Should I Let My Home Myself?

This is a question that the majority of landlords have asked themselves at some point in time. It’s tempting, isn’t it? No fees, not paying a percentage out each month, total control. It sounds relatively simple – find a tenant, move them in, collect the rent, bingo! There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes with a let however, it isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem.

Let me outline some of the points to consider when weighing up your options:

Advertising

If we start from scratch, so far you have a house to let and no tenants – how do you find some? Advertising of course! Next question – where will you advertise? This is where it becomes tricky. If you’re looking to advertise your property and let it privately, you may struggle to get your home onto the major portals, such as; rightmove, findaproperty, zoopla etc. These sites require subscription fees and other costs that won’t be cost effective when you’re letting out just one property. Also, you probably won’t want a subscription because you’d like to let it out ASAP!  Another advantage agents hold, a database of previous applicants and potential tenants currently looking for a new home!

Paperwork

Any agent worth their salt will have solid, well-presented and legally watertight paperwork to accompany and safeguard you throughout the lettings process. If you go it alone, you won’t have access to this without – you guessed it – handing over some money. You must also consider the source of your paperwork. If you go to a solicitor you will pay handsomely for their time, if you buy your legal documents online you leave yourself wide open to loopholes that could come back and haunt you.

Time

As the old saying goes, time is money. You should consider how much time you will be putting into your let. Agencies have a team of (hopefully) fantastic and well-trained staff, equipment and industry nous – their job is to let your property. If you work, think seriously about whether you have the time to conduct viewings, source legal documents, take calls and emails and go about your daily life. It is time consuming and it can be stressful.

Money

Are you best placed to value your property? Sometimes we look at our own properties with rose-tinted spectacles (we’re all guilty). Are you able to objectively look at your location, size and décor and make a judgement on what rent to charge? It’s a very important issue. Too high and you will scare off any potential tenants you may have found – too low and you are losing out on hard cash.

Think carefully about mounting costs elsewhere, too. The appeal of letting the property yourself is saving money – nobody likes to see their balance shrinking, for any reason! However there are unseen costs to letting, including things like legal paperwork (as mentioned), issues with tenants, advertising, inventories… The list goes on! Some landlords prefer to fly solo and deal with issues and costs as they come – and to those landlords, I applaud you! Personally, from working in the industry and encountering the problems that do arise, I would leave it to the professionals. I know what you’re thinking – you would say that! As an agent, yes I suppose you’re right. However as an agent, I know better than most how these issues can build up. If you’d like to discuss this article, letting a property or any of the information you’ve read within our blogs, please feel free to call us at any time. 

 

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