When you choose to let out a property, one of the things you’ll need to decide is whether to manage it yourself or hire a company to do it for you. Ask around your fellow landlords, and you’re guaranteed to find people on both sides of the fence. But ultimately, it’s a personal choice with a number of factors that you’ll need to consider. In this guide, we’ll take a look at both the positives and potential negatives of hiring a property management company so you can decide what will work best for you.
One of the main benefits of outsourcing property management is the significant amount of time you’ll save. Letting out a home can require a lot of attention, from marketing the property online to conducting viewings and carrying out references. Even when you’ve found a tenant, there are inspections to carry out, property repairs and maintenance to deal with plus anything else the resident wants to contact you about. While many tenancies will be fairly uneventful, you never know when something might crop up that will need to be taken care of.
If you are working or parenting alongside being a landlord, then it can be hard to make the time for all the necessary tasks. Having a trusted property management company by your side means you don’t need to worry about fitting everything in. The bulk of the work is done for you, leaving you to make the most of your free time without having to worry about your property.
Gain Expert Insight
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to letting a property and, particularly for first-time landlords, it can feel overwhelming. By enlisting a property management company, you are gaining knowledge, experience and expertise that can help you navigate almost any situation. This goes a long way in ensuring that your new venture will go as smoothly as possible.
Whether it’s knowing how much to charge and the best places to advertise or larger issues like rent arrears and deposit disputes, having someone to guide you can be an invaluable asset. This is particularly true when it comes to disputes. If you don’t have prior experience with these kinds of situations then they can easily drag on for a prolonged period of time and become unnecessarily stressful and expensive.
Find High-Quality Tenants
The tenant vetting process is integral to the success of your rental property, and in order to get the best results, you should always use a proper referencing system. Without the recommended checks in place, you can quickly run into problems, whether that’s complaints from neighbours, failure to pay rent and even on rare occasions, illegal activity. Even if you think you can easily read people, it’s well worth the extra effort to get references done for prospective tenants covering their financial, work and renting background.
It is absolutely possible to simply outsource the referencing and not the property management. However, having a company conduct the viewings as well as the references can be highly beneficial. Sourcing tenants is a big part of property management, and staff are well-attuned to any potential red flags that come up early in the process. While no one’s behaviour can be predicted with 100% accuracy, having this insight along with the proper checks will give you the best chances of finding the right high quality tenant.
Peace Of Mind
Letting a property is a big responsibility. There are laws and regulations to abide by, tax implications to stay on top of, maintenance and repairs to do and a professional relationship to maintain with your tenant. There’s a lot to keep on top of, even when everything is going to plan. Finding a property management company that you feel confident in will ease a lot of the pressure that comes with being a landlord and will make the whole process more streamlined and stress-free.
There are many landlords who get on just fine taking on the workload themselves, but it’s important not to underestimate just how much time and effort is required. If you are still on the fence, you can always see how you get on by yourself for the first couple of months. It may be that you see your rental property as an exciting challenge and want to learn the ropes – and that’s completely fine. There’s no reason why you can’t outsource your property management at a later date if you find it’s proving more hassle than it’s worth.
Cost is one of the biggest reasons a landlord may be wary of outsourcing property management. There is always an expense involved in this service, but fees are usually very reasonable and offered on flexible terms.
While some property management companies charge a flat fee, others will charge a percentage of your monthly rent. This can usually be paid on a month-to-month basis or as a lump sum, depending on your preference. With so many options out there, you’re sure to be able to find a property management service with pricing that works for you. It’s also worth bearing in mind that property management fees can be claimed as an expense in your annual tax return which will help offset the cost.
It’s up to you to decide whether you think hiring a property management service is worth the money. However, it may not be as costly as you think, and in most cases you will find that the benefits far outweigh the expense.
A Hands-Off Approach
Naturally, when you outsource your property management you have less involvement with your tenancies than if you were to manage them yourself. Whether this is a positive or a negative is really down to personal preference. However, it’s important to remember that it needn’t be an all or nothing situation.
The best property management companies offer a tailored service so you can be involved in decision-making as much or as little as you like. At SCK Property, you can even choose to only be involved with decisions over a set cost level. For example, you might not want to be involved in decisions on routine items such as replacing dishwashing machines, while you may want to remain involved in more significant, higher cost repairs or maintenance.
There is no right or wrong approach here. Some landlords might want to keep tabs on everything to do with their property, while others will prefer to have it taken care of for them. It’s totally dependent on each individual’s circumstances and outlook, but is important to think about when considering property management.
If you’ve been wondering whether or not to outsource your property management, we hope this guide has given you some food for thought that will help you make an informed decision. It may be an additional cost, but we believe that in most cases using a property management service is a wise investment with plenty of perks.
At SCK Property, we offer flexible packages to help you get the most out of your rental, from simply finding the right tenants to a complete end-to-end service (where we even throw in your annual tax return for no extra cost). If you are a landlord in Ireland and would like to find out more about our services please feel free to get in touch. You can give us a call on (01) 291 0800 or fill out the form on our contact page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.