Letting Agencies: Why Landlords Need Them

By : Nick Marr

In the past, landlords had more freedom to manage their own rental properties. These days, however, there are strict rules and legislation which may prevent them from doing so. For example, in Wales, the Housing Act of 2014 gave rise to Rent Smart Wales which is responsible for processing and granting landlord registrations and licences to agents and landlords.

As a result, only a landlord lettings service or a landlord who has received relevant training by government-approved bodies regarding the “relevant up-to-date information in order to successfully manage tenancies within the law” is allowed to manage rental properties.

For agents and landlords in England and Wales, they must be licensed to run a large house with multiple occupants. By definition, a large house is a property that is rented out to five or more people forming one household. The property should have at least three stories and the tenants share communal facilities like a toilet and kitchen. In other areas of England, there may be additional selective licensing rules that exist.

Is it still possible for a landlord to self-manage a property?

The stricter and more selective regulations mean that there are fewer landlords who will be able to manage their property on their own. As such, it really depends on whether the landlord has enough time to acquire the necessary knowledge and requirements to be able to do so.

There are still a number of landlords who want to maintain full control of renting out their properties. Self-management can be a fulfilling experience as it gives the landlord a hands-on approach to management. He can also build a better and more personal relationship with his tenants.

Self-management also means that the landlord will have complete control over major decisions involving the property such as maintenance costs. This option also saves the landlord money that would have otherwise been paid to a letting agent. Nevertheless, self-management will entail a lot of work. They will need to keep themselves updated with local and national legislation and are fully responsible for everything that occurs.

Who benefits from a letting service?

A letting service is beneficial for a number of reasons. Obviously, if a landlord is unable to comply with all the requirements and obtain the knowledge that will allow him to acquire a licence, he can relinquish property management to a letting service.

Moreover, a letting service also helps the landlord manage property maintenance and repairs. This is ideal if the landlord does not want to personally handle such issues. Another scenario is when the property owner is living outside the country and needs someone else to manage the property for rent.

While hiring a letting agent is indeed the most convenient choice, landlords should still make sure that they are hiring a reputable agent because at the end of the day, they are still civilly liable should anything go wrong.

Finding a qualified and reputable letting agent, the landlord will have peace of mind knowing that his property is being handled by a capable agency.

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