Property Management – Hire an Agent or Do It Myself?

Being a landlord can be a labour-intensive job at the best of times but when you add in the self-management of the property as well, it can create more problems than it solves!  But’s it’s cheaper to do it yourself, isn’t it?  In straightforward terms of fees, possibly… but not necessarily.

A new survey has shown that the number of landlords using a letting agent to manage their properties is 61%, a rise of 7% since Q4 2016.   In addition, fewer landlords are managing their own admin, down from 46% in 2016 to 39%.

Despite the additional pressure on landlord rental incomes and recent increases in taxes, the choice of self-management versus hiring an agent is significantly towards the property management agents.  So, why is this?  Well, there are a number of factors but let’s look at the three main reasons.

Your Time Costs Money

We’d forgive you for thinking that agents charge too much money for managing a property, but let’s just think, for a minute, how much it’s costing you to self-manage.  Whether managing your property is a full time occupation or you are fitting it in around other commitments, such as a job, your time is money.  It could be a simple issue to resolve but even the simplest of tasks can be time-consuming, particularly if you have to factor-in being at the property to meet a plumber, electrician, handyman, etc.  Hiring an agent will take away that time spent on running around after a supplier, meeting them at the property, dealing with tenant’s queries and needs, and resolving any issues without you having to waste any of your time, with the exception of a phone call or two with your agent, of course.

An Agent is Up-to-Date with the Legal Stuff

This is probably the biggest headache landlords have to deal with these days.  Over the past few years, new rules and regulations have been implemented to which landlords have to abide; and it’s not easy to keep track of what you do and don’t need to do from the legal point of view.  It’s an agent’s job to know the law with regards to rental properties.  They are fully up-to-date with what a landlord and a tenant must legally adhere to, such as electrical and fire safety inspections and certifications, Energy Performance Certificates, protecting your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme, ensuring your tenant has the right to rent your property, tenancy agreements, etc.  Hire an agent and they will keep you informed of what you do and don’t need to do, offer professional expert advice, and are always on hand if you need them.

The Tax Conundrum

April this year saw changes to the basic rates of income tax relief for residential landlords, adding yet more onuses on the landlord and buy-to-let investors.  But here’s the silver lining… when completing your self-assessment tax return, you are able to offset letting agent fees against your tax.  Now that must be a good reason for hiring a property management agent!

Hiring a property management agent is, of course, entirely up to you as an individual, and your circumstances.  But before you dismiss the option entirely, consider the above three reasons and ask yourself honestly, is self-management really going to save you money in the long run?

At Elizabeth Hunt & Associates, we are always on hand to offer a highly professional, honest and transparent service that you can trust coupled with expert local knowledge and advice.  You, the customer, is our focus because we believe everyone’s needs are different.  We are the local independent agent that offers a different approach to buying and selling, renting and letting your property.  We will always go that extra mile so that you are reassured that the service we offer is right for you.

Call us today for a different experience in managing your rental property.