Should you self-manage or use a letting agent?

The Pros and Cons of Self Managing

As the economic landscape changes, we’re seeing a steady increase of Landlords electing to self-manage. With Estate Agency fees varying anywhere from 5% to 19% to manage a property, it’s fast becoming a very attractive option to side-step the extra cost and do away with the Agent altogether- but is it a good idea? Should you self-manage or use a Letting Agent?

Self-managing- on the surface- appears to be an easy task, and in many ways, it is. There are courses, seminars, forums and a wealth of information online to aid Landlords in their venture, and with a good tenant you can easily self-manage.

It’s not you, it’s them

Unfortunately, not all tenants are good, and this is where the real complications arise. Evictions are becoming much harder to secure, with the court system presenting a long, arduous and stressful process that offers no guarantee that you’ll ever recoup any loses. Lettings legislation is incredibly fast paced, and with new laws and regulations coming in monthly, it’s a full-time job just to stay ahead.

If you choose to self-manage, be aware and vigilant with your knowledge. Make sure you’re part of a Landlords Group either through social media or with an online subscription. Have a generous amount in savings to prepare for a rainy day- if the worst-case scenario occurs, you must have the resources for a good solicitor to represent your best interests. Tenant Advocacy groups are on the rise, and with the law now favouring tenants, you may well have a battle ahead.

Take responsibility

Most importantly of all, admit if you find yourself out of your depth. Lettings Agents have the benefit of years of specialised experience, their professional life revolves around property, so naturally they have a wealth of knowledge that an average Landlord won’t have access to. In the same way a Letting Agent doesn’t have the expertise to perform your job, you likely don’t have the expertise to perform theirs- its why the industry exists.

Should you self-manage or use a Letting Agent?

Ultimately, it’s only you who can make that decision, but if you take the time to make an informed choice from an educated standpoint, you’ll reap the rewards of a positive Letting experience.