Being a landlord can be difficult. Aside from having to market and manage your property every single time you need to find new tenants, you must also ensure that you can maximise your profits without breaking the law or allowing your properties to fall into disrepair.
If you do not have much experience in managing a property, you may be considering hiring a ‘property manager’. This can be expensive, with most taking between 8 and 15% of a property’s rental income depending on the extent of their services. On the other hand, a property manager can handle everything from marketing a property to booking repair and maintenance jobs, ensuring that everything stays running smoothly without the risk of void periods.
Whether or not you ‘need’ a property manager really depends on how much experience and time you can offer as a landlord. You could be a green landlord with no idea of how to keep a property up to scratch, or you could simply have such as large portfolio that you do not have enough time to look after each and every building you own.
In any case, it is always crucial that you take your time and make an informed decision. When comparing property managers and estate agents, be sure to look at what past landlords and tenants have to say about them, rather than simply focusing on their prices. A good candidate will be well worth their costs for the security they can offer your property and, more importantly, your profits!
A property manager’s job can vary widely depending on exactly how extensive a service you require. Just keep in mind that the more involved a manager is with the running of your property portfolio, the more they will charge!
Property managers can:
Most landlords who hire a property manager do so because:
In almost every case the ultimate decision is based on time and experience. However, there are a few clear advantages and disadvantages to hiring a property manager:
When looking for a property manager, it is vital that you screen your candidates carefully. Start by looking at reviews from both landlords and tenants. Keep in mind that it is usually best to keep your search local, as not only will these candidates be familiar with local property laws but they may also have a more keen understanding of exactly who is looking for property in your area.
Ask to look at different packages and examine what is included in each. After all, you may not need a manager to handle your property over the entire course of the tenancy. You should also be sure to get a breakdown of all fees, not just the ones you are paying month to month.
Finally, be sure to watch out for a ‘guaranteed rent service’. This highly useful clause can protect your income in the event that tenants fail to pay their rent, which will be particularly useful if you are paying a buy-to-let mortgage. Other candidates may offer void property cover, regular property inspections and so on.
Ultimately it is up to you to weight the costs of your property manager candidates with what you need them to provide. If you have a large portfolio it is definitely worth considering a slightly more costly agency which is highly rated and clear with its fees. If they can protect your properties and keep your tenants happy, it could well be worth giving up a higher fraction of your rental income.