It often comes as a surprise to many tenants to find out that not all landlords use letting agents - such as ourselves here at CPS Homes - to rent out their property. While using a letting agent has notable advantages, such as marketing, some landlords enjoy handling everything themselves. However, a new survey conducted by the National Landlords Association (NLA), has found that the proportion of landlords using a letting agent to manage their buy-to-let property has increased significantly since the end of 2016.
The survey of 754 landlords found that 61% currently use a letting agent to help market and manage their buy-to-let properties, a significant rise of 7% compared the final quarter of 2016. While 7% may not seem significant, it’s huge, as the number of landlords using letting agents has remained relatively consistent over the last few years. The survey also found that the number of landlords who self-manage their buy-to-let properties fell by 7%, from 46% to 39%.
In addition to the above numbers, the survey also highlighted that landlords in the North East use letting agents more than any other English region. In the North West, the number of landlords using letting agents declined by 5%. If we look at the UK as a whole, Scotland has the highest rate of landlords using letting and estate agents (79%), while London, the South West, and Wales all experienced a rise in the number of landlords using letting agents.
While these figures show that landlords are increasingly using letting agents to rent out their properties, the figures were published at a time when new buy-to-let taxes were being introduced by the government. These new buy-to-let taxes, along with the ban on letting agents charging tenants agent fees, means many letting agents and landlords’ businesses could suffer an increased strain in coming months, which could mean many landlords will look at ways to self-manage their portfolio of rental properties.
The NLA chief executive, Richard Lambert, said that they expect the number of landlords using the services offered by letting agents will decline over the next few years as the costs of buy-to-let tax changes start to take effect. He admitted that the figures from the survey are completely different to recent trends and completely disprove the theory that landlords will shy away from letting agents, but he also said that time will tell whether the increase in landlords using letting agents is just a blip, or more of a continuing trend.
Speaking about the results, Richard Price, UK Association of Letting Agents’ executive director, said that despite regional fluctuations, there is an increasing number of landlords across the country seeking out and using letting agents. He added that it’s a difficult time for landlords, and therefore many are seeking the reassurance offered by a reputable letting agent.
As Cardiff’s largest lettings and estate agent, we offer landlords a wide variety of bespoke services. If you want us to help with everything from sourcing tenants to collecting rent, we can, or we can just provide some useful guidance. Whatever your needs, get in touch today on 02920 668585, email email@example.com or come and visit our friendly team in our Woodville Road, Cathays branch.