Do you own a rental property in Dun Laoghaire or Dublin? Do you own a portfolio of rental properties? Do you need an agent to manage your rental property? Are property agents worth the money? What exactly does a letting agent do?
The rental market is growing all the time, with more and more people choosing to put their money into property rather than invest it in other areas. Many people still see ‘bricks and mortar’ as the most secure investment for their future pension, rather than trusting potentially unreliable pension schemes and investing in companies via the stock market. If you are wondering whether to hand over the keys and responsibility to an agent, read on and find out if it is the right thing for you…
Firstly, your decision will probably depend on the size of your portfolio, the location of the properties and your personal work circumstances. If you work full time, for example, and own a number of rentals, the sensible option would be to use an agent. If, however, your property business is your job, you may have the time to run it yourself.
Here is what a good property agent can offer: –
- Extensive property advertising
The agency will advertise your property on national websites such as Daft.ie and MyHome.ie, which is where 99% of potential tenants will search. They will also have a list of local potential tenants who are looking for property in your area, and can easily match tenants with homes. At Haines, we genuinely rent a large number of properties without ever advertising them online.
- Prepare an inventory and a condition reporty on your property
This is a time consuming, but necessary report that stipulates the current state of the property and what is included. It ensures your tenants are not able to make false claims or damage your property without a consequence. These documents will be crucial if a tenant raises a complaint with the RTB.
- Obtain references and check the financials
An agent will do the groundwork and research the previous rental history of your potential tenants. They will do everything in their power to make sure your tenants are reliable and honest. One of the most important pieces of an agent’s job is to ensure potential tenants have the where with all to pay the rent each month. This includes verifying income and capacity to pay the rent.
- Prepare a letting agreement
An agent knows exactly what should be included in this legal document and will make sure you are covered from every angle.
- Manage the collection of rent and deposits and transfer money to your account
They will keep a track of all financial aspects of the tenancy and chase up any late or outstanding rent payments on your behalf. They can provide you with statements if necessary.
- Keep your tenancy up to date regarding safety regulations
Government legislation and laws are in place to protect tenants and landlords. Your agent will know these laws ‘inside out’. It can be a bit of a minefield, so they are the experts you need if anything goes wrong.
- Manage and arrange any routine or emergency repairs
Rental properties are governed by strict safety guidelines. Your agent will ensure your property meets these requirements and will deal with any emergency issues, for example, a faulty boiler.
- Ensure the smooth running of the tenancy
Your agent will arrange everything, and give notice at the end of a tenancy. They will also re-let your property as quickly as possible to ensure you don’t lose out financially by having an empty property.
- Deal with any legal problems
Possibly the most important role of a letting agent is to deal with any payment issues, harassment problems, illegal squatters, damage claims and evictions. It can be extremely stressful for a landlord if a bad tenant makes claims and you end up in court. Leave it to the experts.
- Last but not least, emotional and practical support
Dealing with tenants is not an easy business. If you get a bad tenant, they can be difficult and unpredictable, and can make a landlord’s life a misery. The law still errs slightly on the side of the tenant, so a letting agent can remove a lot of the stress and strains of dealing directly with tenants. They know the business well and will make sure you can enjoy life as a ‘sleeping landlord’.
We hope this has given you some food for thought about whether to opt for a managed tenancy. We recommend that you do your homework and find a well-established and dependable agent who comes with excellent recommendations from previous clients.
Do you own a rental property? Have you ever used a letting agent? Did you find it worthwhile? Maybe you have had a bad experience with a cheap letting agent? We would love to hear your stories and opinions…
Send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call for a chat on +353 1 2845677
Would you like to know more about letting agents? We are always happy to chat.