New landlords often assume that the best way to manage a buy to let property is to employ the services of a letting agent. At first glance, this might seem like a sensible option. After all, a letting agent is experienced, they know the local market, and for a small fee they will take all of the hassle away so all you have to do is collect the rent every month. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
Manage Your Own Properties
A letting agent can provide a decent service if you really don’t have time to manage your own property, but there are plenty of good reasons to do the job yourself, not least the fact that you will save money this way. Many letting agents charge steep fees for managing properties and not all of them are transparent about their costs. If a tenant falls into arrears, you can’t guarantee your letting agent will sort it out. In fact they may even charge you extra for serving an eviction notice!
This is not to say that a letting agent can’t help you. If you live abroad and you can’t be there to manage your property, you may not have much choice but to use a letting agent, but in the vast majority of cases a landlord is better off managing their own property.
Property Administration Worries
What puts many landlords off is the sheer volume of administration work associated with managing rental properties. There is a huge amount to think about: tenancy agreements, repairs, marketing, not to mention...
making sure you adhere to the legal requirements of being a landlord.
A decent landlord software package makes the job a lot easier. It will help you organise your properties and remind you when jobs need to be done. It can’t help you find reliable tenants who pay the rent on time, but it can keep you abreast of when they do pay the rent, and remind you if they haven’t.
Most good software vendors will let you try their product for free before you buy, so give it a go and see how much time you save.
By Amer SiddiqLandlordZONE® Forums