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The realities of being a landlord and why you might need a letting agent

If you’re reading this blog you are likely to be a landlord already or seriously considering becoming one. The reasons to become a landlord have become abundantly clear in recent years; just take a look at average Scottish rent figures, for example.

The received wisdom is that there are around 1.5 million private landlords in the UK and a study by the Scottish government a few years back found that there were approximately 50,000 landlords in Edinburgh and just over 30,000 in Glasgow. These figures have certainly increased since then as Britain’s, and particularly Scotland’s, Private Rented Sector goes from strength to strength.

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There are various types of landlords from professionals and investors to accidental landlords and don’t get us wrong, the majority will encounter some obstacles. As with most things in life, there are many pros and cons to renting a property to tenants, the ‘realities’ of which are sometimes different to the perceptions…

Time

It is true that a rental property can act as a fantastic second income but the reality is that in most cases it will take up a significant portion of your time. For those with full-time occupations it can be difficult to find the time to manage a rental property, especially if they don’t live nearby. Time should be one of landlords’ top priorities and considerations. Luckily, there are now many products and initiatives which help save time during the rental process, that is not to mention the benefit of having a letting agent, for example, manage whole or part of the process for you.

Money

Again, if done properly, it is fair to say that renting property can make you a significant amount of money. However, one thing that is often skirted over is the additional costs of being a landlord as well as the requirement of initial capital. Landlords will need to finance repairs and refurbishments and of course will have to take the occasional void period into account. By being clear and concise with their finances, landlords can avoid any unwanted financial surprises. Exploring landlord insurance options can also be beneficial.

Tenants

You may have read differently in some sections of the press, but the majority of tenants are well-behaved, pay on time and just want to live a hassle-free life in their rented accommodation. That being said, there will be tenants who are noisy, demanding or how do we say it ‘clumsy’? Therefore, making sure you put yourself in the best possible position by referencing prospective tenants is imperative. We believe that the key to a successful tenancy is communication between the tenants and whoever is managing it – be it the landlord or a letting property agent.

Letting Agents

Many landlords would simply not be able to manage their rental property portfolio without the help of a letting agent. Whether it’s helping with finding tenants or organising deposits and inventories, the knowledge and experience of a property professional can be invaluable. When looking for a letting agent to represent you it is vital to make sure they are a member of at least one of The Property Ombudsman, Landlord Accreditation Scotland, Let Scotland or the Scottish Association of Landlords.

If you are looking for advice from letting agents in West Lothian with years of experience, here at Letting Solutions we would be delighted to help. You can contact us on: 0845 520 1420.

If you are thinking about becoming a private landlord you can also see how much your property could fetch in monthly rents using our online free property valuation tool.