Buy-to-let refers to a property that has been purchased specifically with a view to letting it out. Buy-to-let properties are usually residential, but the term also encompasses student property investments and hotel room investments. For the purposes of this blog, when we refer to buy-to-let we are discussing residential rental properties. As with any other type of landlord, accidental or otherwise, once you’ve purchased your buy-to-let property, you need to work out how you’re going to manage it. While it can be tempting to self-manage, buy-to-let property management can be quite time-consuming and there are definite benefits to appointing a letting agent to take charge of the management of the property.
What is involved in buy-to-let property management?
Buy-to-let property management involves overseeing the smooth running of a tenant’s experience of your property from the moment they check until the moment they leave. You will be their first point of contact when it comes to reporting repairs and maintenance issues; you will be the one collecting the rent, checking the property is kept in good condition and checking that all your interactions with the tenant and the property are legally compliant. Depending on whether you decide to engage a letting agent to help you market it, you could even be finding and vetting tenants for the property as well.
What are the advantages of appointing a managing agent?
Appointing a managing agent means you can ensure you stay up-to-date with the changing regulations around rental properties. Legislation in this area is constantly evolving and the fines for not staying compliant can be hefty.
If you live in a different area to your buy-to-let property, it can be easier to let someone local take charge of your property for you, particularly when it comes to things like rental inspections and appointing someone to deal with any repairs issues.
Letting agencies with large property management portfolios should have good relationships with local contractors, which means they might be better placed to get maintenance issues sorted out swiftly and cost-effectively.
Can you take charge of your own buy-to-let property management?
Of course you can. For investors who have the time to dedicate to it, managing your buy-to-let property can be rewarding and has many advantages.
Not only do you avoid paying a management fee but you’re able to maintain a greater level of control over your property. For some, establishing a relationship with your tenant can be rewarding. There is also plenty of technology to help you if you do decide to self-manage.
It is not, however, for everyone. So, when investing in an investment property, don’t forget to factor in the time and money involved in buy-to-let property management when you’re weighing up whether or not to go it alone.