As a landlord, you may find yourself wondering about the benefits of letting your property without an agent. Letting agents provide a range of services which can be helpful, but these services come at a (sometimes hefty) price – typically, letting agents charge a set up fee and between 5% and 15% of the rental income. This can easily add up to over £1,000 per year, per property. Some letting agents will even increase costs for landlords when they are prevented from charging fees to tenants.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that, today, many landlords choose to let their properties without the help of letting agents, for a number of reasons. While landlords can find some success advertising and letting using free sites like Spareroom and Facebook, these platforms do not give them access to Rightmove or Zoopla, where a staggering 97% of tenants begin their search.
Some landlords feel that they can carry out tasks, such as finding the right tenant or drafting a contract, by themselves without the assistance of an agent and without the fees attached. However, while landlords can draw up their own agreements and conduct references themselves, a third party must be hired to conduct credit CCJ checks. This typically costs around £20 per tenant check, or £50 for the average size household. Not only is this costing landlords extra money, but it slows down the process and takes more time.
In fact, many find that using a letting agent can actually slow down the entire process of letting out a property as it creates an extra layer in the relationship with the tenant, affecting the speed of communication.
Some landlords could still do with an extra hand – but without the agents and their costly fees. This is where Bunk comes in. We’re a digital letting agency for landlords and tenants, dedicated to making letting your property as easy as possible. Below, we share our top tips for landlords who don’t want to use letting agents and discuss the benefits of using a digital letting agency instead.
Benefits of using online letting agents
Choosing to use an online letting agent instead of a highstreet letting agent comes with a whole host of benefits. Historically, properties to let were advertised by an agent on a local highstreet or in the newspaper. Today, technology has changed the way we do everything; no longer do people have to contact every estate agent in the area to look for properties and no longer do landlords have to rely on highstreet agents to advertise properties.
Instead, the invention of online letting agents means that, with a few simple clicks, you can advertise properties and control your listings yourself.
Using a digital letting agency can save you lots of time. As previously mentioned, using a letting agent can lengthen the process of letting out your property, slowing down communication between you and your tenants and presenting more hurdles to overcome. One of the main issues landlords have with using a traditional highstreet agent is the amount of time it takes to make any progress; simply getting your property live can take what seems like forever. On average, letting agents take over 16 hours at their desk to create just one compliant tenancy.
When you use a digital letting agency like Bunk, you can list your property, reference tenants and sign contracts in just an instant. A tenant’s referencing will verify things such as CCJs, employment income, a previous landlord’s reference and guarantor credit history, and is available in an instant.
Perhaps one of the most appealing things about using an online letting agency is the money you can save. The average agency fee charged to landlords is approximately £551 per landlord per property, and many letting agents will charge for things you can get for free, such as rent collection. In the UK, it is estimated that a staggering total of £2.98 billion is spent on agency fees by landlords. At Bunk, we’re proud of our low fees and believe that landlords should have the option to stop paying over the odds to traditional agents.
When you choose a digital letting agency, you have more control over your property listing than you do when you choose a highstreet agent. You can easily submit changes, change photos and edit your details at any time. You won’t have to spend time chasing up letting agents or waiting for them to open after the weekend – instead, you have total control over your listing.
Using a digital letting agency is extremely convenient. You can access everything you need – from enquiries and offers to viewings with tenants – on one easy platform, anywhere in the world. You don’t have to spend time chasing up letting agents or sifting through paperwork at your local highstreet agent; instead, everything is available on one accessible platform.
Tips for landlords
At Bunk, all of our landlords are assigned a dedicated account manager who can offer you assistance throughout your journey, from tech support to legal and compliance advice, so you can rest assured that you’ll have all of the help you need. However, for your convenience, our experts have put together a few extra tips to make sure that the process is as easy as possible for you.
Showcase your rental properties well
You can list your houses for rent on the app in just a couple of minutes, but what really makes a property stand out? If you want to attract the right tenants, it’s important that your property gets noticed by the right people. Rather than just taking a few pictures on your phone, take the time to get some professional-looking, high-quality shots taken.
Open all of the doors in pictures to make rooms look spacious and avoid taking photos in the middle of the day when there may be too much shadow. Writing a good property description will also help your property to stand out; always highlight any unique features of your property and choose your adjectives well. A well-written property description will catch people’s attention!
Decide how much rent to charge
Knowing how much rent to charge can be difficult. If it’s too high, you’ll put potential tenants off. However, that’s not to say that you can’t decide on a figure that gives you a good return on investment while allowing you to attract tenants. When deciding how much rent to charge, it’s important to do some research first.
You should take a range of factors into account, from the location and size of your property to nearby amenities. As a general rule, the more furniture and fittings you include in your rental property, the higher rental value you can achieve. Doing some research into your competition in the area is also a great way to get an accurate idea of an appropriate amount to charge for your property.
Create a good relationship with tenants
When you choose to rent out your property without a letting agent, you’ll be relying on yourself to create a positive relationship with your tenants. It’s important that your tenants feel comfortable coming to you with any issues that they have, and that you’re approachable and easily contactable. Try to be flexible with viewings and make sure you communicate clearly and politely with your tenants so that you’re always on the same page; your tenants should feel like they can approach and trust you.
At Bunk, we offer three different plans for landlords: Tenant Find, Subscription and Fully Managed. Each one of our packages is designed for flexibility to suit you – so don’t worry if you don’t have the time to manage everything yourself. Our Fully Managed package includes mid-term inspections, property management, maintenance and more, making your life as a landlord easier.
Comply with the law
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are complying with the law. Failing to comply with your legal responsibilities can lead to some pretty hefty fines, and even prison sentences. The rules and regulations put in place are there to protect the health and safety of your tenants and to keep your property in top condition. Make sure you regularly research the latest legal changes and keep on top of ever-changing legislation.
We understand that keeping on top of legislation can be tricky, particularly if renting out properties isn’t your only occupation. When you choose Bunk, you can rest assured that your dedicated account manager is always on hand to help you with legal and compliance advice, ensuring that you’re always complying with your legal responsibilities. With over 150 pieces of legislation to keep track of, we understand that being a landlord can be tricky.
Bunk: the digital letting agency for landlords and tenants
Bunk makes letting your property easier than ever. We provide you with all of the tools you need under one roof, starting at just £10 per month. Through Bunk, you can gain access to over ten million renters across the UK. When you list your property on Bunk, we advertise to Rightmove, Zoopla and over 20 more of the UK’s leading property portals, where over 95% of tenants begin their search.
Our job is to make your life as a landlord easier. When you switch to Bunk and join the future of renting, you can save time and money as a landlord. To learn more about our services and packages, and how we can help you start saving today, check out our pricing plans.