Property Management Companies vs Doing It Yourself – Which is Better?


It’s often a toss-up for new landlords. Those renting out a second home are faced with a choice: whether to do it all by themselves or save themselves some time and go through a property management company. The answer is dependent on the individual but let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both.

It’s a great time to be involved in property. The average UK property piece has increased by over 235% in the last 25 years which means that there is a lot of money to be made. Those fortunate enough to have a second property to rent out are faced with a choice: whether to sort everything out by themselves or go through a letting agency.

It’s easy to see why people would be tempted to do it all by themselves. There’s a perception that letting agency rates and fees can be pretty enormous. Therefore, private landlords would be tempted by the prospect of keeping that extra profit for themselves.

You’ll also have complete control over the property. It may be a place you care about and the thought of handing off the responsibility of finding the right tenants to an agency is not something you want to do. Private landlords can pick the perfect tenants for them and have far more freedom over other things like rent rates.

That may appeal to many people but there are so many more positives to going through a letting agency. For starters, it makes sense from a financial perspective. Letting agency fees are tax-deductible in most instances so the financial burden will be lifted by the time April rolls around.

Going through a letting agency may give you less control over which tenants you can choose, but that may not be a bad thing. It’s easy to forget that landlords and letting agents have a lot in common when it comes to deciding which tenants to pick. Both parties want their tenants to be reliable people who take good care of the property.

But the biggest benefit to going through a letting agency is saving time. Landlords will save so much time on the little things which people often forget about. Advertising the property listing, adhering to health & safety and data protection rules, as well as creating tenancy agreements can all be hugely time-consuming activities, something which agents advise.

“There’s a steep learning curve for beginner landlords,” explains Robert Macfarlane, a director at MD Properties which is based in Staffordshire, Great Britain.

“But very often, the more experienced private property owners can stand to learn a lot more. Letting agencies aim to make the process as simple as possible and can draw on decades of experience because we know how to sell properties.”

That certainly makes a lot of sense. Many of those who are looking to rent out a second property are tempted by the prospect of becoming a private landlord. The immediate benefits are obvious but with more information, most of these benefits soon disappear. It makes a lot more sense to go through letting agencies for the vast majority of people, especially those who have a second job and are looking towards property as a side project. However, the final choice is up to you.

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