Why Do I Need A Letting Agent?
Very often landlords tell me they don’t need a full management package, they have been a landlord for years and built up a portfolio of tradesman and can therefore manage the property themselves.
I am more than happy for landlords to manage their own property, as long as they know what they are doing and the risks and pitfalls that are out there.
To start with did you know there are over 150 pieces of legislation that landlords and Letting Agents need to follow?
Under the Consumer Protection Regulation 1987, the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, under the Housing Act 2004, under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Law of Property Act 1925 it is imperative that you make sure your tenancy is safe.
Gone are the days where you were able to pick someone out of the yellow pages. You need to hold a copy of the contractors professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance and health and safety policy. You have to make sure the contractor adheres to the policies in relation to things like: Asbestos, Legionnaires and you need to have a record of that. A gas engineer needs to be Gas Safe registered, always check the gas safe register for work the engineer is qualified to undertake www.gassaferegister.co.uk. An electrician needs to be NICEIC registered.
A really good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to help keep records and make notes is crucial. Such items that need documenting are when maintenance is reported, the fault and progress steps, any alterations or work done on any gas items, along with the contractors details and gas safe number.
Its extremely important the person who is looking after the management of the property has had training on how to handle tenancies. It’s about making sure that in relation to the property that the tenant is safe and the property is compliant, what you can and can’t do! The person managing the property needs to know exactly what happens if an item of maintenance is called on, how long he/she has to repair it. Some repairs are needed within 24 hours whereas others are weeks. If you fall foul of the correct repair timescale you could be talking compensation, repayment of rent, banning orders or a Health Office talking about HHSRS (Housing health and safety rating system). You don’t want a Health Officer to attend the property, what else will he find, see or will the tenants provide them with a list of other trivial things which they haven’t made you aware because up till now they have been happily living with those quirks and not bothered you with them! We could be talking banning orders, thousands and thousands worth of fines, worst case scenario, they can seize the property from you!
Dealing with maintenance is only a small part of what a Letting Agent can do for a Landlord, to find out more or if you have a property related questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.