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Self managed or fully managed?

Published: 29/03/2021

If you’re dipping your toes in the buy-to-let market for the first time, you might shrug your shoulders and say, ‘It can’t be that difficult, any idiot can do it?’ Only when you’ve experienced sleepless nights worrying about the rent not being paid on time or whether or not you’ve got all the legalities in place, will you see the benefits of employing the services of a professional property manager. Once you've had this light bulb moment, you will be released from the endless ‘To Do List’ headaches and the aggravation and stress involved in self-managing your rental property. It will be a weight off your shoulders.

Here are a few scenarios that might help you make up your mind:

ON CALL 24/7

Tenants are notorious for calling at all hours, thinking their issue constitutes a real emergency i.e. when there’s a power cut but all they needed to do was flick the trip switch.

HOLIDAYS

You’re on your dream holiday, sitting blissfully by the pool, without a care in the world when you're called by your tenants to tell you the washing machine is caput and that there's been a flood. You have to put down the cocktail, press the pause button on your holiday, and try to find a plumber, source a new machine and call the insurance company before you can pick up your best seller and relax once again.

CHOOSING A TENANT 

You may fear being accused of discrimination if you're not up to speed and don’t know what you can and can’t ask when vetting a prospective tenant. The laws change regularly on the protocols of marketing a property so keeping up to date can be time consuming.

TENANT DISPUTES

Your tenants have fallen out and want out but under the lease agreement they both signed, they're jointly responsible for the rent. What do you do??  

NEIGHBOUR DISPUTES

Don your mediation hat to resolve the feud because you're the property owner and need to take charge of the situation before it gets out of hand. Complaints about, or from neighbours, can include issues regarding animals, excessive noise etc and can sometimes become very unpleasant.  Worst case scenarios may involve the law.

MAINTENANCE

The day-to-day running of your property, from changing the light bulbs, to cleaning the filter on the washing machine, is your tenant’s responsibility. However, some tenants don’t even do the smallest of tasks so you’ll need to be good at DIY.

EVICTIONS

Evictions are a minefield and a daunting process. They require exact procedures and notices to be followed for them to be legal. Knowing the law and keeping up with the constant changes, can be time consuming. This is when it’s good to have a manager to advise and shield you.

COMPLIANCE

If your tenant fails to pay rent, disputes a security deposit deduction, needs to be evicted, or accuses you of violating their rights, you could find yourself in court.

DAMAGE

Regular inspections are essential if you want to ensure that your property is being kept in good order and your tenant is sticking to the tenancy agreement. The problem is, inspections are far from fun to conduct and can cause a perfectly good relationship to turn sour.

Conclusion: At the end of the day, a professional property manager can save you a whole lot of heartache. Property managers deal with the nitty-gritty of managing your investment, thus freeing up your time to continue to build your portfolio or just go to the gym!  Tenants prefer professionally managed properties and are usually prepared to pay a premium for the privilege and peace of mind.  
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