It’s that age-old dilemma.

Whether to outsource some, or all of the work to an agency or bite the bullet and look after everything yourself. The first option involves handing over a percentage of the rental amount; the second – doesn’t. But, as Talitha Burgess, Clarity’s Managing Director argues, the do-it-yourself option may end up costing you more than you think, in ways you hadn’t considered.

Yes, being a landlord can be profitable. Yields are still good, not least in and around Sussex and, despite Lockdown Number 3 (at the time of writing), people still need to find new homes.

Done Your Research?

It goes without saying that as a would-be or even an established landlord, there’s a great deal to think about, and a lot to do, if you decide to go it alone. You’ll have done your homework here, so you’ll know what’s involved. In a word, there’s lots:

Finding suitable tenants, doing all the essential referencing and credit checks, organising the finances, fixing a broken boiler or a leaky roof, negotiating rent renewals – these are just a few of the fiddly, attention-to-detail-type things you’ll need to know, understand and undertake. In brief, you’re going to have a long To Do list, and you’ll need to keep on top of all the rules and regulations governing property lettings.

If you’re OK about all this, you’re probably, well, OK about all this – if you see what I mean. But is it really a good idea?

Why Use a Letting Agency such as Clarity Property Management?

1. Your Time is Valuable

Without putting too fine a point on it, your time is important – and so are your properties. May I gently suggest that the hours you spend on landlording (my new word), could be spent on other things?

Perhaps you have a busy job, or you run your own business. Or, now could be the time to reap the rewards of your property investments with some well-deserved free time.

Importantly, property management can quickly become time-consuming at short notice, especially if you’re an inexperienced landlord. An accredited agent will bring structure and accountability to the table. Further, we offer prompt response times, and an agreed reporting structure to keep you up to speed. As the saying goes, we will take care of everything – so that you don’t have to.

2. You May Get it Wrong

Apologies, that’s rather blunt. Let me explain:

Since I started working in the property sector, being a landlord – or rather being a “good” landlord, has become more complicated.

That is, if you rent out your property, or properties, you must adhere fully and completely to the rules and regulations associated with doing so. It’s not a nice-to-have option; it’s the law.

And, in our opinion as letting agents, rightly so.

In recent years, there’s been a bit of an about turn, placing your duties concerning the wellbeing, health and safety and financial protection of the people living in your home centre-stage. What’s more, these laws change and update regularly.

What’s this all leading to? Well, if you’re keen to do it right, outsourcing to an ARLA accredited agency such as Clarity, will offer you the peace of mind to know that everything is being done legally. That counts for a great deal. If you break the law, the fines are super-steep.

Likewise, with a lettings agent you’ll know that each and every aspect of your property management is being completed to the highest standards, based fully on the latest property-related compliance.

Picture this: As an example, I don’t have the skills or confidence to take someone to court on my own for breach of copyright, and I certainly would never try to complete and submit the tax returns for my business. Why? Because it’s likely that I’d make mistakes; and, that those errors would negatively impact my business.

3. You Could Save Money

Yes, indeed. Regarding the services of sub-contractors, Clarity benefits from a degree of buying power. Not only do we receive preferential professional “mates’ rates” from the tradespeople who work with us, we also enjoy enhanced service and response times.

We’ll pass these reduced rates directly to you without a mark-up, even if a plumber or electrician needs to visit the property out of hours, or at weekends.

By the way, regarding this latter point, 90% of out of hours enquiries don’t incur costs. Rather, they’re a good way for us to gather information about what’s happened and to reassure the tenant that they’re first on the list for the next day, or the day after that.

4. An Unbiased Third Party

In our experience, tenants can be rather emotive about what is, after all, their home. Using an agency for rent renewal negotiations, or, in rare cases to organise an eviction is a good way to keep everything above board and professional.

What Else?

In brief:

  • We have the skills and experience to find you some really great tenants. This deserves a few paragraphs all of their own! Read more about our referencing and tenant checks.
  • We’ll carry out regular property checks. Especially if you’re located at some distance, this regular service offers peace of mind.
  • A proper inventory will be carried out. An in-depth inventory is a must-have. A good letting agency will always provide expertise in this specialised area. Should the issue be taken to adjudication, you’ll have a better chance of winning if an unbiased third party takes care of this.
  • Remember, Clarity offers you what you need – and no more. From tenant finds only, through to fully managed services, as well as a combination of the two, we’ll be happy to recommend the level of support we think you need.

In summary, you’ll need to consider the following:

Is great service worth the cost? Less work for you, plus peace of mind? Do you really want to wake up at 3am, realising that you’ve forgotten to take care of something vital? No, we don’t think so either.

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