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Landlords self-managing to save money is a false economy, argues agent

An experienced agent claims that forgoing the services of a letting agent to save money is a false economy for landlords.

In a guest article for LAT's sister website, Landlord Today, Jill Griffiths, director of residential lettings for Andrew Granger & Co, explains why letting agents remain a solid investment for landlords.

She cites the raft of new rental sector regulations as a key reason for landlords to work with an agent.

"With ever stricter guidelines and fines in place, whether you are renting out one property as a retirement investment, or a whole portfolio, landlords need to ensure that they are fully compliant," she writes.

Griffiths identifies the incoming Tenant Fees Bill and the recently-introduced Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards as just two of the measures which will increase the burden on landlords.

“Reputable agents have to keep up to date with changes in legislation and undergo training and examinations to ensure they have the right knowledge to advise landlords on a whole range of issues from health and safety to investing in the right BTL property," she continues.

Griffiths, who has over 20 years of experience in the rental industry, adds that agents' local market knowledge and existing tenant databases can help to ensure higher occupancy rates than the DIY-landlord approach.

"Of course, as a property professional you’d expect me to advise using a letting agent but ultimately, it’s a case of landlords deciding how they want to manage their properties." 

"For those who want to ensure their assets are well managed and protected, a good agency is well worth the investment," she concludes.

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    I did a check on our local MEES Exemptions register yesterday and found there were only 3 properties in the whole district registered. I've personally registered two and my business only has a 10% market share (of the circa 50% who use an agent). How much compliance is really happeniong out there....

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    We have so many enquiries from landlords who manage their own properties but are having problems and want to know the solution, when we ask what paperwork the tenants were given at the start of their tenancy we are told their tenancy agreement, no inventory, no right to rent, epc, gas certificates sent later, and they all seem unaware of what is required of them.

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    Sounds like the letting agency my son had the misfortune to have to deal with!

     
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    I don't manage my own properties but it is an expensive luxury due to mistakes. Of course the agents are well qualified and do their thing but they miss the blindingly obvious. These can be water leaks in airing cupboards and under a sinks, mandatory alarm battery replacements and telling us who the tenants are.

    One agent is totally incapable of sorting out tenant referencing. They believe everyone is very nice and will be perfect in every way. This attitude has just cost thousands of pounds

    Most agents allow overcharging for work. Sometimes thus may be dishonesty but I choose to believe it is to get a good service asap.

    Heating is a total mystery for most agents. Unfortunately problems occur at other times and not just the day before the annual inspection. I just had a shower go wrong. No it hadn't! The gas boiler tank thermostat had failed and the boiler was permanently heating the water - thus rather dangerously hot showers. That cost over two hundred pounds to fit a £10 thermostat. Yes I could easily fit that. I have an electrical certificate but not a gas one which of course means that I will kill someone if I touch the boiler system.

  • emma dobson

    I agree - agents are so much more diligent with the legal side of it and the identity checks
    Emma from https://coppenwall.com

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    had an agent did not do proper referencing check on tenants, lost eight months rent on suing and chasing rent; another agent covered the fact the tenants were doing unlicensed HMO; an agent over charged tenants on application fee and turn tenants and landlords against each other; I can go on and on about the stories to work with indecent agents. To manage yourselves is about to take the control on your own assets back from those agents who do not care about you and your tenants. It is absolutely nothing wrong we take care of what belong to us. It will only become a false economy if we force economy!!!

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    How much do you charge or pay for a full management fee? 10-15% every month to letting agent in average? Usually the first month rent has nothing left, how much is the profit for landlords after maintenance, improving property, incidents, hidden commission between contractors and agents and tax? If we are going this way, very soon, only the big players will survive and monopolise the market. Rich are richer, poor are poorer. Is this what we want? Are you sure you will be in the group of the rich? Are we still democratic? Ridiculous and childish!

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