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Jul 11, 2024

Is it Worth Using a Letting Agent? Advice for Landlords

Being a UK landlord comes with a multitude of responsibilities, from property maintenance to tenant management. Juggling these tasks can be overwhelming, which is why many landlords are asking if it is worth using a letting agent to streamline their property management. In this blog post, we will explore the key reasons why landlords should consider using the services of a letting expert. From tenant screening to deposit protection and property maintenance, letting experts can offer a range of services and benefits to make the life of a landlord significantly easier. You may also be interested to read 7 Steps To Becoming A Residential Landlord What Is The Purpose Of A Letting Agent? Expert Tenant Screening and Selection The most crucial aspect of being a landlord is finding reliable and responsible tenants. However, tenant selection is not just about filling a vacancy; it’s about ensuring the longevity of your property investment. Letting agents have the experience and resources to thoroughly screen potential tenants, significantly reducing the risk of problematic renters. Comprehensive Background Checks: Letting agents have access to resources that allow them to perform thorough background checks on potential tenants. This includes checking credit history, rental history, and any legal issues. Additionally, by identifying red flags early on, letting agents can help landlords avoid problematic tenants. Reduced Vacancy Periods: Letting agents often have an extensive network of potential tenants. This means your property can be advertised and occupied quickly, reducing void periods. Quality Tenants: Letting agents use their experience to identify quality tenants. That's those who are likely to pay rent on time and respect the property, and the terms of the rental agreement. Furthermore, this can lead to better landlord-tenant relationships and lower turnover rates. Efficient Property Management and Maintenance Property management is a time-consuming task that involves everything from routine maintenance to addressing emergency repairs. Additionally, and crucially, letting agents take the burden off the landlords’ shoulders and ensure a well-maintained and compliant property. Timely Repairs and Maintenance: Letting agents have a network of trusted contractors who can quickly address any issues that arise. This ensures the property remains in good condition and that tenants are satisfied. Legal Compliance: The UK has many laws and regulations that landlords must adhere to from safety standards to tenancy agreements. Letting agents are well-versed in these regulations and ensure that landlords are in compliance, thus reducing the risk of legal issues. 24/7 Emergency Support: Property emergencies can happen at any time. Letting agents offer “out of hours” emergency support, ensuring that urgent issues are dealt with promptly. Time and Stress Savings for Landlords Being a landlord involves wearing multiple hats, but this can take a toll on time and stress levels - indeed, this is where it is worth using a letting agent. Letting agents provide valuable time and stress savings by taking care of administrative tasks and day-to-day property management. Tenant Communication: Letting agencies act as intermediaries between landlords and tenants, handling communication about repairs, rent payments, and other concerns. This minimises direct involvement for landlords, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their lives. Marketing Expertise: Letting agents have marketing expertise that will help your property stand out in a competitive market. From professional photos to compelling property descriptions, they know how to attract potential tenants effectively. Legal Expertise: Navigating the legal intricacies of tenancy agreements, evictions, and, indeed, property rights can be daunting. Letting agents offer expert advice and guidance on these matters ensuring that landlords can make informed decisions. Our network of Letting Experts is carefully selected and undergoes a rigorous training program. They possess in-depth lettings and property knowledge and are also residents of the local area. This unique combination allows them to understand your specific needs, situation, and property requirements. They also know that it’s important for you to have an agent who is available at your convenience. Which is why you will have your Letting Expert’s direct contact details and you’ll get a response even in the evenings and at weekends. Why You Should Leverage the Expertise of a Letting Agent In the dynamic and fast-paced world of property management, the answer to the question, 'is it worth using a letting agent?' is a resounding yes! Letting agents play a crucial role in simplifying the lives of landlords. This includes expert tenant screening and, equally important, efficient property management. Finally, by leveraging the expertise of letting agents, landlords can save time, reduce stress and enhance the value and profitability of their property investments. If you're a landlord with rental properties and are considering the services of a letting agent, then The Letting Experts would love to hear from you. Please email us at hello@thelettingexperts.co.uk, request a lettings valuation, or call us on 033 33 44 99 15 to see how we can make your rental property ownership more rewarding for you. Frequently Asked Questions About Finding a Good Letting Agent What is a tenancy agreement, and does a letting agent assist in its preparation? A tenancy agreement is a legal contract outlining the terms of the rental arrangement between landlord and tenant. Letting agents can provide assistance in drafting and managing these agreements, ensuring legal compliance. How does rent collection work when using a letting agency's services? Letting agents typically handle rent collection on behalf of landlords. They ensure timely payment from tenants and can provide support in the event of late payments or arrears. What are the benefits of using a letting agent over self-managing rental properties? Letting agents offer professional expertise in tenant screening, property maintenance, and legal compliance, saving landlords time and reducing stress associated with self-management. What services does a letting agency offer for property owners? Letting agents offer a range of services, including helping you find tenants, managing tenants as part of a full management service, and rent collection. These services cater to different landlord needs, from finding tenants to complete property management.

Jun 27, 2024

10 Tips for Finding the Perfect Rental Property

Renting is definitely having its moment, with the number of households in the UK living in the private rented sector continually increasing. In fact, an estimated one-fifth of the UK population now live in rented accommodation. Some may claim that this is because UK families have been priced out of the buying market. However, the latest English Housing Survey states otherwise, with 84% of respondents saying that they are satisfied with their rented accommodation and 72% stating that they are happy with their current landlords. Top 10 Tips for Identifying Your Ideal Rental Property So, having established that renting is in – how do you go about renting the perfect home and securing a tenancy? 1. Establish your budget There is little point in starting to look for properties if you do not know what you can and can’t afford on a monthly basis. Imagine if you found your ideal property, only to find that you do not earn enough to be able to rent it. Avoid unnecessary disappointment by going through your finances first and working out exactly what you can afford. Make sure you take into consideration your utility bills if these are not included in your rent. 2. Location, location, location For most people looking for a property, the most important aspect of their search is finding a property in their preferred area. Think about how far you are willing to commute to work and if there are any family or friends that you want to live close to. Try not to be tempted by properties outside your preferred area, even if they are cheaper or larger, as you may regret it once you have moved in. 3. Do your research Once you have established where you would like to live, it is a good idea to thoroughly research the area. If you have children or are planning to have them in the near future, then you should take into consideration the local schools as well as any nearby amenities for children, such as parks and leisure centres. 4. Do not rush the viewing process Most property seekers now carry out their searches online, utilising virtual and video tours, but this can often lead to people disregarding properties before they have really given them a chance. Of course, searching for rental properties online has its advantages, but it is also important to visit potential properties in person to see if they could work for you. 5. Enlist the help of a letting agent You could choose to rent directly from a landlord. However, this is not without its risks. You may be lucky enough to encounter an experienced and trustworthy landlord, but it's always best to rent your property through a professional and reputable letting agent who knows the local rental market inside and out. 6. Ensure your deposit is protected If you have not rented before, then you may not be aware of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. This scheme protects your deposit as your landlord is now legally obliged to place your money into a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme, as well as inform you of their chosen scheme within 30 days of you handing over your money. 7. Always pay your rent on time This goes without saying, but not only will this keep your landlord happy, meaning that they are more likely to help you out quickly if you encounter a problem with your property, but it could also boost your credit score. 8. Carry out a full inventory check Although it is highly likely that your landlord has already carried out their own inventory check, it is a good idea for you to do one also. Otherwise, you could leave yourself open to disputes over damages and breakages when you decide to move out. It's also worth bearing in mind that should you get permission from your landlord to decorate your rental, you may need to return it to its original state when your tenancy ends. 9. Take out contents cover As a renter, your landlord is responsible for taking out building insurance. However, it is up to you to take out cover for your own belongings. Make sure that you shop around for the best content cover, as the costs can differ significantly from one provider to the next. 10. Keep an open line of communication with your landlord You want to be able to rely on your landlord in case of an emergency or if you are experiencing any issues with the property, and they need to place their trust in you, too. They will want to retain reliable tenants as it can be both expensive and time-consuming for them to find new ones, so it works for everyone if the relationship is good. Improve Your Property Viewings and Discover Your Perfect Rental Home If you are planning on renting (or letting) a property soon, why not call The Letting Experts. We'll be happy to advise you on our available properties in the area. Contact us on 033 33 44 99 15 for more information. Are you a landlord looking for your first rental property? You may also be interested to read 7 Steps To Becoming A Residential Landlord Frequently Asked Questions About Finding the Perfect Rental in a Convenient Location How can I utilise online resources to streamline my search for a rental property? Explore online platforms to efficiently search for available property viewings and gather information, enhancing your overall rental property search experience. What is the significance of a security deposit in a lease agreement? A security deposit, typically a few weeks' rent, provides financial protection for landlords and is a standard part of the tenancy agreement, helping cover potential damages or unpaid rent. What is the recommended lease duration when renting a property? Lease durations vary, but it's crucial to carefully review and understand the terms of your tenancy agreement, including lease duration and any renewal options, to ensure a comfortable and secure rental period. How do I ensure my monthly rent payments contribute to a positive credit score? Timely payment of monthly rent not only keeps your landlord satisfied but also has the potential to boost your credit score, establishing a positive financial track record.

Jun 13, 2024

7 Steps to Becoming a Residential Landlord

There are a number of reasons people consider becoming a residential landlord. Often, it's because someone wants to do more with their savings and sees property as a sound investment with a regular income. It might also be that a person becomes an accidental landlord after inheriting a property or moving in with a partner. However, while the allure of consistent rental income is certainly appealing, there are several things you need to consider before you begin your property portfolio. Here are seven things to think about when becoming a landlord. How to Become a Landlord of a Rental Property 1. Set-Up Costs Finances matter, the numbers have to stack up. If you're going to get a buy-to-let mortgage, the mortgage lender needs to know about your income and what rent you hope to achieve. They have to ensure that you can cover the costs. You'll probably have to pay for surveys, too, so they can be sure the house is worth what you think it is. Then there are the legal fees and the search costs. Many law firms who specialise in conveyancing will be able to give you an early indication of what your final bill will be. 2. DIY or Use a Letting Agent You could manage the property yourself - and many landlords consider this as it can reduce costs. However, you must make sure you have the time to dedicate to the management of the property. Do you want to use a letting agency to find you a tenant and arrange the initial agreements? You can then keep on top of things for yourself. Or would you rather hand over all the management to the agency? This will reduce the pressure on you but there will be letting agent fees. The Letting Experts offer a range of services tailored to meet your specific needs. With our Experts Full Management Service we will market your property, source a suitable tenant, complete all required paperwork, collect rental payments, and ensure that your property remains compliant, well-maintained, and profitable. Allowing you to have minimal involvement in the process. Alternatively, our Tenant Find or Rent Collection solutions may be the preferred option should you wish to deal directly with your tenant. In this instance we will act to source a suitable tenant and prepare the tenancy agreement before handing over all further responsibilities. Further service details and information relating to our fees is available on request. 3. Landlord Insurance When you are renting out a property, you must obtain landlord insurance. This is because a home insurance policy will not cover you for what you need, and also because the right insurance will protect you, your property and your tenant. If you're taking out a mortgage to buy the property, your lender will insist that you have insurance. The costs of insurance will vary depending on the level of cover, such as personal liability, contents cover and buildings cover, and loss of rent cover, in the unfortunate event of unpaid rent. Speak with an insurer or a broker and be absolutely clear about what you need. 4. Furnished or Unfurnished? Whether you rent out a fully furnished property or one that is unfurnished it is a decision you need to make early on. If you've inherited a furnished property, then it might well be an easy decision. If this is the case, you might find this suits a potential tenant, and you will be able to get a better monthly rent. Obviously, if you rent out an unfurnished property, it means you don't need to buy things for it. Many potential tenants prefer this as they can add their own furniture and make it their home. Don't forget; it's best practice to get an inventory carried out as this will affect your insurance policy and could minimise disputes at the end of an agreement with prospective tenants. 5. Paperwork One of the top tips for being a landlord is to be well organised and up to date with paperwork from the start. It may seem daunting having a lot of documents, but organisation is key. Not only will this ensure you don't fall foul of any legal responsibilities, but it should also mean that if any disputes arise, you know straight away where things are. (It's also particularly useful when you're doing your accounts or checking information). Plus, there won't be any nasty surprises when you suddenly realise you need to pay income tax! 6. Legals & Responsibility There are certain legal obligations and responsibilities that need to be understood. These are in addition to the tenancy agreement that you and your tenant should be signing. For example, before a property is let, you'll need an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for it. A gas safety certificate is required for each gas appliance in the property, each home has to have smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide detector, and any appliances or furniture must meet the required safety standards. There are also rules about a tenant's deposit and how it is kept in a Government-approved scheme. If you need help with any of these, we can advise you. Simply call us on 033 33 44 99 15. 7. Right to Rent Checks A relatively new aspect of renting out a property is the need to carry out a Right to Rent check. A landlord must, by law, check whether a potential tenant has the legal right to rent a property in the UK. Failure to carry out the required checks could result in hefty fines so if you do need advice, then contact us and we will be delighted to help. Ready to Let Your Property? Are you considering letting your property? The Letting Experts are on hand to help, and we would love to hear from you. Find your local letting expert here. Get in touch with us today via email at hello@thelettingexperts.co.uk or on 033 33 44 99 15 to find out how we can help you rent out your property. In the meantime, we've answered some of your common questions about becoming a landlord. Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Landlord and Setting Up Rental Properties Do I need a licence to become a landlord in the UK? In England, landlords may need to obtain a license for certain types of properties, such as houses in multiple occupations (HMOs). What responsibilities do landlords have regarding tenant safety? Landlords are legally obligated to ensure the safety of their tenants by conducting regular gas safety checks, providing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and adhering to electrical safety standards. How can I set a fair rental price for my property? Research the local rental market, consider property features and amenities and evaluate comparable rentals to determine a competitive and fair rental price for your specific location and property type. What steps should I take if my tenant fails to pay rent? Follow the legal eviction process outlined in the relevant UK legislation, which typically involves issuing a notice to the tenant and seeking possession through the court if rent arrears persist.