With onerous regulations continuing to increase in the private rented sector (PRS), it’s becoming more and more difficult for residential landlords to avoid all the pitfalls.
Landlords who have always self-managed their properties can now find themselves making costly mistakes. Many of these could have been sorted quickly and cheaply or avoided altogether – particularly if the letting agent had been able to check on all the property management compliance obligations before the tenancy had commenced.
Perhaps for these reasons, professional letting agents are now seeing a steady rise in the number of landlords seeking expert advice and assistance – although unfortunately some landlords are waiting until a problem has already developed.
In a recent survey (May 2017), the National Landlords Association (NLA) reported that 61% of landlords had confirmed that they were using a letting agent to manage their properties – an increase of 7% since 2016.
Additionally, having an on-going property management service, or even just a rent-collection service, means that the letting agent can keep the landlord up to date with all new legislation and ensure that all compliance issues are dealt with in a timely manner.
Some landlords who self-manage don’t see the need for property visits at all during a tenancy, leaving tenants to their own devices for “as long as they pay the rent”. The Letting People recently came across a new landlord who hadn’t been inside their rental property for over nine years – and consequently a lot of work was outstanding!
It is always advisable to schedule regular property visits – preferably with the tenant present – to ensure that no minor issues are left to turn into major problems. If there are any breaches of the tenancy agreement, these can also be acted on straight away. The first visit should be at around three months after the tenancy start date, and thereafter at six-monthly intervals.
Therefore, for savvy landlords wanting to avoid tripping up on the ever-increasing and onerous regulations in the PRS, now is probably the best time to consider all the benefits of property management. Letting the professional letting agents take on management responsibilities could be the best decision that a residential landlord ever makes about their rental properties – for themselves and for their tenants too!