Southampton the City of the South
It has recently been reported that Southampton is fast becoming the city of the south. This is creating ripples of excitement within the city and the surrounding area as the business opportunities and property market soar. The many VIP projects, that are underway, promise to boost the city and place it in close competition with the likes of Brighton. Landlord’s it’s time to invest in property lettings in Southampton, whether it be luxury serviced apartments on Southampton waterfront or a family home in the surrounding area.
Just before you dive into becoming a landlord, in what is a very attractive city of opportunity, consider what you are getting into and the people you will need on your side.
Letting agents and property management services are essential
Owning and renting out properties sounds simple, right? Not always. Many think that once the property is purchased and brought up to standard for letting it is just a case of sitting back and collecting the rent whilst the new tenants treat the property perfectly as if it were their own. If only.
Things will generally tick over nicely for the first few months, but then cracks start to appear. The rent may not be appearing on collection day, the phone starts to ring at all hours of the day and night reporting problems with the property. Then there is the fear of the property sitting empty and it costing money rather than making it.
It is for these reasons that you need to use a letting agent to carry out the property management for you. Let us explain further:
No More Emergency Phone Calls
Wave goodbye to anti-social emergency phone calls. When a problem arises with the property it will be the letting agent that takes the call, no matter what the time, and they will be responsible for providing a fix for the problem. In fact, many agents will have a dedicated tenant helpline. Particularly those that manage luxury serviced apartments.
No More DIY
We all know that regular maintenance prevents small issues turning into expensive repair jobs. A property manager will make sure that routine maintenance is carried out and a full written report provided to the landlord. This means that you won’t have to be the gardener or odd job man again. In the long run, it should save you money on extensive repair work too.
An On Hand Legal Eagle
Laws are changing and updating all the time, and this is no different for the laws that cover tenants and landlords. A letting agent will be up to speed on the current laws helping you to avoid any difficult legal situations by keeping you on the right side of the track. It will also help in avoiding extortionate solicitors fees, at least in the first instance.
No More Bad Guy Routines
A property manager will ensure that the tenants are fully versed in their responsibilities toward the property, as detailed in the terms of the lease. It is then the agent’s responsibility to enforce these terms. So should it be discovered that tenants have been smoking in the property, for example, it will be down to the management agent to resolve what could turn into an awkward, uncomfortable situation.
No More Tenant Evictions
This is understandably the worst task for any landlord and legally a very taxing and difficult one. The laws on tenant eviction are very detailed and complex and a good property manager will be conversant in them and will be able to handle evictions with efficiency and ease.
If you are a landlord do you use a letting agent, or do you manage properties yourself? What are there pitfalls that you have come across in either scenario?