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Letting your Property

Letting your property yourself

There are a number of excellent reasons for managing the let yourself rather than going straight to an agent, particularly if you are just starting out as a landlord. Whether you choose to run let yourself or through a letting agent, there are advantages and disadvantages. Read these pages and then make up your mind as to which you would prefer.

Advantages of self-managing

There is no better way of learning how a business operates that by doing every job yourself involve in it.
  • Saving Money: Managing it yourself will save money because you won’t have to pay a ‘finders fee’ or an on-going management fee.
  • Learning the business: You will learn what the most common problem s are, how to deal with them and what they cost. This will be valuable later on if you choose to bring in a manager or agent, because you will know as much as they do about your own properties or and possibly more.
  • Making Contacts: having tried and tested people that you trust on hand to deal with the things you can’t is invaluable. This might be a reliable plumber, a cheap, efficient handyman or someone to hand over to when you have a holiday or your business expands.
  • Learning new skills: Fixing things yourself is far cheaper than paying some one else to do it and it can be interesting improving your skills or facing new challenges. However, make sure you are aware of what repairs you can and can’t do major electrical work or can you do anything with regard to gas unless the landlord is CORGI registered.

Disadvantage of self-managing

  • Timing: Dealing with the day-to-day running of a tenancy take time. There is paperwork to keep on top of, much of it a legal requirement, and you will want to keep an eye on the property and deal with maintenance issues quickly to avoid antagonising your tenant. A useful calculation is to assess your time at the rate of pay you can get elsewhere and from an estimate of how much time you will spend on landlord duties (including travel), work out the cost of doing the job
  • Location: You can’t manage a rental property from a distance, because you have to be on hand: it should preferably be fairly close to where you live and work.
  • Stress: Tenants expect any problems to be dealt with fast and arranging that can involve a lot of hassle. You are on call at all times, which can make it harder to relax and have a proper break. You can, through no fault of you r own, be put into stressful situations where there is conflict with the tenant – for example if there are problems with their behaviour or if they don’t pay the rent.
  • Lack of expertise: If you don’t know much about running and maintaining property, it can be a steep and expensive learning curve. For example- repairing a leaking roof is an expensive job and if it is not done right, you will face with an irate tenant and a damaged, damp property. Good landlords need to know quite a bit about repairs and a lot about handling relationships with tenants and workmen. There are also legal issues on types of tenancy on which you should get professional advice. Finally, you will have to deal with marketing the property, another drain on time and resources.