When an Agent manages a property, what are you paying for?

The short answer is to collect the rent and deal with any maintenance issues which is certainly correct, but in practice it’s much more than that.

An Agent will also deal with the following on behalf of Landlords and it is these things that Landlords really appreciate;

We manage calls every day from tenants about spurious matters – “someone’s pinched my wheelie bin, the neighbours are parking in my space, there’s been a power cut on my street and the freezer has defrosted”.  The Landlord is paying us to manage the property, not to bore him with things like this, so we deal with them without telling the Landlord.  A Landlord that manages the property himself would have to deal with all this personally.

We manage ‘difficult situations’ on behalf of the Landlord.  If a tenant phones up on Monday morning, saying she’s split up with her husband and he needs to pay the rent from now on, we know what is legally correct and legally allowed.  As such we know the correct response.  When tenants threaten “no one has fixed the lights in the communal area, so I’m not paying rent” – we know what’s permissible and advise both parties accordingly.  If you self manage, and you end up in a situation like this, you either have to muddle on through, or consult a solicitor which can cost far more than a  your annual Lettings Agent’s fees.

Next, we inspect the property so you don’t have to.  This needs doing for a Landlord’s protection, but it also needs handling in a sensitive manner.  Having a third party such as an Agent conduct the inspection means that Landlord and tenant don’t end up falling out over minor matters.

Finally, we deal with problems out of hours.  Sooner or later your tenant will lock themselves out and need letting in, or will find a small leak on a Sunday and demand an emergency plumber.  They’ll want someone there immediately, whereas you won’t want to pay an emergency call charge, and leave the job until Monday.  A decent Lettings Agent resolves this and manages expectations.

Managing a tenancy isn’t usually difficult.  Because of the checks Agents do up front, rarely does a fundamentally rogue tenant end up in a property, and as such rarely is in depth legal advice required.  However tenancies can go wrong, tenants can be over demanding, and the law of landlord and tenant is not only stacked in favour of the tenant, it is ever-changing.  As such a novice landlord who tries to manage themselves can get into difficulty, especially if faced with a “know it all” tenant.

If you fancy a break from tenant issues in 2013 and want to know your property is in the best hands, call The Letting Company on 01536 402 323 (Northants) or 01733 315 020 (Cambs and South Lincs).

For more information about The Letting Company visit our website here.

Thelettingcompany.co is a website owned and managed by Richard Gibbs trading as The Letting Company and our VAT number is 876269571.
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