A Leighton Buzzard landlord buys a 2 bedroom apartment for £180,000 and a Ferrari for £180,000. Which will bring a better return and which is he likely to spend less on ?
We all want a bargain and might drive to the Sainsbury’s petrol station where petrol is £1.17 per litre instead of the BP garage a stones throw away where it is £1.21 per litre. This could save you £2 on a full tank of petrol if you are one of the few who fill up the tank on each visit. You might go to Poundland for a lightbulb where it is cheaper than Wilkinsons, but the bulb might only last a few weeks and then you are buying another one. Need some screwdrivers ? How long do you expect a pack of screwdrivers from Poundland will last and how many screw heads will they ruin ? Yes we all like a bargain, but too often we then regret making that decision, but to remedy it is fairly inexpensive and just a small inconvenience.
What if you have just purchased an asset that could be worth upwards of £150,000. What if it cost you £300,000? If you bought a Ferrari 308 GTB "Vetroresina” for a modest £180,000. This classic could go up in value, but not likely to be by the same amount as your 2 bedroom apartment, but yet would you take this ‘Magnum PI’ Ferrari to Mitchells Car Servicing and Repairs in Walford, East London for its oil change ? Of course not so when it comes to choosing an agent to look after your property are you really going to go with the cheapest agent with his threadbare carpet and 1970’s brown office furniture. Yes you might think he obviously isn’t charging too much as he can’t afford matching office chairs, but when he is working and presenting himself at that level you can be sure he also isn’t charging enough to look after your property and ensure his landlords are kept up to date with the latest legislation.
So next time you ask walk through an agents door and the first thing you ask before you even sit down is ‘How much are your fees’ take a moment and instead try asking them ‘What makes you the agent I should choose to look after my property and what level of service should I expect from you ?’
Think about it. For the cost of a cup of coffee a week you might choose an agent who is not going to look after your property, will not care about the tenants until they don’t pay the rent, will not be using the most current tenancy agreements and notices, will not be up to date with current legislation, might not have Client Money Protection or PI Insurance and could be using your tenants deposit money for running his business.
I could lower my fee to match those of ‘Let, Lets & lettings’ a few doors down but do you expect me to lower my level of service to you as well ? I thought not.
In this article we’ll look at the advantages to using letting agents and what they can do for you. A letting agent such as Belvoir Lettings Dunstable isn’t just there to collect the rent; they’re also very good at managing your property for you. This means you have more time to spend on enjoying other things in your life.
Getting the Rent on time
If you are tied into a buy to let mortgage you need the rent to be paid on time, otherwise your property may be repossessed. You will also need to ensure that any other bills are covered by the payments coming in. It can be a real problem if or when tenants don’t pay their bills on time or when cash flow becomes a problem. But worry not – Letting agents can manage rental payments for you so you know you’ll be paid on time, every time. Late payments are sometimes unavoidable but chasing one can be strenuous. Letting agents have experience in rent collection and chasing late payments. Belvoir Dunstable also offer services like Rent Guarantee and free Eviction Cover.
Occasionally you need to make sure the property doesn’t have any damages and that it is safe. A simple task, but it can be a burden if you’re busy. Your letting agent will carry out checks for you to ensure there are no damages. This ensures a middle man is available to gain access to the property on your behalf, and to ensure that everything is as it should be
If any damages are found on a check or reported by a tenant they will need to be fixed quickly to avoid further problems along the way. Here at Belvoir Dunstable we have a network of plumbers, electricians, builders etc that can fix the damage fast, and at a competitive price for you. These costs can then be added to your monthly letting agency fees for convenience. Because we have these existing relationships in place already – we can negotiate the best prices for you with trusted contractors.
Finding suitable tenants
If your property is aimed at certain type of occupant i.e. professionals, non-smokers etc then you’ll want these tenants to occupy your property to be of the right type. Finding these tenants can cost a lot of money and it certainly takes time. A good rental agency such as Belvoir Dunstable can quickly find suitable tenants, carry out reference checks and move them in. This saves you time – leaving you to do what you do best elsewhere.
As a landlord there are certain legal requirements which must be met. These requirements are often changing and you need to make sure you adhere to them. As Belvoir Dunstable are part of the Belvoir group with a legal team in our head office we continuously ensure that we are fully aware of any and all changes in the law – and make sure that your property always adheres to them. Falling foul of ever changing legislation can result in large fines for landlords.
How much do you value your time? By managing your own property you’ll likely spend many evenings and weekends on viewings and carrying out maintenance work. If you don’t have much spare time, let the agency do it for you. This is what we do – this is what we are the best at – and you can rest easy, knowing that everything is being taken care of.
Peace of mind
A letting agent gives you peace of mind. It’s your way of growing your property portfolio with confidence. Once you have your first property – you may find that it is so simple going through a good Letting Agent that you are in a position to increase the number of properties. You don’t have to worry about your property because it’s all being managed by the professionals. If that’s something you want to benefit from; contact us today.
Finally, an agency is often regulated to hold deposits and provide protection come the end of the tenancy. This ensures that the Landlord is not hit with terrible repair bills caused by the tenant, but also to ensure the landlord does not unfairly deduct dilapidations.
Daniel Bourke is the owner of Belvoir Lettings Dunstable and in his previous career in Architecture he was an Associate in a leading London Architectural practice