A survey of property investors has uncovered that the number of landlords using a letting agent to assist them in managing their property has risen since the end of 2016.
61% of landlords said that they presently use a letting agent to manage their properties- an increase of 7% since the final quarter of last year. This rise goes against tradition, with the number of landlords using an agent normally more consistent in number.
In addition, the research shows that the proportion of landlords choosing to self-manage their property has fallen by 7% in the last year – from 46% to 39%.
What’s more, more landlords in the North East were revealed to use an agent in comparison to any other region of England. This said, agent usage is greater in Scotland with 79%.
On the other hand, the North West is the region where landlords are least likely to use an agent, with falls of 5% since the end of 2016.
The news of landlords favouring the use of letting agents is interesting, given the proposed ban on charging fees to tenants.
More landlords are using a letting agent
Richard Lambert, CEO at the National Landlords Association, observed: ‘As landlords plan ahead to compensate for the tax changes over the next few years we would expect to see the number who use an agent to slowly fall away, and for more to start considering whether they are able to manage their properties themselves.’
‘However, this sudden spike, which is completely out of step with recent trends, completely turns this theory on its head. The big question is whether or not it’s a blip or if it will continue to rise,’ he added.
Richard Price, Executive Director at UKALA, also stated: ‘There have been some regional fluctuations, but overall these findings show that an increasing proportion of landlords rely on agents at present, which is testament to the professional work undertaken by the vast majority of agents in the sector.’
‘It’s an uncertain time for anyone who owns a buy-to-let property, so the steady hand of a reputable agent is exactly what many landlords are looking for right now.’