Over the years we have picked up more and more business from landlords who have started out managing the properties themselves but who have subsequently elected to use an agent. Tenants can be very unpredictable in their demands on your time and it can be a very difficult relationship to manage. We are there to act on your instructions and you will have a full time property manager who will mediate on your behalf.
In general your tenant is responsible for the utilities (unless you agree otherwise). Under our contract the tenant is obligated each month to prove they have paid all the bills.
We as an agent take 2 months deposit off the tenant to allow enough money in case they leave without paying their bills or if any damage is found once the tenant has vacated the property.
We are acutely aware that there are a number of agents who are offering a cheaper price for rentals and management. There are estate agents who operate a letting department to improve cash flow while the selling sector is depressed. There are others who just cut corners. We believe this is a specialist job and know the issues of not doing it properly. Many landlords approach us each year that elected to go for a cheaper, cut price service with another agent and sadly got just that. There are too many stories of tenancy agreements that do not protect the landlord’s interests as they should; rent that has not been charged and therefore not collected; inappropriate tenants put into properties who have caused £1000s of damage; notices that have been served incorrectly or late and so on. One of the major complaints we hear, however, is that agents just do not communicate with their clients as they should. We know that your house has to be looked after and we will do just that.
The answer for this question varies depending on individual circumstances and your attitude to investment and risk. There are a lot of people looking to rent property all the time, it is a good way of making a steady income, if you can wait to make back the money you spent on the property. However of course, if you need to make the money back faster - with profit if possible, then it is better to sell the property. This is clearly too complex a question to provide a generalist answer to, but if you would like to discuss the matter in more detail please do not hesitate to contact our office and speak to one of our sales team.