Good news for letting agents: almost two thirds of self-managing private landlords would consider working with an agency.
A survey by price comparison website Uswitch found that 63% of landlords are open to signing up with an agent.
Respondents gave a variety of reasons for making the move. The top reason, picked by 31% of landlords, was to no longer have to deal with repairs, while 30% said that they wanted an agent to find new tenants for them. And in a vote of confidence for letting agencies, 29% of landlords said that agents’ greater market expertise was a reason to switch.
While those are all solid reasons, not all of their reasons hold water. 30% of landlords said that they would use an agent to transfer legal responsibilities over the property. It should be noted that, while agents can help landlords comply with increasingly complicated buy-to-let rules, the landlord is still ultimately responsible for any breaches.
Uswitch also looked into why landlords are selling their properties. Unsurprisingly, a lack of profit was the top reason, picked by 35% of landlords. Another 31% pointed to repairs. Earlier this month, estate and letting agency Benham & Reeves found that landlords spend an average of £34,000 on maintenance per buy-to-let property, on top of the time spent arranging repairs or fixing things themselves.
According to Uswitch spokesperson Kellie Steed, working with an agent is getting more attractive as rental regulations get more complex – and she warns that things are only likely to get more challenging once the Renters’ Reform Bill comes into force.
Letting agents may have an opportunity to grow their portfolios and secure more commission income just as property sales are slowing down. If they can win over landlords with great service, backed by proven PropTech, 2023 could be a great year for the lettings industry.
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