For many landlords, there are significant benefits to using a professional property management service. We find that often, self-managed landlords aren’t aware of the benefits of using a property manager. So, they tend to assume that managing a property independently will reap higher profits.
However, in our experience, even if a landlord (or their Great Aunt Matilda!) happens to live close to their rental property, it doesn’t necessarily follow that self-management is an easy or cost-effective option.
When we explore the potential benefits of using a property manager – such as reduced maintenance costs, increased free time, extra peace of mind, and lower stress levels – many self-managed landlords opt to make the switch… the question is… should you?
We’ve compiled ten quick questions to help you explore why many landlords opt to switch to a property management service…
- Are you charging the right rent?
If you’re unsure about current local rental values or don’t study upcoming rental trends, you may not be charging the right rent. Even in today’s rapidly shifting rental market, any property management agency worth its salt should have this information at its fingertips.
Armed with this knowledge, you can maximise the value of your investment and know that you’re charging tenants a fair rent.
- Do you worry about void periods between tenants?
Right now, there’s no excuse for having an empty buy-to-let property in Hitchin, as the market is so competitive. However, void periods are still possible if a tenancy ends and you haven’t been able to pre-advertise and secure a new tenant.
A property management service should mitigate this risk. At M A S O N S, we regularly contact all tenants to gain advance warning of any need to remarket a property. Then we advertise early to secure a new tenant, keeping void periods to an absolute minimum.
- Do you have time to undertake regular property inspections?
In our experience, keeping up with regular inspections is challenging for self-managed landlords, who often juggle this task with busy careers and family lives.
Delaying inspections may not sound too drastic, but they are the most important way to pick up issues before they escalate.
For example, during inspections, we spot issues requiring prompt repair to avoid future damage, cost, or landlord liability. It’s also an excellent way to check that tenants are taking good care of the property too!
- Can you get repairs completed quickly and at a competitive price?
As a property management agency, we have formed trusted connections with the best local contractors. Whether it’s a broken boiler, faulty electrics, or a damaged roof… we have professional tradespeople that we know will do a good job.
We have also negotiated trade prices with these approved contractors, which ensures our landlords always get a great deal, and (most importantly!) we never markup trade invoices.
- Are you familiar with the ins and outs of all landlord responsibilities?
We get it. Keeping up with legislation on renting properties isn’t exciting. But it’s an essential part of what we do.
We know exactly what landlords are responsible for in terms of providing a safe rental property for tenants. We also know when it’s a tenant’s responsibility to act. For example, pest control, blocked toilets, and lost keys; are all tenant responsibilities. For our managed properties, we communicate this and ensure it happens!
- How confident are you that your landlord paperwork is compliant and up to date?
Again, proving compliance with the latest legislation might not be exciting – but it’s essential for being able to sleep well at night!
We take on all this ongoing paperwork for landlords using our property management service. From establishing the tenancy with the correct information and documents in place to arranging deposit protection and tracking ongoing safety checks and compliance… we’re on it!
Sadly, even the most organised self-managed landlords can fall foul of the system simply because they missed a deadline or were unaware of a specific legal requirement.
- Are you always short on time?
Most landlords using our property management service are busy people. They’ve weighed the monthly cost of a management service against the time they will save and the peace of mind gained.
On reflection, they decided it represented a good deal. With all those tasks and responsibilities taken care of, these landlords now have more time to spend on work, with family or just enjoying life!
- Are you ready for that 7am tenant call on a Sunday?
Maybe not? A significant advantage of using a property management agency is that you don’t have to deal with emergency tenant requests at inconvenient times.
At M A S O N S, we deal with tenant queries after hours and even on weekends, which goes a long way to keeping our landlords and their tenants happy.
- Would you prefer to keep things amicable?
Of course you would! This might seem like a strange question, but sadly, we do see examples of declining relationships between landlords and tenants. Even when things start on good terms, disputes over deposit reductions or repairs can turn sour.
Using a property management service places a neutral, professional person between landlord and tenant, protecting landlords from some of the more stressful elements of renting a property.
- Do you have time to invest in the long-term maintenance of your property?
With many landlords keen to reap the long-term financial rewards of their property investments, keeping a close eye on the future is important.
As property managers, we’re mindful of this. We don’t only look for immediate repairs; we consider general wear and tear and recommend how to preserve or add value to properties. And, again, we have a great network of local contractors who can undertake work at a competitive rate whenever you decide it’s a good time to shore up your investment.
If any of this has resonated with you and you’d like to weigh up the pros and cons of using a property management service in Hitchin, drop us a line at 01462 557 477 or [email protected] – we’ll be happy to explore your specific situation.
M A S O N S is a leading letting agent in Hitchin, covering rental and buy-to-let properties in Hertfordshire and beyond. Founded on award-winning lettings experience, we specialise in property management, buy-to-let in Hitchin, and residential lettings.