Becoming a landlord for the first time can be both exciting and daunting, with the promise of a passive source of income being appealing yet complex. Bearing the landlord status brings many benefits but also unique problems of its own, therefore choosing a good estate agent is of paramount importance to help things go as smoothly as possible.
As many landlords will know, the number of excellent British universities and other educational institutions nearby – including the University of Warwick, Warwickshire College and Coventry University – has meant there is a huge student population looking to rent here, making it a very profitable endeavour.
The first thing you need to ask for from your choice of estate agents- especially if you are a first time landlord – is a full management service that will deal with everything concerning your property. This can be especially beneficial when it comes to a high tenant turnover rate, as is common with student tenants.
Key services that are especially needed in the case of students include the full maintenance of the property, collection of rent and deposits, and arranging and accompanying viewings. Although these are necessary for all potential tenants, if you rent to students you can expect these activities to be necessary on a much more frequent basis.
Estate agents will make sure they do all the hard work for the landlord for a reasonable fee – making sure that student tenants are responsible for damage to the property, collecting rent and deposits on a regular basis, and organizing property viewings each and every year as the new intake of students arrives.
There are also other very useful services that you can benefit from as a landlord in the area, which are usually included in a full property management service. One of these is the selection and referencing of tenants using the Ends Leigh referencing system; instead of vetting prospective tenants yourself, your estate agents will do the hard work for you.
This is relevant for all tenants – students or otherwise – as it can help weed out those that have been bad tenants in previous properties and are therefore not likely to be good candidates for you. Another service that can be provided is a full inventory compilation, which will make sure that everything is as it should be when a tenancy comes to an end.
Again, this is especially useful when dealing with student tenants, whose tenancy agreements often last only a year before a new set of student tenants arrive. Carrying out an inventory check is therefore something that you or your estate agents need to do on a regular basis.
You should also expect that your choice of estate agents takes care of all the legal aspects regarding the rental of your property. This includes the drafting and signing of contracts to your needs and requirements. They will also be responsible for the marketing of the property, and it is worth asking how they intend to do this.
Last but not least, your choice of estate agents should take care of payments of rent into your account, providing you also with any relevant statements so you can better keep track of your finances and the income that you are getting from the property.
Whether you opt for a full management service or just the basics, finding a good estate agent that can deliver a range of essential services is important for any first time landlord. Consider what your needs are in relation to the type of tenants you will be marketing to, and then choose a service that can expertly meet these needs.