by Ed Firmin
Posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2015 at 17:29
There’s a lot to think about when letting out a student property, and you may wish to take on the task yourself. However, be prepared for it to take a lot of time to manage, and if don’t want to be lumbered with the hassle, or haven’t much experience of dealing with tenants, then a letting agent is probably the answer you are looking for.
Letting agents usually offer three levels of service, and I’m no different in that respect.
• Let only – this is for when you would only like the letting agent to source a tenant for your property, and so tends to be the cheapest option. This will usually include preparing the details (listing features and benefits, taking pictures etc.), marketing the property, arranging viewings, checking the tenant references and arranging the tenancy agreement. Some may also include arranging the deposit and first month’s rent collection within this package
• Letting, plus Rent Collection – as above, but with the additional benefit of managing the rent payments on a monthly basis. They’ll handle any chasing of late payments and fines associated with that too. This option is particularly great when there’s more than one rent payment per property to collect, as is usually the case when renting out to students
• Full management – again, as above, but the letting agent is responsible for the day-to-day running of the property. Typically, this will mean the letting agent being the first and main point of contact for the tenants, and will arrange and oversee any repairs needed, as well as inspecting the property on a regular basis. They will be able to access the property without you needing to be there, so your involvement will be minimal
You will also need to ensure you are fully aware of all additional fees that letting agents charge – a full list has to be made available on their website or displayed upfront, so that you are fully informed of what money you will be entitled to pay. Typically, these additional fees will be for re-negotiating of a contract, a check-out fee, inventory fees etc.
Of course, you will pay more money if you want to give more responsibility to the letting agent; that goes without saying. It is important to weigh up the pros and cons of which service would suit you. If you know you simply don’t have the time to dedicate to managing a property, then the full package makes sense. You probably won’t want to be bothered with the hassle of students ringing with all sorts of maintenance issues, and knowing you aren’t able to send round someone to fix it within an appropriate amount of time, which is what is reasonably expected of you.
Also think about the additional benefits of having a letting agent to hand. They will be able to handle any deposit issues or disputes, ensure that all parties are fully checked out and they are who they say they are, and will also be there to offer advice on how to get your property rented out as quickly as possible. You are paying for their knowledge and experience as well as management skills, and in the vast majority of cases this, is worth far more than the monthly fee you’ll be paying. So make the most of it!
If you’d like to get in touch to talk about how Redlet can manage your property for you, then please do so here. I’m happy to offer advice and talk you through the process.