As you build a bigger property portfolio you will inevitably ask yourself this question…. Should I self-manage or hand it over to a letting agent? Well, I’ve dropped some considerations down for you below that might help you decide!

Self-Manage

  1. You have much more control of your property and what’s going on in it. If there’s something broken, you’ll get the call from the tenant. If someone hasn’t paid, you’ll see that the direct debit hasn’t landed in your account. Of course, you’ll never have 100% control of what’s going on but the buck will always stop with you if something needs sorted in the property.
  2. You’ll save money! With Section 24 now fully in place the costs of running a property will be higher so you might be able to offset some of that by managing your property or portfolio yourself. Usually agents can charge between 10% and 15% (watch out for any below 10%!) of your monthly rent so for a £500 pcm rental, you’ll save £50 per month.
  3. It takes up time you could use elsewhere. One reason I prefer not to self manage is that it would take up my time when there’s lots of other things I’d much rather be doing! Of course, if you are in a full time job as well then do you want the hassle of dealing with every issue in your property? and more importantly, do you have the time to do this?
  4. You need to manage everything, from the marketing, tenancy agreement, the inventory (if you have one), the deposit for the tenant, etc ,etc, etc. Honestly, the list goes on and on! And this is only to get a tenant into the property! One thing about self managing is that you really need to be clued up on your obligations as a landlord (which you should be regardless!) as missing one component could mean you are unable to evict tenants that don’t pay.
  5. To finish on a positive, self-managing does make you learn what you are paying for with an agent! You get to understand your obligations fully which can mean you are in a better position to manage a letting agent if you take one on in the future.

Letting Agent

  1. It’s another cost affecting your bottom line. Personally, I think it’s money well spent and if your property doesn’t make money (i.e. there’s no-one in it) often there will be no payments required – do check though with your agent!
  2. No tenant calls! Yes, you won’t be the one getting a call at any time of the day to say the boilers broken, or one of the wheelie bins has caught fire (true story). The agent will take the call and you can delegate maintenance costs up to a certain amount without even being contacted.
  3. They are (should be) experts in managing lettings. Unlike you, they will have potentially hundreds of properties that they manage and should be much more experience in the regulations, which are increasing each year. You need to know your processes when you are a landlord or be able to work with agents who do.
  4. They save you time and can manage everything from marketing to eviction notices and can also advise you on the type of tenants for the market to ensure you are getting a long term tenant that is likely to pay the rent!