The short answer to the question “Do I need an agent to rent out my property?” is “No.” There is no legal requirement to advertise or supervise the renting of your HMO in Oxford via a third person. But often it’s so much easier to do so. That’s because there is a lot more to think about when it comes to being a landlord than simply the legal implications.
When to hire an agent
There’s also time, for instance. Do you have a lot of it? If you have a full-time job already chances are much of your free time is already devoted to the family, hobbies, leisure etc and the last thing you want to be doing on your precious day off is fixing a leaking tap or boarding up a broken fence.
Then there is the whole admin side which involves anything from checking the credit references for potential tenants, updating the inventory at the end of each let and making sure the tenants deposits are in a legitimate fund. For those who don’t like paperwork or aren’t very organised, this is often their least favourite part of the whole process.
When to do the letting yourself
Another side to think about when renting out a property is the cost implications of hiring an agent. Naturally no estate agency or individual is going to do all of the above for you ex gratia. It’s going to cost you a percentage of your rental income. Are you quite happy to hand over 14 per cent every month? Can you afford it in the first place?
The above is the negative, niggly side of renting out property. Supervising the property yourself doesn’t just mean lots of missed hours and nights spent sitting up until the wee hours researching property law. The positive side is that you’ll get to know your tenants better (well, assume this is a positive side!) and you’ll probably be able to sleep better at night knowing the flat’s in good condition (you know this because you personally go round to collect the rent every month).
Actually, on the last point, it’s a good idea not to get too chummy with your tenants. Always remember that renting out your property is a business deal. Getting friendly with tenants and seeing them as real people means you may fall for their sob story when they say they can’t pay the rent that month and would you mind if they paid double the next month instead… and therein lies the slippery slope to rent never being paid on time and you ending up with bank charges as a result.
How to find tenants in the first place
So, assuming you’ve decided for the time being NOT to employ an agent to look after the property and are going to at the least marketing side by yourself, where can you advertise to find the type of tenants you want in your property? Well, we’d recommend the following for starters:
Find out more about what’s involved in renting an HMO from our website www.propertygotogirl.co.uk
I'm Jacquie the Property Go-To Girl. I am passionate about property. I love to help people make the most out of their property investments!