We have recently moved out of our apartment which we now plan to rent later in the year. It's a 2 bed in Dublin Docklands.
Question we have is what is the advantage of using an estate agent to do this? Don't fancy handing over a months rent to them unless they earn that money by providing me some useful service.
They claim they have a cohort of people on a list ready to rent...So what, I could have a 100 people tomorrow with CV's and references, and I would actually get to meet them at the viewing and choose who i want. Then they claim they have a list of plumbers, workmen etc on hand if there's an issue. So what, I would still be sent the bill. Then they claim to act as intermediary with the tenant, but I don't see the value added in that either - any issue would still get put to me to deal with, if anything the agent just gets in the way.
Anyone able to tell me what is the advantage other than landlords not wanting the hassle of doing it? Maybe I'm missing something as the vast majoirty seem to use agents.
PS yes i know we're mad to become a landlord in these populist anti-landlord times but we've decided to use the apartment as long term investment so that decision is made.
The biggest advantage is having someone sit between you and the tenant. When there is some problem at 2AM, you're not the one taking the call. When the neighbors are complaining about parties, you're not the one making the call to the tenant, or listening to the complaints.
Other than that, they will be more experienced at vetting tenants (they may have people they have previously rented to and know to be good tenants), and complying with all the latest rules and regulations (are you up to speed with all the requirements on carbon monoxide alarms and notice periods for rent increases etc.).
Besides, the costs are allowable for tax, so its not as expensive as you think.
p.s. I'm not an agent
p.p.s. - any chance of talking you out wanting to become a landlord. Renting property is not the only long term investment available. Have you spoken to a financial advisor?
Be aware that usually it's one month's rent to let a place and one month to manage it. Both are tax deductible.
It's worth it to have an intermediary, someone the tenant contacts rather than you...IF you have a good agent. Finding a good agent is the challenge.
Who covers tenant damage or tenant non payment in a situation where the agent took control of vetting?
One of my clients is a property management company/estate agent. They do it every day, they have vast experience and know every law and regulation.
You've never done it before.
I’ve been renting out my one single property four years now. And exactly for the reasons you’ve mentioned I haven’t used an agent. I haven’t had any hassle at all from my tenants at all and have a good relationship with them.
I kept hearing about 2am calls the agents are supposed to look after.
Well in four years I haven’t had any 2am calls, and only one small hiccup with a leaking pipe that took all of 40 minutes to arrange a plumber.
No way would I pay an agent a months rent per year for one phone call over four years.
I currently manage multiple properties. I've had two calls at 2 am, one of them was from a tenant that was stoned and couldnt turn off the tap, I told them where the shut off valve was and went around the next day, then I realised the problem/non problem. If that was an agent, I'd have had to pay for a plumber, or charge the Tenant for a p;umber.
The second call was a leak in the roof of an apartment building, the management company had been called, they are also an agent, they did nothing, I went up with buckets and basins, not much else I , nor anyone else, could do. It was fixed later the next day.
In the latest house insurance I got, I paid e20 per year for 2 emergency call outs-any kind of issue they will cover, I gave that number to my tenants, that's that sorted.
If I travel, I have a mate that goes around as a courtesy, if it's simple, he will solve it, if it needs a professional. I have a good , reliable sparky and plumber that will take care of anything and will be paid when I get back.
The rules and regulations are not complicated, everything is online and straightforward, follow the regulations, even an agent will make sure you do the same.
If you have a problem tenant, the agent may take care of it, but again, this is copy paste, just do things right, it pays anyway to have an understanding of your business for future reference.
Personally, I dont see why you would need an agent, unless you have a few properties and are extremely busy, or are far away from your property.
I was thinking of traveling for 3-6 months, if i do that, I may then get an agent if something arises while I am gone.
I initially did not use an agent. Until I had the moaniest, whiniest tenant ever. It sounds silly but it was causing me serious stress: He used to call saying something was broken e.g. the washing machine. Me: ok, I am now going to call someone to come check it out. It will either be repaired or I will get a new one installed. Tenant: whine and whine in the whiniest voice for next ten minutes about how bad it was that the washing machine was broken and how he needed a washing machine for, eh, washing. Me: John, I hear you, I am getting this taken care of. Me: John yes, I am getting someone out to you. Me: ok John I need to go phone someone about it now. Bye
I passed the managing of that apartment to my husband who lasted 6 months before nearly tearing his hair out having to listen to the moans and whines.
I've used a letting agent ever since. I would rather pay money than listen to the whines of that man ever again
Oh and also. It started to feel like whenever I was on holidays or a weekend away something would happen and I would be fielding calls. I started to dread going away