From the perspective of the small landlord, the attraction of engaging a letting agent is twofold: there is the traditional set of situations for which the letting agent is a valuable ally – fixing the leaking tap or replacing the wonky cupboard door, for example.
The sharp increase in new legislation presents another set of challenges for the small and the medium-sized landlord. Every year, new changes in legislation come through and keeping up with it all constitutes a full-time job from focused professionals.
As Mark Rose of Rose Properties points out, it isn’t just a case of knowing the legislation today, it’s also a case of ensuring that you’re up to speed every time a new piece of legislation comes along:
“For property management specialists, all of the never-ending changes in legislation is, in a way, a good thing,” says Mark. “Because people who would have tried to fumble along themselves with trying to manage the property themselves are finding themselves having to come to us for the expertise on the subject because we’re at the coalface of it all and can see the changes as they come along.
“In the past, people in that situation might have muddled along and have got along fine... For example, previously if you were a landlord and you took on a tenant, you registered with the RTB and you paid your €90 fee and that was it – you didn’t need to do anything more with the RTB and could forget about the RTB for four years once the tenant stayed.
Since April of this year, the situation has moved to an annual registration... So every year, you have to remember to log in online with the RTB and pay your €40 registration fee every year. If you forget to do that, you pay €10 per month as a penalty and it’s uncapped.”