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Managing own property


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Hi, a newbie here.

Would you give me your opinion as to the advantages of having a letting agent 'manage' a property and a rough guide as to how much the average cost is for this service please?

The property is a small two bed apartment in a reasonable area.

I am concerned that if a job needs to be done the agent will perhaps add their own costs to employ a plumber or electrician or I will end up paying over the odds for any jobs done - your experience would be very helpful thanks.

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With just one rental property I believe an agent will charge between 10-15% (+VAT) for 'full' management. Obviously this could be negotiated lower if there were a number of properties placed with the same agent. I guess different agents definition of 'full' management will vary so, its important to ensure that the contract between the landlord and the agent clearly identifies what aspects of managing the property are included.

Its best to select an agent based on recommendation and one that has membership of a professional body.

Most agents will add their admin' fee when arranging repairs and compared with doing any aspect of managing the property yourself you will be paying 'over the odds' using an agent.

You need to check that the agent will......find suitable tenants (to your specification), take references, arrange rent guarantee insurance & or a guarantor, deal with deposit protection, check in & check out inventories, gas & electric checks, EPC & any other legal requirements, regular inspections & reports to you on condition, arrange standing order payments from tenant/ collecting rents, arrange contracts & renewals, deal with repairs, deal with minor queries/ disputes.

You will also need to understand what is NOT included in the agents fees such as eviction, issuing formal notices etc.

You should also understand what charges will be levied on any AST renewal.

If you are planning to let to benefits tenants make sure your agent is knowledgeable & experienced as they can often require special requirements to deal with effectively.

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Hi thank you for that.

I intend to get an agent to manage the finding of the tenant and associated paperwork but was interested to hear what forum members thought of agents actually managing the property, I think based on your views it would be more economical to 'manage' the property myself.

Your points regarding what is and isn't included in the agents fees are useful - I will ensure I look at that.


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I use an agent to find tenants but from the moment they move in I do all management myself.

all depends on where you live in relation to property, how busy you are, how much you like dealing with people.

things that make it easier to manage your property yourself:

- check everything before they move in, washing machine, dishwasher, all electrics, check taps for leaks, check gutters/drains aren't blocked etc etc. might seem a fag at first but so much better to do this in your own time rather than under pressure to get something fixed when tenant actually living there.

- encourage tenant to report any defect, however minor, when they move in so you can fix it before it becomes a bigger problem

- if something does go wrong and you have to call in a tradesman, pay him immediately on receipt of invoice so he will come out next time you call

- do not put off sorting out your tenant's problems, relations will be better if you are prompt in getting stuff fixed, that does not mean you have to drop everything and go round, just set up a visit same day/next day and DO NOT cancel it without very good reason

- my experience (of 15 years) says - in general - that the better you treat your tenant, the better they will treat your property

- and finally after 15 years, I spend several months abroad each year, having built up a network of tradespeople I can rely on 100% to sort stuff out in my absence, so don't believe the agent hype, you CAN do it yourself and remember, NO-ONE, especially no agent, will care about your property as much as you do yourself

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