Four good reasons to hire a managing agent

Property investors are often concerned about buying rental units that are far away from their own homes, due to the problems of collecting rents and managing maintenance and security at a distance.

However, there is a simple answer to hand, and that is to hire an experienced and knowledgeable agent who specialises in rental management.

“Many people who own only one or two rental properties are reluctant to do this, because rental management agents obviously charge a fee for their services, but this fee often turns out to be minimal in comparison to what they can save the absent landlord,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.

“Firstly, a good rental management agent will vet any prospective tenants thoroughly for creditworthiness and any bad reports from previous landlords about neglect or destruction of property, for example.

“Secondly, this agent will never allow tenants to move in without full payment of their security deposits for possible damages and for the supply of electricity and water.”

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says a great many potential defaulters will be eliminated just through these two measures, but that there is also a third very good reason to pay a rental management agent, and that is to have someone on the spot to take action as soon as any problem does occur.

“Very often, if tenants are allowed to slip into the habit of paying late, they will soon be paying only part of the rent, or skipping on the lights and water, and then not paying at all, but if the problem is quickly addressed the first time it occurs, it won’t happen again.

“On the other hand, if your tenant does default, you will need someone on hand to immediately take the correct legal steps to cancel the lease and evict the tenant in the shortest possible time, so that your losses will be limited.”

And finally, says Everitt, a good rental management agent will advertise your property and help you find a new tenant in short order. He or she can also be mandated to arrange security so that the property is not vandalised while empty, and to oversee any repairs or renovation needed before the new tenant moves in.

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