Why Landlords Need Letting Agents
With the recent introduction of new legislation and the ongoing heightened focus on tenant rights, it is becoming harder and harder for landlords to self-manage their properties.
A landlord looking to do so privately is now responsible for more administration and training than ever, which is time consuming, costly, and if not done to required standards, a financial risk.
Legislation and Knowledge
Legislation is increasingly becoming in favour of the tenant regarding fees, rent control and landlord regulations. Scotland and Wales have both seen new legislation that makes it harder for landlords to manage properties, including for example the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 which has resulted in the setting up of Rent Smart Wales, requiring the registration and mandatory training of landlords.
This has a huge impact on private landlords as they are now required to be trained on “relevant up-to-date information in order to successfully manage tenancies within the law.” With over four hundred rules and regulations involved in letting a property, this represents a huge undertaking. Additionally, private landlords can expect fines of up to £30,000 for breaches and non compliance.
As the lettings industry in Scotland and Wales becomes more and more regulated, England should be prepared. A recent tenant survey by YouGov saw mandatory landlord licensing as the top suggestion of how the rental market can be improved.
Time and cost
In Wales, anyone wishing to manage a property must prove they have gone through the necessary training, which costs about £100 on top of the five year licensing fee.
Additionally, Generation Rent is expected to rent for longer periods of their life, meaning higher expectations and greater time demands of their landlords.
There are very clear benefits to being within close proximity of the property being let, particularly the management of resources and building of relationships. Overseas landlords, for example, are at a huge disadvantage to their domestic counterparts when it comes to communicating with tenants and repair contractors, with time differences and overall physical distance causing potential issues.
It is becoming more and more likely that British landlords will face increasing regulation in the not-too-distant future, with the tenant enjoying more and more rights. Because of the potential risk, hassle and time involved, we suggest they leave it to the professionals by seeking out a local, responsible and compliant agency.