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BTL management service says it offers wider choice than traditional agents

An online platform says its management service for landlords can vary depending on individual client needs - a vital response to the increasingly wide range of people now operating buy to let properties.

RentalStep says the recent findings of the government’s English Private Landlord Survey reveal landlords earning widely different income, having different-sized portfolios and being able to give varying amounts of time to managing properties.

Against that landscape, the traditional options for landlords - to manage their properties wholly themselves, or hand over almost complete management to letting agents - no longer feels fit for purpose.

“Thankfully, there are now a range of different options in between which allow landlords to choose which parts of the process they want to outsource and which ones they want to manage themselves” says Mike Georgeson, founder and chief executive of RentalStep.

He adds that these alternatives are hugely valuable at a time when the cost of letting a property continues to rise and legislation such as the ban on tenant fees is expected to put pressure on landlords’ finances.

“We can see that not all landlords earn a huge amount of income from letting property and that’s why they need the option of cheaper property management alternatives to traditional agency fees.

“Many landlords have other jobs or business interests which means they may not want to spend a significant amount of money on management fees but also don’t have the time to manage the property themselves” Georgeson, a landlord himself, explains.

“As the market has grown and evolved a middle ground has therefore been established with a range of options available to the modern landlord. This is the reason why we launched RentalStep, a high quality, low cost and fair platform for landlords.”

The English Private Landlord Survey revealed that 94 per cent of private landlords let property as an individual, with just four per cent letting as part of a company and the remaining two per cent as part of another organisation.

When it comes to the number of properties in landlords' portfolios, 45 per cent have just one property, 38 per cent own between two and four properties and 17 per cent own five or more properties.

Showing that many landlords see buy-to-let property as an additional investment, just four per cent surveyed said they became a landlord to let property as a full-time business venture.

What's more, the typical landlord's gross rental income (before tax and other deductions) is £15,000. Some 61 per cent of landlords had gross rental income of less than £20,000, a further 26 per cent reported between £20,000 and £49,999 while 13 per cent reported a gross rental income of £50,000 or more.

The survey, which was the first of its kind since 2010, also calculated that landlords received 42 per cent of their total gross income from rental property.

RentalStep, which launched in 2017, is an online rental property management platform which allows landlords to advertise their properties on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation from £35 per month.

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