Once you’ve invested in your buy-to-let property, it’s time to decide who will run the place or places. Some landlords do this themselves, and manage perfectly well. Others may be tempted to try and cut corners by doing so.
However, there are numerous good reasons why investing in the services of a managing agent for rental homes usually pays off in the long run. Here are some of them:
- Agents stay up to date on the current legislation affecting landlords
The laws and rules affecting landlords are updated all the time. To manage any property yourself, you’ll need to stay abreast of this ever-changing legislation. We recently reported, for example, on the new Building Safety Act. If you’re self-managing a flat or house, you’ll have to be sure you’re committed to learning and understanding all legislation as it is altered. Use an agent and they stay one step ahead, understanding new laws and acting on them as required.
- Someone to chase rent arrears as they crop up
No one enjoys chasing tenants for their rent if and when it’s not paid on time. But, unfortunately, someone has to do it, and this is where a managing agent can come into their own. At Oakfield, we can find out what has gone wrong, record everything, keep track of payments and make sure you get any money you’re owed. What’s more, we have the experience and expertise to handle any situation sensitively, while also recognising when it’s time to take legal action and, potentially, start eviction proceedings if there’s no alternative.
- An agent handles annual rent increases
Again, you may not particularly relish the prospect of asking your tenants for more money each month. But, as with anything else, rents have to go up in price. A managing agent like Oakfield knows the market in its area well, and can ensure that rents remain at a consistently accurate and competitive value for the neighbourhood and match those charged for similar properties. We’ll negotiate with tenants so they understand how much more they’ll be paying. Managing agents can often secure their clients higher rents than they would achieve on their own. An agent can also act as a sort of neutral buffer between tenant and landlord.
- An agent can be based near the property
You may not necessarily live especially near the place you rent out, in which case a managing agent’s services could be vital. We’re very much a local estate agency, operating across the areas we’re based in in East Sussex, so can respond to issues quickly and effectively.
- Dealing with maintenance and repairs
It can be tempting to think you can handle repairs and maintenance in your rental property or properties yourself. But do you really want to be spending a precious evening or weekend unblocking your tenant’s sink? Equally, as mentioned above, if you don’t live locally, are you really able and willing to travel long distances to sort out day-to-day issues in a property? An agent will have access to a network of local suppliers and contractors.
We have a lot of maintenance expertise, not only in our branches but also via specialist contractors, who we can send out to properties to deal with emergencies during and outside of working hours.
- Ideal for new or first-time landlords
If you’re new to letting out a property, or are a first-time landlord, there can be a lot to take on board. Free up time and save yourself hassle by letting an agent handle everything – you’ll also ensure you comply with all relevant legislation.
At Oakfield, we have the expertise to manage your property effectively and within the law so that you maximise your investment. Get in touch today to learn more, whether you have a flat or house to let out in Hastings, St Leonards or Eastbourne.