The resulting flat average national rental growth rates, paired with increasing numbers of high-risk tenants and tenants in default, have led many landlords to question whether the cost of using a rental agent is worth the additional convenience and security.
“It can be tough to justify extra costs on an investment when that investment isn’t delivering the kind of growth that you’re used to,” says Jacqui Savage, National Rental Manager for the Rawson Property Group. “Ironically, these tight economic times are when rental agents can really be worth their weight in gold.”
According to Savage, today’s tenants are far more assertive on the rental negotiation front and are willing to fight for every hard-earned cent they will need to hand over in rent.
“Having an experienced rental agent on your side, with practiced negotiation skills backed by up-to-date market statistics, means you’re far less likely to accept less than the going market rate in rent for your property,” she says. “Having access to a rental agent’s network and tenant pool also means you’re likely to place a tenant faster. In combination, those two factors, alone, can literally save you thousands and go a long way towards covering the cost of that agent’s services.”
Add to this the fact that professional incoming, interim and outgoing inspections are far more successful at ensuring any damages are covered by the tenant in full, and the cost of using a rental agent may begin to seem like a bargain. However, Savage says saving you money and netting you the best return on your investment is far from the only benefit of using a rental agent in a tough economic climate.
This makes it imperative that landlords adhere to every aspect of the regulations, not only in terms of paperwork, but also in fulfilling their ongoing responsibilities over the lease term.”
For a layperson, navigating these legal ins and outs can be difficult, and uncertainty can lead to over- or under-compensating for any issues that tenants may raise. Savage says a rental agent is able to streamline and mediate this process where necessary in order to minimise costs and keep everyone on the right side of the law.
“As times get tighter, the number of high-risk tenants has been on the rise,” says Savage, citing the Q1 2019 PayProp Rental Index which placed 40% of tenants in ‘high risk’ or ‘very high risk’ categories. “The stringent background checks that professional rental agents use to vet tenants make use of a combination of cutting-edge technology and years of experience that is impossible to replicate as a private individual. The result is a far more accurate assessment of a tenant’s risk profile, and a dramatic reduction in the likelihood of signing a high risk tenant.”
“All things told, the risks of not using a rental agent in today’s economic climate are just too high to justify,” says Savage. “The time, stress and money they can save you – and their ability to protect the value of your investment so that it’s ready to deliver on its full potential when the market recovers – far outweigh the cost of their services.”