Make the most of your property investment with a helping hand from a lettings specialist, say the experts at Belvoir
Whether you have a single property or a rapidly expanding portfolio the experience and expertise of an industry-trained specialist can be invaluable.
A good letting agent will perform the key practical tasks needed for a successful tenancy, plus offer on-going support and advice in order to ensure the property is protected, your profit is maximised and risk-taking is minimised. Here’s how…
“On a practical level an agent can deal with all the fundamental tasks for organising, running and ending a tenancy on behalf of a landlord,” says co-owner of Belvoir Liverpool West Derby and Belvoir Liverpool Central Adam Rastall.
“If wished, an agent can take full control, sourcing the right tenant for your property, performing credit checks, gathering references, organising deposits, compiling inventories and arranging accompanied viewings.
“They will also be able to serve eviction notices, organise end-of-tenancy move outs and re-market your property to ensure a new tenant is placed in the property at speed.
“Of course, included services will vary from agent to agent so always check what they’re offering before committing, plus be mindful that some tasks may carry an extra charge if you’re opting for a ‘tenant find only’ service.”
In addition to performing key tasks, a good agent can also help protect your property in order to maximise profit and minimise risk.
“During the tenancy both the protection of the property and the safety of the tenant is vital,” says Adam. “Because an experienced lettings specialist deals with numerous properties on a daily basis, they will be well-rehearsed in identifying potential problems and implementing the necessary troubleshooting needed.
“They will also be able to advise on safety essentials, such as an annual Gas Safety check. An agent will be able to organise these for you, commissioning the contractor and arranging access with the tenant to ensure they are carried out in a timely manner.
“An adequate insurance policy is also crucial. Policies differ greatly and what can initially seem like a cheap option can sometimes cost you dear in the event of a claim. As trained specialists we know what kind of things can go wrong when letting a property and therefore what should be included in a policy as a result. We can advise on the right level of cover for you.”
In the event of an emergency, an agent’s help can prove invaluable too.
“In a serious emergency situation we can advise the tenant on the steps needed, plus arrange emergency contractors to visit the property at speed,” says Adam.
Maintain and sustain
An agent can also help protect a landlord’s asset by undertaking regular inspections of the property to identify major maintenance issues or minor problems that may escalate.
“Crucial maintenance, when left, can become very costly and time-consuming so an agent will ensure that remedial work is carried out when needed,” says Adam. “They can organise contractors on your behalf and may even be able to secure discounted rates because of their bulk buying power and the volume of work the contractor receives from them.”
These regular inspections and subsequent actions can help protect the tenant too.
Belvoir’s Managing Director Dorian Gonsalves says, “Private landlords are notoriously reluctant to deal with maintenance issues, knowing that they are answerable to virtually no-one, but a good agent can help to protect tenants by ensuring that they are not expected to pay for work that is the responsibility of the landlord, and checking that work has been carried out.”
Are you up-to-date with current legislation? Are you familiar with the latest letting laws? An agent can help.
“One of the most crucial services an agent can offer is their extensive expertise regarding the law and the legalities of being a landlord,” says Adam.
“In this fast-paced industry legislation evolves quickly and it’s important that you’re up-to-date.
“At Belvoir, we are trained on the legal side of lettings, plus we are briefed and updated by Central Office when changes occur.
“Understanding the law is important when dealing with many different aspects of a tenancy, including evictions and late rental payments. We know the correct procedures to follow and what a landlord can and can’t do.”
Dorian adds, “A good quality letting agent can provide access to a redress service via one of the three ombudsman schemes to ensure that tenants are not at the mercy of landlords who wish to exploit tenants.
“A good agent will practice fairness, consistency and compliance with the law, helping to ensure that landlords are kept up-to-date with the many changes in legislation surrounding the rental market.”
Help to buy
As well as the myriad of services a good agent can offer to existing landlords, they can also help novice landlords buy their first property or experienced investors grow their portfolio.
“An agent’s work can start long before a tenancy does and, in fact, in some cases before a property has even been purchased,” says Adam.
“We can search the sales market for good potential investment properties, based on their condition, location, price, rental return and likely demand from the local rental market. We can advise on these properties accordingly, plus view them on behalf of the landlord if wished. We can also advise on ‘investor to investor’ sales opportunities too.
“Our sound market knowledge means we can offer unbiased advice on the best potential investment opportunities out there, plus we can recommend local mortgage consultants, accountants and solicitors to help the purchase progress smoothly.
“We are always here to help and advise landlords, so whether you want to save time or simply get a second opinion, a good lettings agent can help you find and secure your next successful investment with ease.”
Expert help – at-a-glance
Services offered will differ from agent to agent but most will be able to help with the following essentials…
- Finding tenants
- Gathering references
- Performing credit checks
- Compiling inventories
- Arranging and accompanying viewings
- Organising deposits
- Creating tenancy agreements
- Advising on specialist insurance
- Contacting contractors
- Rent collection
- Eviction advice and serving the appropriate notices
- Organising on-going maintenance
- Recommending useful services, such as good local mortgage consultants, solicitors and accountants
- Arranging Gas Safety checks
- Commissioning cleaners between tenancies if necessary
- Advising on legalities and the law
- Growing your buy to let portfolio by advising on potential investment opportunities
Article Courtesy of: Belvoir