Managed or non-managed?

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    Managed or non-managed?

    I have a flat from before I met my wife and I have decided to let it out. I have worked with an agency, who have found a tenant. I had the flat painted and I have done all the required checks (gas safety certificate, etc) on the advice of the agency. The question is now whether I want to be managed (at a cost of 10% of the monthly rent) or to only pay the agency for the tenant find, and I would like some advice.

    On one hand, I don't live where the flat is, so I'm further removed, on the other hand, the flat is relatively new, and so I wouldn't expect too many problems, and the additional fees are quite a lot if you add it up over time. My brother lives in the same town as the flat and so could, if needed, help with keys, etc.

    What advice would you give as to the costs of managing the flat? Would you advise managed or non-managed? Thanks for your help in advance.

    I have management where there is gas heating. The only exception is my shared house in London where I travel once a year to let the gas man in, and do any repairs. This works out okay as my tenants are mostly at work, so I don't feel awkward about sitting in their kitchen.

    If you wouldn't feel comfortable letting yourself into a property and waiting there for hours, I recommend the agent.


      I use an agent for three reasons:
      1 - They have staff and some shops, so there are lots of people available to take calls (and only one of me).
      2 - They have access to tradespeople who seem reliable and are keen to keep the agency's business. I struggle to find people to maintain things in my own home, let alone in my rental properties - which are close but not exactly very local.
      3 - I'm lazy.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


        I only use an agent for tenant find.
        Apart from tenants not paying rent I find the main other things that go wrong are gas or water related. I try to inspect a property every 4 months to get an idea of what is going on there - just 10 minutes in, look around and out.

        You will need a good plumber/gas person and make sure you get an inventory done before move in date.
        Be prepared to give your contact details to the tenants.

        Freedom at the point of zero............


          If youre unfamiliar with the world of landlording and all its legal bureaucracy then use the agent, although they may still get things wrong. Read about deposit and Right to Rent requirements and at least check that these have been done properly


            If you want to do it yourself, then make sure you are familiar with the law surrounding residential letting.

            I would suggest on-line training by a landlord organisation.

            Whether you go tenant-find only or fully-managed, you need to find a decent agent.
            And remember that you re responsible for your agent's actions.


              As per MdB, vet you Agent as close as any prospective T
              10% Management fee inc 20% VAT is average. 'Find only' will cost more initially but should break even over 3-6 months.
              Require Agent to send you all paperwork submitted to T eg PI etc
              Do not rely on Agent to protect the Deposit, set up your own Custodial scheme that he can pay deposit into within 28 days of his receipt and serve PI on the T.
              Monitor the Agency closely and check their sep T&Cs of Business with you.
              Join NLA/RLA or undertake some LL training.
              Letting can be an expensive minefield.
              Check you have sufficient cash reserved for the unexpected repair etc.


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