Top 5 reasons why Optimise Accountants tell clients to use a letting agent
You may have a lot of time consumed by worrying about your job, the daily grind of your business activities, looking after all the family matters. This is even before you start to think about yourself. This is why it is important for you to consider using a letting agent.
1 -Your buy to let property is properly presented when advertised.
There is one fact in life. A picture tells a thousand words. Here is another one for you. First impressions count.
A letting agent will ensure that the property is tidied up. No more cushions on the floor or the duvet scrunched up on the bed, that is for the male audiences out there (if you are anything like me). A good letting agent will have the right equipment to take wide-angle shots with a suitable camera. They will also make sure that the property is well lit.
Having a great set of photos with a nicely worded description, correct spelling too will help rent the property. This should reduce void times that seriously hurt your pocket and the Return On Investment (ROI) that you make on the property.
Having a well-advertised property and people waiting to take calls are essential elements to rent out your property.
2 -Your time: saved when using a letting agent
Using a letting agent to manage your tenants is a good thing. It puts a barrier between you and the tenant. Letting agents are very good at understanding the problem, without the emotional entanglement. They will be good at proposing solutions that do not involve you. Sure, there are times when you need to intervene. This should be seldom if you are using a good letting agent.
I agree that it is cheaper to do things yourself, but at what cost. If you are an employee could you spend more time educating yourself to get a much better-paid job? Could you utilise the free time to get in the next client or reduce costs if you are a business owner? Now consider how much more money you could earn if you focus on your job/business. I am sure it is more than the savings you would make by not using a letting agent. Additionally, things may take you a lot longer than using a letting agent that knows what to do, how to do it and when to do it.
So, use a letting agent and free up your time. This means that you can spend more time on the important things in life.
3 – Keeping on top of legal issues and legislation changes
You may know of at least one change that affects landlords. One of them being Section 21 where it is going to make it more difficult to evict a tenant. You could find yourself in a lot of trouble if you carry on your old ways to evict a tenant. You will have an extra cost of a solicitor to defend your actions and their costs of using a solicitor. It may be better to work with a letting agent that keeps on top of all legislation issues.
They will ensure that staff are trained on any such changes. Letting agents will change their processes, paperwork and eviction processes to ensure that your property is safe, whilst keeping in the law.
One of the issues you will face with a non-paying tenant is emotional stress. Having a letting agent that can make informed and objective decisions will save you a lot of hassle and time.
There are many other regulations that need to be kept on top of when renting a buy to let property. Gas checks, energy efficiency, health and safety, electrical tests are all aspects of checks that may need to be conducted in your property. This will require even more time to identify a team of people to carry out these activities.
Managing tradespeople may cause additional headaches and be a cause for time being wasted. A letting agent will have the ability to schedule all tests to be done on time and allocate work to their own trusted team of tradespeople. A plumber will always want to please a letting agent that provides lots of jobs rather than you that has one or two houses. It is a matter of economics.
4 – Management of suppliers and tenants when using a letting agent
There will always be a time when work needs to be done on a property. Tenants will always feel put out if they have not requested the work to be done. They might sound harsh but I have personally had over 100 tenants. You know that a gas check has to be done. After leaving three voicemails and four texts you agree with Pam that she will be free on Friday between 9am and 12pm to let the plumber in.
You now call the plumber to confirm the date and time. He initially agreed the date and time with you. Now you call the plumber to confirm but he does not answer. Finally, a day before he is meant to be at the property, he calls. It is not good news. He informed you that he is busy on another job and cannot get to the property until 1pm. He is not sounding at all apologetic either, frustrating. You now have to go back to the tenant.
This time and hassle would be saved if you had a reliable workforce. As I mentioned above a letting agent will work hard on their relationships. Tradespeople will not want to lose business by upsetting the letting agent.
The letting agent may also have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) where the tradesperson has to respond to a requirement. They may also have a fixed price agreement to ensure that jobs are competitively priced. This means that you ultimately may save time dealing with the tradesperson and tenant. You will have the added benefit of saving money too.
5 – Minimise administration & paperwork when working with a letting agent
There is a lot of paperwork when dealing with a tenant
– Credit checks
– Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) forms
– Energy Efficiency Certificates (EEC)
– Gas Safety Checks
The above documents are just one of many. For a typical landlord, they may not be very good at administration. Worse still they may dislike paperwork so much that it gets in the way. I wonder if you have a full-time job or work long hours in your business. You come home to your family and want to spend time with them. You know that there is paperwork to be completed. A choice is to be made. Be on top of your paperwork or keep a happy household.
A letting agent will have administrators that manage paperwork all day long. Some may even love administration, I am sure there are many others that do not but still keep on top of things. A good letting agent will have systems that make things efficient and paperless requiring less time to get jobs done. They may even have systems that are linked to automate repetitive tasks or complete forms without manual intervention.
How can our property accountants help you reduce your buy to let tax?
Book a call to discuss our property accountancy services
Book a tax call with our property tax specialists using the code “Art33” to get 33% discount