What's the best way to manage a property?

Managing a property for the first time can be a daunting prospect. It can be difficult to even know where to start. Thankfully, there are a range of management options available to cater to your particular needs. Read on for a brief summary of some of the options you might like to consider if you’re looking to manage a property.

Self-managing Landlords

Managed a property before? Confident in your abilities? Then this might be the option for you. While this option saves you the cost of hiring an agent, it can require a considerable investment of your time. Similarly, if you live far away from your property, this could make it more difficult to deal with situations quickly when they arise.

You’ll also have to deal with the hassle of promoting the property yourself, for which you may incur an advertising fee. Landlord associations are a good source of advice and assistance and can provide much of the information that a self-managing landlord requires.

Letting only

With this level of affiliation, you retain overall management of the property while a letting agent markets the property. They’ll also advise on rent levels, find tenants, undertake reference checks, provide tenancy agreements and move the tenants into the property.

The agent charges the landlord a one-off fee for this, which is often equivalent to one month’s rent. Once the tenancy has started, the letting agent’s job is done and you can take over the ongoing management of the property.

Letting and rent collection

Although similar to the ‘letting only’ option, where the agent finds the tenant, with this option the agent also collects the rent on behalf of the landlord during the tenancy. The agent will likely charge a one-off letting fee and then a monthly fee (often a percentage of the rent – perhaps 5%) for collecting the rent.

It's then up to you as the landlord to look after the rest of the management of the property, such as arranging for repairs to be made if necessary.

Full management

As the title implies, this is where the agent takes over the whole management of the property. The agent deals with all the management issues, such as letting and starting the tenancy, rent collection and repairs.

Unsurprisingly, this option is more expensive than previous options (perhaps costing between 10-15% of the rent). It may be worth considering, however, if you do not have enough time to manage everything or feel you may lack the necessary expertise.


Whatever you decide, make sure you take the time to consider all the available options. If you're letting a property for the first time in particular, it's worth weighing up the costs in terms of time and money when making a decision about how a property is managed.

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Unipol is an accreditation code working in Leeds, Bradford and Nottingham student letting markets within the universities and Student Unions.

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