A property management or letting agency can be indispensable for landlords looking to rent out and manage their property. Most busy landlords don’t have time to market and maintain rental properties or screen and manage tenants. In addition to keeping up the property, a landlord can spend hours making repairs and renovations necessitated by tenant moves, hiring contractors to perform heavy duty tasks, screening and interviewing potential tenants, collecting rent every month, and going to court with tenants who occasionally skip town without paying rent that is in arrears. Because of the nature of owning and renting property, savvy landlords rely heavily on the services of a property manager. An experienced, highly qualified property management can take the headache out of owning rentals and help you realise a profit. Here’s just a listing of what you can expect from your agency:
1. Assess and Assign a Competitive Rental Rate
As a property owner, you have an idea about the amount of rent you’d like to collect every month; however, you might not be aware of comparable rates and your unit’s potential income. Instead of over- or under-charging, you can rely on your management letting agency to keep abreast of what’s appropriate for the area and what potential tenants are willing to pay. Your agent offers advice for setting a fair market value that will make a profit and appeal to renters. You will have realistic expectations for how much you can expect to charge as well as how much potential profit you can expect to make.
2. Make Recommendations On How to Improve Your Rental
A qualified property manager is also a lettings agent familiar with housing features that appeal to the greatest number of potential tenants. He or she can assess whether your unit appeals to renters due to its physical appearance or proximity to schools or public transit. An astute agent can also recommend how you can improve your unit’s appearance and capitalise on features that are most attractive to renters. You might need to add some shrubbery for more curb appeal, renovate an ageing kitchen, or paint the walls to freshen the interior. Any improvements are bound to make your unit more appealing and more rent-ready.
3. Establish and Implement Policies to Protect Your Property
Ask your property management letting agency about establishing policies that will benefit you and your tenant and protect your property from potential liability or damage, such as whether to allow pets, smoking or subleasing. There are some rental agreements available online that can be modified to include special stipulations or clauses that suite your needs. The last thing you need is to get locked into tenant agreement that makes you personally liable for accidents or injuries caused by a careless renter. An astute and experienced property manager can offer expert advice on drafting, presenting and implementing leases that offer security for you and your tenant.
4. Advertise Your Rental Property
In the UK, rental property is a hot commodity and the demand is high for units in up and coming areas. Your property management or letting agency will get your unit ready to rent, take photos and advertise the property with the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), classified sections of newspapers, local publications, and online real estate websites. Additionally, your agent installs a lock box and works with other realtors and letting companies in the area generate more traffic for your property.
5. Get Your Property Rent Ready
Your professional letting agency contracts with one or more companies to prepare your unit for a new tenant. A janitorial service might clean the unit, while contractors, painters, electricians, plumbers and landscapers may be employed to ensure that everything is operating properly before your property is placed on the market. A professional manager can quickly assess the need for repairs, upgrades and cosmetic alterations like a new carpet, a fresh coat of paint, or newer appliances could increase rental income.
6. Take Rental Applications
Your property manager will take rental applications which are in compliance with regulations and screen applicants to ensure that you get the best qualified tenant. Property managers check income and employment records, rental histories, and perform background and credit checks to give you added assurance against deadbeat tenants. Your letting agency is really your first line of defence against losing rental income with a bad tenant.
7. Arrange for Tenant Move In
Once approved, renters will be ready to occupy the space. Your professional property management agent is there to protect your interests and ensure that a lease agreement has been properly worded and executed to meet local regulations before tenant occupancy. Your agent will act as proxy and sign letting agreements for you and collect rental application fees, security deposits, and first and last months’ rents if required. Once a move-in date has been established, your letting agent will walk through the unit with the tenant and make sure discrepancies are notated on the tenant’s inspection form.
8. Collect Tenants’ Rental Payments
The first of the month can be harried and stressful if you don’t have help. You can avoid the hassle of running down rental payments by hiring a property management or letting agency. Leave collecting monthly rents and late fees, issuing rental notices, and keeping records to your agent. Your investment is secure and your time is free to pursue other important interests like managing the day-to-day operations of your enterprise.
9. Manage Accounts and Keep Accurate Records
As a landlord, you will need a property manager or letting agent to manage tenant accounts, issue receipts, pay contractors and repairmen, and keep accurate records of account receivables and accounts payable. In addition to your accountant, your property manager will be keeping digital or hard copy records of tenant transactions, compliant with tax laws. Accurate records and bookkeeping will protect you in the event of a litigation or tenant dispute.
10. Handle Evictions and Litigation
Occasionally, you have to give a bad tenant the boot. Let your property manager prepare and file necessary paperwork to notify the tenant about your intention to evict them from the property and legal enforcement. While a property management and letting agent is not a lawyer, they do have the right to file and issue eviction notices and because you property manager maintains accurate and up-to-date records, he or she is in a unique position to provide concrete evidence and documentation of any tenant transaction—a bonus when you’re forced to protect your assets in court.
11. Handle Tenant Move-Outs
When it is time for your renter to move out,you want someone you can trust to perform a walk-through, final inspection, secure keys, and issue deposits. In addition to supervising tenant move-outs, your letting agent will also make sure former tenants have not violated any part of their lease agreement, caused damage beyond normal wear and tear, and essentially, have left your unit the way they found it. Authorise your property manager to levy additional fines for tenants who either owe fees or back rents. Your agent is also authorised to deny returning deposits to tenants who owe monies or have caused excessive damage to the unit.
Ultimately,the decision is yours to hire a qualified professional to make managing rental income property carefree and profitable. While the monetary investment might be a concern, it is an investment that pays back with peace of mind and an assurance that your property will continue to be profitable for years to come when it is managed by the right property management or letting agency.
Property Management in Leeds & Bradford
Valor Properties to becoming the most recognised and trusted Leeds & Bradford property estate and letting agents was built on providing a level of personalised service that’s second to none, matched with an extensive knowledge of the local property market.
As landlords ourselves, we ensure our experienced lettings management team can make letting your house, flat or bungalow fast and easy, helping with all the responsibilities of being a landlord. Our comprehensive management service means we take complete control of your rental from start to finish, giving you the hassle free experience you should come to expect.
As well as extensive marketing techniques to give maximum exposure to our clients properties, we are able to implement systems and process’s that ensure a smooth and transparent service from the day the property comes onto the market, becomes occupied and then becomes available again.