Why Do Landlords Use Agents? Unpacking the Reasons Behind This Common Choice

With buying a property remaining unobtainable for many, the rental market has been the only option for plenty throughout the UK in 2023. Demand, according to Zoopla is now slowing, but it remains high. Unfortunately, there aren’t quite enough properties to saturate this demand though.  Whilst the need for properties is 20% down on a year ago, it is still a staggering 51% above the 5-year average. This doesn’t make for encouraging reading but there has been a modest improvement in the supply-demand mismatch over the past twelve months. There are 20% more homes now available for rent than a year ago, but this available housing is some 30% below the typical average for this time of year.

This has led to many more landlords appointing expert lettings agents to help them source new tenants and manage the property. With vast advertising reach, a network of ready and willing customers, and the ability to manage everything from viewings to completion and more, a professional lettings agent takes much of the workload from the landlord. This then allows the landlord to put their focus elsewhere and perhaps develop their portfolio or look after other business interests. The good thing for landlords is that even with a letting agent, they can remain as involved or not with the property as they like. The let-only, rent collection, or fully managed services offered by the agents allow a degree of flexibility in how involved the landlord needs to be.

In this edition of our blog, we look at why opting to use an agent could help landlords keep on top of their tenanted properties and get the best results for themselves and the people who rent the properties.

Expertise and experience

Lettings agents provide a wealth of knowledge that can be useful to landlords, especially those who might be new to renting out their properties. For landlords with a little more experience, it may not be the only foray into property, so having an agent on hand to look after all aspects of the rental agreements, allows for both landlords and tenants to have complete peace of mind that the property is compliant with regulations and looked after by professional property experts.

Knowledge of the real estate market

A reputable and respected lettings agent, like Epsom letting agents Cairds, has an in-depth knowledge of rental pricing, the condition of the market and the types of properties people are actively searching for.  With wide-ranging data sets, the letting agent can give a landlord information that can help them make an informed decision if now is the time to list a property for rent, and at what price it should be rented for.

As a landlord, you may have a price in mind that you deem a fair rent, but being clouded by your own lack of experience or knowledge could see the property dormant for months. With a lettings agent managing the process, they can assess the price range you could advertise the property to keep the it occupied for longer and therefore bring you a much better return on investment.

Legal Expertise

Owning your own home comes with plenty of legal obligations, but when someone else lives in a property you own, a range of other responsibilities come your way. A lettings agent can steer you, as a landlord, in the right direction, and where the tenancy is fully managed, they can take care of specific legal aspects for you. From the drawing of contracts to ensuring full compliance with gas safety, and from organising the protection of the tenancy deposit to helping chase rent arrears, a letting agent can keep the property process running smoothly.

With their legal expertise and a team of property professionals in the office, you can avoid the risk of attempting to tackle issues you are not so well versed in and avoid the potential legal complications you may bring upon yourself too.

It is worth noting that the responsibility for many legal issues still falls under the remit of the landlord, but the letting agent will be able to advise, assist and manage many of them. The liability will always remain with the landlord whether the property is fully managed by the letting agent or not.

Professional experience

The job of a landlord is never easy, whether you have a lettings agent manage the tenancy for you or whether you do it all yourself, but it can be made even more complicated when you have problem tenants, repairs and maintenance issues or reports of a crime. Adding a lettings agent into the mix allows for a more focused effort in helping tackle such issues. Their experience in handling a host of tenant and property-related problems creates a more streamlined process path, as well as relieving you of much of the work. For example, a landlord may not know the best people to contact for certain repair jobs, and as a result, spend considerably more cash than necessary.  The letting agent will have a specific contractor in place that will not only work out cost-effective for them, but for the landlord too.

Marketing and finding tenants

Rental properties are high in demand but low in supply, and this is partly due to landlords not marketing properties to the right audience or on the right platforms. A note in the local newsagent shop window or a post on Facebook won’t quite hit the same as a regional campaign curated by a respectable letting agent.

Effective marketing strategies

Letting agents have access to a wide range of portals that put a property in front of the right people at the right time. Sites like Rightmove and Zoopla garner huge digital footfall, and give your property the opportunity to be viewed by people from far and wide as well as from the local area. This can be particularly beneficial for people relocating to the area. Add in the local branches of the letting agent, and their website, and you have multiple places advertising your property, each with their own audience. Furthermore, the local press is often a tool chosen by letting agents to extend their reach. Listing pages come at no extra cost to the landlord and can increase the eyes on the property by thousands.

Screening and selecting tenants

Letting agents offer tenant finding as a specific service, so if in your role as a landlord, you want to continue managing the property, this is a good way to have screened and approved tenants rent it. Opting to find them yourself may see you offering a contract to someone who has a poor history of paying rent on time or has had issues in rental properties previously. When a letting agent has people approach it to rent property, it carries out specific background checks. Checks on their credit history and references from previous landlords or current and past employers go some way to finding suitable tenants that may meet specific criteria set out by the letting agent. This then gives you, as the landlord, added peace of mind that your property is not only well looked after by the lettings team, but also by the people that live there.

Management and maintenance

There is every chance that as a property landlord, you have more than one property to look after. This can prove complex at times. With lots to manage, it would be easy to miss out a few things without even realising it. A letting agent takes that headache away by ensuring that every part of the tenancy is under control. Setting up the rent collections, answering queries and booking maintenance jobs are part of a fully managed service. In many letting agents, you can request that the rent collection be handled whilst you look after everything else.

Day-to-day management

With the potential for your job and family to be taking up much of your time, the day-to-day management of a property can often fall to the bottom of the list of priorities. A letting agent keeps things running so you don’t have to. Answering calls and emails at all hours from tenants isn’t necessarily something a landlord wants to be doing, especially when they have multiple properties. In addition, the collection of rent, booking in repairs, and scheduling the periodic inspections can all be taken care of by a letting agent, allowing a landlord plenty of time to put their focus where it’s needed each day. Of course, as a landlord, you can opt to remain as involved as you wish, and within fully managed services, you can often request that specifics are not handled by the agent but by yourself instead.

Maintenance and repairs

Property maintenance can be relatively straightforward most of the time, and in some cases, landlords can be perfectly adept at getting issues rectified. However, this isn’t always the case. Faults with electricity, or gas for example, require specific professionals to attend the property. This can cost a landlord significantly more than it could cost a letting agent. The agent will have contracts in place with specific companies that help to deliver cost savings when compared to a one-off call out by an individual.

Furthermore, the database of approved and accredited professionals held by the letting agent means they can source the right people for the job at the right time. Allowing a speedier resolution of the repair and maintenance issues at the property. Where a landlord could spend hours getting quotes, researching companies, and liaising with tenants, the letting agent will have it all in hand using pre-approved contractors, keeping both the tenant and the landlord happy that costs are controlled and that quality is assured.

Financial benefits

Owning a buy-to-let property is a venture geared towards making money and depending on the size of the property portfolio, the financial benefits can vary. Appointing a letting agent means an opportunity to maximise the revenue potential of the property.

Maximising rental income

When appointing a letting agent to take care of the advertising, letting and rent collection of a  property, you allow a tried and trusted professional to offer a property in a way that stands to benefit the tenant, the agent and you – the landlord.

An empty property is one you never want and if you go alone, you will still be paying a mortgage on the building as well as any other charges whether it is filled or not. A letting agent takes away the potential for an extended period of vacancy. With an understanding of the local market, they can advise on what rates people afford, and what amounts people begin to shy away from. With an open and honest assessment of your property, a suggested rent can be found, that should you approve minimizes the chances of the property being left empty.


Of course, this carefully curated service comes at a cost and it’s an expense you wouldn’t have to pay if you were looking to do it yourself, however, these costs stand to deliver a much better return on investment when all is said and done. The fees charged by the letting agent are normally a percentage of the rent amount but when you compare those fees to the marketing costs, rent collection, maintenance issues and more that you would be paying yourself, they pale into insignificance.  This is especially noticeable if you are inexperienced in letting out property. With less knowledge of the market, expensive mistakes are much easier to make. Hiring the wrong engineers to rectify a problem for example could mean you end up paying twice for one job! Tenant find fees, rent collection fees or the fee for the property to be fully managed may all sound like it’s taking money from your pocket, but once you factor in the costs of doing it all yourself, you soon see how putting everything under one umbrella stands to save you money.

Time and stress reduction

We have mentioned a little already, how managing a buy-to-let property can be a time-consuming activity, add in the stress of day-to-day life and all of a sudden you have limited time to complete a multitude of things each of similar importance. A letting agent will relieve you of that problem.

Saving time

Finding tenants for a property can be time-consuming and a letting agent with its vast reach can cut that time drastically. It doesn’t end there though.

The time taken to draw up contracts, book maintenance engineers, chase rent payments, and more all eat into your downtime and professional time. A letting agent removes all of that by taking it on themselves.  With the quarterly, bi-annual or yearly property inspections taken on by the agents too, a landlord doesn’t need to worry about navigating their way to one or more properties for inspections and see time taken up on the road and at the properties. A local agent can instead liaise with the tenant to ensure a mutually agreed inspection time is set and then forward the results.

Reducing stress

It isn’t only reducing the amount of time landlords have to dedicate to the property, using a letting agent means that they are free from much of the stress associated with property management. At Cairds for example, we can fully manage the process to ensure that in your role as landlord, you simply instruct us of your wish to rent out your property, fulfil your legal obligations and that is it!

We handle the issues of disruptive tenants, rent payments, tenancy disputes and maintenance issues. For landlords, this removes many of the complications you can find when dealing with buy-to-let property. However, with three ways to use a letting agent, you can determine just how involved you want to be. Do you want to take on the full property management yourself and just use the advertising prowess of the agent to help you promote your property? Would you rather the agent handled the financials, and you will do everything else? Or, would it be preferable to have the agent do it all, allowing you to avoid the stress? Letting agents, with their comprehensive market knowledge, also ensure full legal compliance by guaranteeing that all safety rules and regulations are adhered to by booking in the relevant inspections and certifications.

Overall, appointing a letting agent is a wise move for a landlord, it enables full management of the property and allows landlords to have their property filled more quickly and more often. Whilst there are costs involved in taking on a letting agent, the cost-effectiveness of such a move stands to deliver benefits both short and long-term. At Cairds, we work with landlords to help them rent out property in Epsom and the surrounding areas. Working to the client’s needs, we involve ourselves with the process as much or as little as a landlord needs. As members of ARLA, you can rest assured that professional service and high standards come naturally and that your best interests as well as that of the tenants are always a priority. Contact us today to get your property listed and managed by the leading letting agent in Epsom.