How much can letting agents save landlords?

Wednesday 21st December 2016

New research has identified just how much landlords could save each year by employing a letting agent. 
Endsleigh's survey of 500 landlords has revealed that landlords estimate they could save £1910 per year by working with an agent, rather than letting to tenants directly.
Interestingly, over 50% of those surveyed said they currently let at least one property directly to tenants, with almost half of those saying that they do this for financial reasons.
Those participating landlords who do use an agent reported they saved an average of £159 per month by doing so.
It is thought that the savings reported are highly likely to be down to additional services offered by agents which help to guard against void periods.
Some 76% of landlords who use an agent said lettings professionals are proactive in finding tenants and help with a range of legal and financial matters.
Insurance firm Endsleigh says it carried out the study as a reaction to the ban on letting agent fees charged to tenants, which was announced in last month's Autumn Statement.
It says that letting agents' perceived lack of value, combined with the prospect of higher management fees due to the ban, could see more landlords let directly to tenants.
However, landlords aren't just working with agents for financial reasons, the study found.
Half of those surveyed who do employ an agent said they were most attracted to their current firm due to local knowledge, while 44% said excellent service is a deciding factor.
Other landlords working with agents said they do so because it provides peace of mind and saves them time. 
A quarter of participants said they communicate with their agent on a weekly basis and the survey found that working with an agent saves the average landlord five hours a month.
“Landlords who use letting agents find them very useful - especially before a letting - and state they help to reduce stress, free up time and, critically, save them money," says David Hadden, head of property at Endsleigh.
“The perceived cost of using a letting agent is among the biggest deterrents for many landlords, but those that do use an agent are on average reporting significant savings."
"Landlords considering letting their properties directly to tenants in light of changing legislation must seek advice to avoid potentially compromising their income, their quality of life and the provision of support and service that agents can offer," he adds.

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