So what exactly does a letting agent do to earn their fee. Depending on the service it is normal for an agency to get between 10% – 15% of the rent so this clocks up at around one month’s rent a year. If this seems like a lot you could always take on the job as landlord yourself but if you have more money than time or are often out of the country you might want to consider using a letting agent. Also all letting and management fees are tax deductible.
Agents who are members of professional bodies such as Irish Real Estate Agents & Property Professionals (IAVI) or Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV) are regulated and have on-going training in legislation. However, current legislation does not provide that all letting agents must have licences or be bonded and therefore it is important to do your research before you choose an agency.
What services will a property Management Service provide?
- Letting agents will show the property, which is generally done after hours. They will also interview tenants and with their experience be able to spot suitable ones for your property.
- Generally handle any problems which may arise. Agents are very used to dealing with landlord / tenant disputes and can offer independent advice.
- Agents, being a third party, do not have a problem chasing late rents and acting as a go-between.
- The agent will draw up inventory of what you provided and agree this with the tenant. Where damage has been caused above the normal wear and tear, the cost of repair is deducted from the security deposit
- Forward rent collected to landlord each month, less fees and outgoings.
- Detailed property inspection carried out prior to tenants moving in and most letting companies will provide an inspection every six months thereafter, to ensure the letting agreement is being adhered to.
- Pay agreed outgoings e.g. service charges, insurance premiums.
- Handle maintenance and deal with any repairs as agreed.
- Assist with insurance claims, if any.
- Negotiate rent reviews. Agents have experience of the current open market rental levels and can advise on the best achievable rent applicable, taking into account the condition of the property and market condition.
- Prepare accounts for annual tax returns.
- Agents handle all the initial money transactions including rent in advance and deposits.
- Big agencies have a large database of tenants so when your tenants move on you could have another set lined up to avoid missing out on a month’s rent.
- Search for a Letting Agent on MyHome.ie
Before you let
Depending on the size, number of rooms, and layout of the property, furnished properties require a cooker, fridge, washing machine, living room suite, coffee table, dining table and chairs, beds, bedside lockers, wardrobes, vacuum cleaner and ironing board. Carpets, curtains and light fittings are standard. Bed linen, and duvets, are not normally provided but to supply cutlery and crockery is a nice gesture.
The beds should not be purchased until tenants have been obtained. Unfurnished properties should have cooker, fridge, washing machine and standard carpets, curtains etc. Where there are gardens, a lawnmower and other garden implements should be provided.
For a new property, the landlord should apply for connection of the electricity, telephone, gas and cable TV – though some letting agencies will do this for you.
If the annual rent exceeds €19,046.71 the tenant must pay 1% Stamp Duty of the annual rent (plus a €12.70 stamping charge).