Landlord Property Management Services [Awesome Cheap Solutions]

Landlord Property Management Services

Sure, you could stroll down your local high-street and stumble across several traditional letting agents offering rental management services. They might even provide an impeccable service…

*cough* in exchange for a small fortune.

And there lies the problem. So what if you don’t have a small fortune to splash around on property management services? Should you go without? What are the alternatives? Good questions!

Firstly, let’s ensure we’re all on the same withered page…

What service do property management companies provide?

Generally speaking, when we refer to property management service, we’re essentially referring to a service that manages tenants’ on behalf of landlords, from start to finish, which includes, but not limited to:

  • Property marketing (to find tenants)
  • Tenant Enquiry management (pre-letting)
  • Tenant viewings
  • Tenant referencing & credit checks
  • Inventory services
  • Tenant check-in and check-out
  • Contract management, including renewals (e.g. tenancy agreements, guarantor contracts etc)
  • Management of repairs and maintenance all-year around
  • Tenant Liaison
  • Regular property inspections
  • Annual safety checks (i.e. gas safety)
  • Tenancy deposit management
  • Rent collection and rate assessment
  • Rent arrears management

So, if that’s the kinda’ landlord property management solution you’re searching for, I can confirm we’re officially on the same page.

If you’re looking for a less comprehensive management service, you’re probably looking for a simple ‘tenant-find’ or a pure ‘rent collection’ service. If so, that’s cool, because I’ve also got those topics covered, right over in the tenant-find section and rent collection services page.

The cheaper alternative to local high-street property management services…

Since the beginning of mankind, landlords [that require a fully-managed letting service] have been relying on their local high-street agent to fulfil their needs of babysitting their tenancies, and that was largely down to lack of alternative options. Perhaps that’s why landlords have had no other choice but to endure the notoriously spiky price-tags that come with management services.

Supply/demand, right?

Fortunately, in came ‘online letting agents’ – a cost effective and fixed fee alternative – that’s provided landlords with an alternative. A superb alternative. While online agents have become insanely popular over the last few years, the problem is, most landlords are still oblivious to their existence, so that means many are potentially overpaying for management services!

Just to clarify, I’m not saying no one should use local high-street agents (because that’s definitely not the case!), I’m simply saying landlords aren’t fully aware of their options, so they’re unable to make the best choice for their needs.

So, what is an ‘online letting agent’, exactly? I won’t get into deep and murky waters, because I’ve already done that over in my online letting agents guide. Everything you need to know is tucked in there.

However, what I will do, for those misplaced souls that are completely out of the loop (no judgement, but get with the times already!), is offer you a crash landing introduction…

An ‘online letting agent’ is a low cost alternative to traditional high-street letting agents. They’re able to offer much lower fixed fee rates simply because their overheads are comparatively tiny, and the primary reason for that is because online agents operate out of a central office. Whereas, traditional high-street agents have the burden of maintaining shop-front branches on your local high-street, which ain’t cheap at all.

One of the biggest selling points of using an online fully managed letting service is the fixed fee aspect, especially if your property(ies) demands a particularly large rate, because unlike traditional high-street letting agents, the monthly rate is fixed, and not based on a percentage of the rental income. So a property that receives £5,000 PCM will pay the same low-rate as one that receives £100 PCM.

In real terms, what’s the difference for landlords? If you need assistance from an online agent, your only option is to call your account manager (which is the equivalent of your local dedicated agent), email them, or use their swanky app. With high-street agents, of course, you have the option of walking into their local branch and having a face-to-face. That’s the very basic difference, there are more, but like I said, it’s covered in my online letting agents guide.

Whether an ongoing local agent is a necessity is for you to decide. In this digital age, face-to-face customer service is becoming less of a requirement, hence why the online agent model has been a blessing for so many landlords.

So, let’s talk turkey! How much cheaper are we talking? Let’s take a look…

Online fixed fee Property Management Services…

Ok, so hopefully you’ve got the gist of it all now. Essentially, you can obtain property management services from your local high-street agent (which will generally be a lot more expensive), or use an online letting agent (which will generally be a lot cheaper and charged at a fixed fee).

Fortunately, the online agency market is equally as competitive as the high-street market, so you’re definitely not short of options. Every time I assess the online agent market and scour my options, there’s usually a few new ambitious players’ entering the market, trying to grab a slice of the pie. However, to limit confusion and expending hours of man-hours on research, I’ve hand-picked a few varying packages offered by what I consider to be the best and most reputable online agents. Each package offers slightly different features, so you can assess which is most suitable for you. Hopefully there’s something for everyone…

Search Filters

Require any of the following?

  • Tenant-find service

    Tenant-find serviceThe premium listing is a popular upgrade which increases exposure to your Rightmove listing by highlighting it in the search results. Rightmove say Premium listings on average 35% more click-throughs than regular listings.

    X

  • Hosted viewings

    Hosted viewingsA local agent will take viewings and show potential tenants around your property. Please note, some agents limit how many viewings they will take, so please read the T&C's carefully.

    X

  • Rent collection

    Rent collectionAgent will collect rent from tenant and then send it to you.

    X

  • Inventory service

    Inventory serviceThe agent will arrange for an independent inventory clerk to create an inventory report.

    X

  • 24/7 customer service

    24/7 customer service24/7 customer support available.

    X

  • Home emergency cover

    Home emergency coverHome Emergency insurance cover is a policy protecting against unexpected incidents such as leaks, boiler breakdowns, loss of keys and sudden loss of electrical or gas supply.

    X

  • Rent protection / guarantee

    Rent protection / guaranteeIncludes some form of rent guarantee and/or protection, so you're protected against rent arrears.

    X

  • Repairs & maintenance management

    Repairs & maintenance managementAgent will manage repairs and maintenance issues.

    X

  • Routine inspection(s)

    Routine inspection(s)Agent will conduct routine inspection(s).

    X

  • Eviction support

    Eviction supportAgent will support and/or manage end of tenancies and evictions.

    X

  • Legal compliance & assistance

    Legal compliance & assistanceAgent will assist with any legal matters and help comply with your landlord legal obligations.

    X

Property Management Services
Letting AgentRatingContractIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
4.9
Google Reviews
Duration
Month by month
Includes / Notes

Basic package
  • Key features
  • Tenant-find service
  • Rent collection
  • Eviction support
More details

*Price breakdown

  • £39 / month + one time £149 setup fee

More features included

  • Advert on Rightmove & Zoopla
  • Tenant fully referenced
  • Holding deposit service
  • Digital tenancy agreement
  • Ongoing rent management
  • Legal & eviction cover
PricePER MONTH*£39 Inc VAT
FIRST YR TOTAL £617
Visit Website
Rating
4.5
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Month by month
Includes / Notes

Full Management package
  • Key features
  • Rent collection
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Repairs & maintenance management
  • Routine inspection(s)
  • Legal compliance & assistance
More details

*Price breakdown

  • £41pcm price is based on one years' fee and with the usage of the discount (which qualifies you for 30% discount). Normal price is £59pm.
  • *For properties inside of the M25: price is £62pm with the usage of the discount (which qualifies you for 30% discount). Normal price is £89pm.

**Discount

More features included

  • Legal assistance
  • Dedicated property manager
  • 24/7 customer service
  • 24/7 repairs and maintenance support
  • Inspections: one full photographic report per year
  • Key holder service
  • Negotiate renewals on your behalf (no additional charge)
  • Compliance monitoring and automatic alerts when certificates need renewing

Optional extras

  • Tenant-find services
    • £149 'Renter find' package:
      • Online advertising
      • 2 x tenant references
      • Tenancy agreements
      • Lettings negotiator
    • £595 'Rent it Faster, Pay later' package:
      • Pay-only on success
      • Online advertising
      • 2 x tenant references
      • Tenancy agreements
      • Lettings negotiator
      • Accompanied viewings
      • Professional photography
      • Premium listings
      • Check-in & inventory
Price

Discount available

PER MONTH*£41 Inc VAT
(Normal price: £59)
FIRST YR TOTAL £492

Visit Website**30% discount using link above!
Rating
4.9
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Month by month
Includes / Notes

Silver package
  • Key features
  • Tenant-find service
  • Rent collection
  • Legal compliance & assistance
More details

Price breakdown

  • £45 / month + £79 + £39 listing/setup fee

More features included

  • Advertise on 50 property portals such as Zoopla and Primelocation, until let complete
  • Tenant fully referenced
  • Professional photography & floor plans
  • Digital tenancy agreement
  • Ongoing rent management
  • Deposit registration
  • Carbon monoxide & smoke alarm test
  • Rent collection
  • Legal assistance
Price

Discount available

PER MONTH*£45 Inc VAT
FIRST YR TOTAL £579

Visit Website£40 Discount Code: 99PIP40
Rating
4.9
Google Reviews
Duration
Month by month
Includes / Notes

Essential package
  • Key features
  • Tenant-find service
  • Rent collection
  • Rent protection / guarantee
  • Eviction support
  • Legal compliance & assistance
More details

Price breakdown

  • £59 / month + one time £149 setup fee

More features included

  • Advert on Rightmove & Zoopla
  • Tenant fully referenced
  • Holding deposit service
  • Digital tenancy agreement
  • Ongoing rent management
  • Legal & eviction cover
  • Essential rent protection
  • Deposit dispute resolution
  • Health & safety cover
  • Property legal disputes
PricePER MONTH*£59 Inc VAT
FIRST YR TOTAL £857
Visit Website
Rating
4.9
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Month by month
Includes / Notes

Gold package
  • Key features
  • Tenant-find service
  • Rent collection
  • Inventory service
  • Repairs & maintenance management
  • Routine inspection(s)
  • Legal compliance & assistance
More details

Price breakdown

  • £85 / month + £79 + £39 listing/setup fee

More features included

  • Advertise on 50 property portals such as Zoopla and Primelocation, until let complete
  • Tenant fully referenced
  • Professional photography & floor plans
  • Digital tenancy agreement
  • Ongoing rent management
  • Deposit registration
  • Carbon monoxide & smoke alarm test
  • Rent collection
  • Legal assistance
  • Gas safety check
  • Inventory report
Price

Discount available

PER MONTH*£85 Inc VAT
FIRST YR TOTAL £1059

Visit Website£40 Discount Code: 99PIP40
Rating
4.5
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Month by month
Includes / Notes

Full Management + Protect package
  • Key features
  • Rent collection
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Home emergency cover
  • Rent protection / guarantee
  • Repairs & maintenance management
  • Routine inspection(s)
  • Legal compliance & assistance
  • Appliance Cover
More details

*Price breakdown

  • £89pcm price is based on one years' fee and with the usage of the discount (which qualifies you for 30% discount). Normal price is £128pm.
  • *For properties inside of the M25: price is £117pm with the usage of the discount (which qualifies you for 30% discount). Normal price is £168pm.

**Discount

More features included

  • Guaranteed rent
  • Appliance cover
  • Home emergency / Boiler cover
  • Legal assistance
  • Legal assistance
  • Dedicated property manager
  • 24/7 customer service
  • 24/7 repairs and maintenance support
  • Inspections: one full photographic report per year
  • Key holder service
  • Negotiate renewals on your behalf (no additional charge)
  • Compliance monitoring and automatic alerts when certificates need renewing

Optional extras

  • Tenant-find services
    • £149 'Renter find' package:
      • Online advertising
      • 2 x tenant references
      • Tenancy agreements
      • Lettings negotiator
    • £595 'Rent it Faster, Pay later' package:
      • Pay-only on success
      • Online advertising
      • 2 x tenant references
      • Tenancy agreements
      • Lettings negotiator
      • Accompanied viewings
      • Professional photography
      • Premium listings
      • Check-in & inventory
Price

Discount available

PER MONTH*£89 Inc VAT
(Normal price: £128)
FIRST YR TOTAL £1068

Visit Website**30% discount using link above!
Rating
4.9
Google Reviews
Duration
Month by month
Includes / Notes

Complete package
  • Key features
  • Tenant-find service
  • Rent collection
  • Home emergency cover
  • Rent protection / guarantee
  • Eviction support
  • Legal compliance & assistance
More details

Price breakdown

  • £99 / month + one time £149 setup fee

More features included

  • Advert on Rightmove & Zoopla
  • Tenant fully referenced
  • Holding deposit service
  • Digital tenancy agreement
  • Ongoing rent management
  • Legal & eviction cover
  • Deposit dispute resolution
  • Health & safety cover
  • Property legal disputes
  • Complete rent protection
  • Home emergency cover
  • Complimentary tenancy renewals
  • Complimentary readvertising
PricePER MONTH*£99 Inc VAT
FIRST YR TOTAL £1337
Visit Website

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each agent accurate and up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from the agents’ website for the most up-to-date information.

A couple of notes about the management packages above (in case your interest has piqued)…

  • Yup, startlingly cheaper compared to high-street management rates, right? On average, a fully-managed management solution by a traditional high-street agent will set you back approx 12% of your rental income.
  • High-street agents typically tie you into 6-12 month contracts. The online management solutions above use month-by-month rolling contracts, so you can jump ship at any point.
  • LettingAProperty does NOT offer hosted viewings, so if you require someone to take viewings, they won’t be a suitable choice. Those that do offer a hosted viewing solution will typically arrange for a local estate agent to take the viewings.
  • Speaking of LettingAproperty, yup, their package is more expensive compared to every other solution listed, but when you actually look into the details of what you get, it’s evident what you’re paying for! I don’t think you’ll find a more bullet-proof and robust rental management solution. Besides from the ‘home emergency cover’ and ‘legal expenses cover’, be sure to pay attention to the ‘rent on time’ feature, which means you’ll get paid rent NO MATTER WHAT, even if your tenant falls into arrears.

    If you want complete ease of mind, they might just be the solution for you.

  • If you already have a tenant or don’t require a tenant-find solution (because you have other plans), but you do want someone to manage the tenancy, Howsy provide a free “takeover” service, so they’re happy to manage tenants sourced from elsewhere.

    The takeover feature was originally designed to help landlords switch from their existing letting agent to Howsy’s services, but it’s not exclusive for that purpose. But speaking of which – if you are currently using a high-street agent for a management solution and you’re paying through the nose, you can use Howsy’s switch service to assist with the transition. They’ll manage everything on your behalf.

  • If you’re looking for a pure ‘rent collection’ service, then the solutions will be waaaaaaaayyyyy too comprehensive! There are much cheaper alternative rent collection services to choose from.

So, should you use an online property management solution?

I really can’t answer that for you. But here are a few of my random thoughts that may provide food for thought for those sitting on the fence…

Using online services isn’t for everyone, that much is for sure. So if you’re more comfortable with using local services because, for example, like my nan, you prefer handling your business face-to-face (with a cheque book), then I personally wouldn’t recommend using an online agent to manage your property. However, if you live far away from your rental property, and therefore wouldn’t necessarily have face-to-face interaction with your local agent anyways, then it makes sense to use an online service, in my opinion

If you do use an online solution, you may not be able to walk into a local branch, but you’ll definitely be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone. Actually, the phone lines are generally open for a lot longer (in some cases, 24 hours), so online agents provide longer customer support hours for both landlords and tenants (i.e. to report any maintenance issues or emergencies)!

Yes, the difference in cost between an online solution and the high-street is gigantic, and unsurprisingly, it’s the tipping point for the majority of landlords! For the last decade I’ve only used online letting solutions, not just because of how much cheaper they are, but also because they actually work! I haven’t looked back once, other than to acknowledge how much money I wasted, since ditching the traditional high-street solutions.

My final point, and it’s something I already touched on, but to reiterate, I just want to say that most online management packages (or at least, the one’s listed above), operate on a month-by-month contract, so even if you’re not happy with the service they provide, you can quickly and easily cease your contract. Hell, you could even go back to a local high-street agent if that’s what you want. The point is, you’re not tied into any painstaking contracts.

So there we have it. Shall we tie this up? Let’s…

Whether an online letting agent can provide the property management solution suitable for your needs is for you to decide, but hopefully I’ve, at the very least, made you aware of another option.

If you have any questions, or if you’re kind enough to share your experience (or expertise) on the issue of property management services (online or otherwise), please leave a comment below…

4 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
chris 3rd September, 2019 @ 13:32

very interesting, wondering wether to register for VAT pro,s and con,s

1
Guest Avatar
david frean 7th September, 2020 @ 16:17

V useful - which online service do you use ?

2
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 8th September, 2020 @ 09:16

@David
Many thanks.

The only service I haven't tried yet is 99home, but I plan on doing so eventually. Since all the online agents offer different packages, it might be best to choose one which provides the features that seem most appealing and fitting for your circumstances (if you're in the market, that is).

3
Guest Avatar
James Robotham 6th November, 2020 @ 02:12

Property management, depending on the context, could also be used for purposes such as maintenance of your home while away and so on. Great post though!

4
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