A Landlord’s Guide to Choosing a Property Management Company in Leicester

Terraced houses to let by Harry Albert Lettings & Estates, Leicester estate agent

If you’re looking to rent your property to someone, whether it’s a room, studio flat, house, houseboat or static caravan, a good management agent in Leicester could be an extremely valuable resource.

A managing agent like Harry Albert Lettings & Estates can provide a range of services, from finding tenants to registering deposits, checking the tenant in and collecting rent as well as managing the day-to-day running of the property and the legal aspects of the let on your behalf. So, what can a management agent offer you and what should you look for when choosing the right agent?

When to use a management agent

House managed by Harry Albert Lettings & Estates Leicester Letting Agent Reliable Property Management No Fee Sales Estate AgentWhether you choose to be an active landlord and manage the property yourself or instruct a property management company or letting agent like Harry Albert Lettings & Estates to do this on your behalf will depend on your needs, experience and circumstances, including if you live far away from your properties and need a local estate agent to assist in the management of your properties and if you have too many properties to efficiently deal with the logistics of property management on your own.

You may want a hands-off investment, without having to deal so much with the financial and legal aspects of the let or deal with the tenant directly. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, some people invest in stocks and shares whilst others will invest in funds whose fund managers will invest their money on their behalf. Whatever your circumstances, a Harry Albert Lettings & Estates, an estate agent in Belgrave who specialises in residential property management and maximising the income generated from rented properties can provide you with a wide range of services designed to make the process easy and painless for you as a buy-to-let investor. For added peace of mind, they offer Rent Guarantee insurance and to make your property attractive to the thousands of tenants who your property is presented to, they also have deposit replacement schemes in place.

What services does a management agent offer?

Reliable property managers will carry out a full range of tasks as part of their management services to you. Where necessary, a landlord may only wish to hand over some aspects of the property management to Harry Albert Lettings & Estates, but most choose the full management service because it is the most cost-effective way of managing their investment, especially with the thorough referencing processes in place and an average time to let of less than three weeks. When you do hand over the keys to your property, you can accept the following services and more (for full details, click here):

  • Positioning your property in front of thousands of tenants using proven marketing strategies
  • Accompanying potential tenants on viewings of your property whilst ensuring the tenant is able to swiftly move into the property without the need to scrape together a deposit through the use of deposit replacement schemes providing the same level of protection to the landlord at no extra cost.
  • Carefully selecting tenants using a robust referencing procedure, ensuring affordability, running background and credit checks as well as offering further peace of mind through insurance products such as rent guarantee and using guarantors where appropriate.
  • Keeping you up to date with market changes and advising you on how best to maximise your return on investment including advice on exit strategies if needed.
  • Preparing legally sound tenancy agreements with your interests in mind.
  • Organising and managing the collection of the tenant’s deposit and adequately protected the deposit in line with current legislation
  • Preparing the inventory and conducting a schedule of condition for the property to let for reference later in the event of any deposit disputes.
  • Conducting right to rent checks and ensuring the tenant is informed about how their data will be used in line with the new GDPR legislation that came into force in May 2018.
  • Checking the tenant into your property and serving prescribed information and carrying out all other relevant administration tasks related to the check-in process.
  • Collecting the rent from the tenant and remitting this to you less any fees in a timely manner and providing statements regularly or upon request.
  • Managing and arranging any necessary repairs and maintenance by qualified tradespeople.
  • Inspecting the property regularly and feeding back to you the condition of the property and advising on how to proceed in the event breaches of the tenancy agreement are discovered.
  • Providing tenants with notice at the end of the tenancy and assisting you in eviction proceedings.
  • Re-letting the property as quickly as possible, minimising void periods but also generating an income where possible during void periods to consistently maximise your profits.
  • Dealing with legal aspects of the tenancy and property, including evictions, non-payment, harassment, anti-social behaviour, etc.

What should I look for in a management agent?

Leicester Letting Agent in BelgraveWhen selecting your managing agent, it’s important to look at the level of service they can offer you and at what price. A large, nationwide firm will take a laissez-faire approach to managing your investment, such as in the case of Spicerhaart, the parent company of Haart, one of the largest letting agents in the country, who were found guilty of managing non-licensed HMO’s, Foxtons, who were fined £35’000 after failing to prove their tenanted properties were safe or  Purple Bricks who have consistently underperformed, according to reports and seemingly forced their clients to market their own properties after they had been on the market for so long. What you really want is an agent who provides a hands-on, reliable service who charges affordable fees which aren’t so low that it fails to incentivise the agent to act in the landlord’s best interest. Harry Albert Lettings & Estates charges just 7% of the value of the rent per month which is low enough to enable you to retain maximum profits and high enough to incentivise them to do the job you instruct them to do!

Another thing you can do is ask your friends and family for recommendations; a good recommendation can go a long way. By understanding your friends’ and relatives’ experiences with their agents could give you an ideal of who may be suitable to manage your property as well as tell you who to avoid. More and more landlords in Leicester, especially those who employ letting agents in Belgrave are using Harry Albert Lettings & Estates as one of the leading, most reliable companies in the LE4 postcode and surrounding areas, including LE2 and LE3.

How much does a management agent cost?

Harry Albert Lettings & Estates Leicester Letting Agents logoWhen you instruct a letting agent to manage your property, it’s important to make sure you know which services you are getting and what you’re paying for, either as part of a package or as extras, including whether ‘To Let’ boards, newspaper adverts, websites, magazines and their own marketing ideas cost anything extra. Harry Albert Lettings & Estates includes ‘To Let’ boards and other marketing as part of their fees which they commit to keeping clear and transparent.

The cost of instructing a property manager will depend on what level of service you require. Some agents will charge a fixed rate whilst others will charge a percentage of the monthly rate. A fixed rate could see you underpaying for the service and therefore incentivising your agent to underperform or worse, overpaying for a service which isn’t worth the extra cost whereas a percentage-based commission builds trust and allows you to be sure your agent is charging a fair price whether it’s a high-end luxury apartment in the heart of Leicester City Centre or a low-end bedsit in Highfields or a farmhouse near Thurmaston.

Be cautious of the cheaper agents who charge less than 5% or £35 per month. You want your agent to be motivated to keep the property occupied and the tenants happy all the time. It isn’t uncommon for agents charging just 5% to earn their living off tenant-find fees by deliberately sourcing tenants who only intend to stay for a short-term period or charge their landlord clients excessive fees every six month in tenancy renewals. Harry Albert Lettings & Estates never charges for tenancy renewals and charges just £99 to find a tenant as part of their fully managed service.

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