A first-time buy-to-let investor will have to ponder whether taking on the responsibility of managing the place themselves, or alternatively going through a letting agent, would be a better option.

While there are pros and cons to both options, evidence shows that dealing with a trustworthy, well-established letting agent will, for the vast majority of landlords, far outweigh the burden of managing it oneself. Let Mafadi help you manage your properties.

Having to manage a property oneself cannot only be extremely time-consuming, but also requires that one fully understands the laws and regulations as set out by the Rental Housing Tribunal. The last thing one wants is to find oneself on the wrong end of an expensive dispute simply because of ignorance and your lack of knowledge of what can be some pretty complex laws.

Ideally one would want to get off on the right foot by renting to the right tenant and drawing up a rock-solid rental agreement that protects both parties. This takes time and expansive knowledge. This, unfortunately, is where many landlords fail.

Using a reputable agent takes the burden off you having to spend endless hours screening and doing stringent credit checks on prospective tenants. Agents have all the experience and knowledge needed to draw up a suitable lease agreement that is fair and equitable to both parties. They will also manage the maintenance of your property, ensuring that when things go wrong, the appropriate workforce are hired to do acceptable work at affordable rates.

In the event of a tenant turning out to be less than stellar, established agents have the expertise and experience to streamline the process of collecting outstanding monies and if need be, in extreme cases, effect eviction.

When seeking an appropriate agent, ensure you do your homework, looking at those that have impeccable track records and whose credentials are above board. All letting agents are legally required to have an annually updated Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) in order to trade, and must be registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB). Check your agent has both.

What you as the landlord have to ask yourself is whether the cost is worth the return benefit. The answer is unequivocally: yes. With the right tenant management, maintenance and rental escalations, your property will generate more income under a good rental agent than it would under your own care.

At the end of the day, the idea of someone taking over the running of a large investment of yours can be daunting, so picking the right agent can make all the difference. Make sure they tick all the boxes to ensure you are happy with their skill and expertise before signing anything.

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