Choosing the right lettings service level option for your property investment

June 23, 2017

One of the attractions of property investment is that it is flexible and can fit around an existing career and/or lifestyle.

Landlords have a choice of how involved they want to be with managing their investment properties – and that can range from managing everything and being completely “hands on” to having nothing to do with the day to day management and being totally “hands off”.

The factors determining a landlord’s choice of management style will depend on many considerations including:

1.  How closely the investment property is located to the landlord;

2.  The landlord’s knowledge of compliance and regulation;

3.  How much time the landlord has to devote to property management;

4.  How involved the landlord wishes to be with his investments.

5.  Whether the landlords wishes to endure some of the stresses associated with being a landlord, such as dealing with rent arrears, difficult tenants, taking maintenance calls, etc.

One important issue that many newbie landlords do not realise is that, in order to be compliant, a landlord has to adhere to over 140 Government statutes and regulations.  Fines for non-compliance can be harsh.

Since April 2017, landlords can be fined up to £30,000 for housing offences, including harassing tenants and illegal eviction.

As with any aspect of law, ignorance can never be an excuse.

So, if a landlord is not fully clear on their legal responsibilities, they should consider letting through a professionally qualified agent on a “fully managed” basis.

At Northwood, our fully managed service does what it says on the tin, and is ideal for inexperienced landlords or those who do not have much time to manage their investments or who do not understand their legal obligations.

We charge a set up fee for finding the tenant, assisting you with property preparations, interviewing tenants, drawing up the necessary agreements and preparing the inventory. We then charge a monthly commission for managing all tenant enquiries, undertaking regular maintenance service and rent collection. At the end of the tenancy we will also help with check out.

For an extra degree of certainty, many landlords choose our market-leading Guaranteed Rent service.

This offers landlords the benefit of a guaranteed fixed  income on their property, regardless of whether or not it is let or the tenant stops paying. It’s the perfect ‘let and forget’ solution for busy or expat landlords.

This service is proving particularly popular in these uncertain economic times, not just with U.K. based landlords, but also with an increasing number of expat and foreign investors.

Over time, a landlord’s circumstances may change, and/or they may become more knowledgeable about their investments and want to take a more active role in them.

When this time comes, landlords can simply down-grade to one of our other 4 service options – Rent Collection or Tenant Find.

The Rent Collection service suits a landlord who has the time and energy to deal with tenants and their requests but would like support with some of the financial and administrative duties.

We charge a set up for finding the tenant, assisting you with property preparations, interviewing tenants, drawing up the necessary agreements and preparing the inventory.

Since the landlord is responsible for the upkeep of the property, the monthly commission is lower than Fully Managed Service. Northwood take responsibility for rent collection and payment to the landlord by BACS.

Some landlords prefer to be completely hands-on. They are willing to take on the full responsibility of running the tenancy and simply want help finding a suitable tenant.

We advertise the property, accompany prospective tenants on viewings and source the correct references. We charge a set up for finding the tenant, assisting you with property preparations, interviewing tenants, drawing up the necessary agreements and preparing the inventory. The fee for this service depends entirely on the type of property being let.

It may be that you are not quite clear on which service is right for you and your circumstances. In that case, your friendly local Northwood office would be happy to sit down over a cuppa and explain all the options for you.  We have over 80 branches conveniently situated across England, Scotland, and Wales and our team are on hand to advise and support you.

If you are looking for a property suitable for investment, you could purchase via our Investors List, which has a selection of tenanted properties for sale, some with Guaranteed Rent already in place.

This is a very low-risk way to start out, as you have income guaranteed from day one of ownership and Northwood will already have an established relationship with both the property and the tenants.

If you have any questions for us, please do use the on-line chat facility on our website.

Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised estate agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.

Find us on Twitter @northwoodUK or visit our YouTube Channel.

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