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Letting your house: Using a letting agent vs. DIY landlord

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So, you’ve made the decision to enter the buy to let market or are letting your house. However, after buying a property and doing it up, you’ve still got one final big decision to make. Should you use a letting agent to let it out for you, or should you become a DIY landlord?

Initially a letting agency could seem like the best idea, but there are pros and cons of both options that you need to be aware of.

Understanding letting agencies

A letting agent basically provides two services to landlords. There’s a ‘let only’ service or you can have a full management service. The latter will be the most expensive option, but will save you the most time and effort.

Depending upon what type of service you choose, letting agencies will take care of advertising and marketing the property, carrying out viewings, collect tenant references, provide tenant agreements and collect the first deposit and pay it to the landlord.letting your house

If the tenant decides to move out at any point, the agency will start finding new potential tenants to fill the property. They can also help with emergencies as and when they crop up.

Sounds ideal, but it can be quite pricey. If you choose to be a DIY landlord it might seem cheaper, but you have to take care of everything yourself. From advertising and showing potential tenants around to dealing with rental issues and fixing any repairs; absolutely everything is down to you.

The benefits of using an agency

Using a letting agent may be more expensive than going it alone, but there are many advantages. In fact, in some cases an agent could actually save you money in the long run.

After all, they take care of the advertising and keeping the property occupied. Going it alone can take a lot longer to draw in potential tenants.

Advantages of using an agency

The main benefits of using an agency include:

  • Saves you time
  • They take care of all marketing
  • Form filling is done for you
  • They handle your tenants so you don’t have to

The time saving aspects tend to be quite a big advantage for many people. If you simply don’t have a lot of time to spare, it would make a lot more sense to hire a letting agent. You can get on with your day job while the letting agent takes care of your investment.

Renting out and managing a property is almost a full time job in itself. If you don’t want it to interfere with your normal life then an agent is a great idea.

One of the main problems you have as a DIY landlord is the fact you have to deal with the tenants directly. If you don’t like the thought of doing this then an agency can be a godsend. They will resolve any problems for you and they’ll be in direct contact with the tenant so you don’t have to be.

It’s easy to see why so many landlords choose to use a letting agent. Why go through a lot of stress when you really don’t have to? The agency fees aren’t that expensive when you compare the benefits you get for the cost.

 

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About Jemma Porter

About Jemma Porter

Jemma Porter is an experienced content creator who has written for a number of online publications. A self-confessed penny pincher; she's often found seeking out the best personal finance deals.

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