to fines and legal action which could quickly wipe out your profit. And, of course, cause untold hassle and stress.
You could dedicate the time and brainpower to getting to know these guidelines inside out. Or you could partner with an expert agent whose job it is to keep up with this ever-evolving environment, advise which parts apply to you and ensure all the legal boxes are ticked.
They’ll keep your property business compliant while protecting you from costly legal headaches. If you avoid just one lawsuit thanks to your agent’s expertise, then you’ll have saved significantly more than the fees paid.
Benefit #4: Reliable rent collection
You’ve chosen to be a landlord to make a profit so reliable rent collection is essential. Consistent cashflow is your aim.
Your agent will do this on your behalf, as well as handle any late fees and arrears. This relieves you of the burden of an admin task and means you’ll have a trusted professional in place if you have to begin eviction proceedings.
A potential source of significant stress, not having to handle this personally is reason enough to pay for landlord full property management services.
Benefit #5: Expert market knowledge
Yes, you can check online to see what similar properties to yours are going for. But this doesn’t replicate the insider industry knowledge of an agent.
They’re very aware of the fluid rental market and how prices can change from one month to the next. Their knowledge will ensure you’re always getting the optimum amount for your property while keeping that figure competitive and profitable.
They’ll also manage negotiating any rent increase with your tenant, relieving you of yet another task.
Benefit #6: Tenant management
One of the major pluses of choosing full property management services is you can be completely hands-off with tenants. Your property manager will do the honours instead.
Fuelled by their marketing budget and brand reputation, they’ll have access to a steady stream of suitable tenants and be committed to finding the right one quickly.
Sourcing and screening tenants yourself can be time-consuming and is very easy to get wrong. You then leave yourself vulnerable to a non-paying tenant who refuses to vacate your property or one who does the bare minimum to keep it up to standard.
Employ a professional and they’ll use their experience to find high-quality tenants who’ll rent long-term, pay on time and look after your property. They’ll also gather their references and draw up a comprehensive tenancy agreement.
Reliable long-term tenant in place, you’ll avoid the need to regularly re-advertise your property and all the possible jobs linked to that: paying for a deep clean, changing the locks, repainting walls, replacing carpets and of course, the entire sourcing and screening process.
You’ll also minimise the chance of potential lawsuits, an expensive headache that every landlord wants to dodge.
Benefit #7: Shorter vacant periods
When you invest in a property management services package, you can be reassured that your agent will prioritise making sure your property is occupied.
It’s in everyone’s best interests to minimise vacant periods so they’ll do all they can to get tenants in quickly.
Your agent will know if any cosmetic improvements need making to attract the right type of tenant and maximise your revenue.
They’ll set the rent at the right level based on their local market knowledge, access to detailed data and professional rental rate tools.
And of course they’ll market your property effectively, writing well-targeted ads to reach as many ideal tenants as possible and using their sales skills to close the deal with the right one.
Benefit #8: Repairs and maintenance taken care of
When you sign up to a full property management package, you can relax knowing the days of dealing with maintenance issues and repair emergencies are over.
Your agent will have access to an insured and vetted network of contractors to deal with any problem. From trusted locksmiths to expert electricians, they’ll have a bank of people to get in touch with to handle the issue promptly. And with minimal, if any, input from you.
They’ll also appreciate the importance – and understand the legal obligations – of carrying our preventative maintenance. They’ll keep on top of this, logging all checks and associated work to ensure you remain compliant.
The result? Happy tenants who trust you – via your agent - to deal with any concerns quickly and efficiently. And a well-maintained property that will better hold its value.
Benefit #9: Professionally conducted inspections
A key part of managing a property is to undertake regular inspections to ensure it’s being kept in good order and tenants are adhering to their agreement.
While these often go smoothly, a trained eye will more easily be able to spot any untoward signs. They’ll be used to looking for clues that suggest sub-letting is taking place and will be comfortable having potentially awkward conversations about any maintenance issues.
Opting for landlord property management services will give you peace of mind these inspections are being carried out professionally to keep your property investment safe.
Benefit #10: Fees are a business expense
For around 10-15% of your monthly rental fee, you’ll enjoy all the benefits on this list. An investment to reduce stress, save time and deliver ultimate peace of mind.
And keep in mind that property management fees are an allowable expense. So depending on which tax band you fall into, you can knock off 20% to 40% off your fee when doing your accounts.
A tempting extra incentive to hand over the reins to the professionals.
Learn more about MakeUrMove’s fully managed property packages.