THE RENTAL DEBATE RUMBLES ON
Renting in Ireland is a much-discussed issue in Irish media today especially after the new Rental Regulation was introduced in December 2016. Without doubt, demand outweighs supply and rent prices have soared, with a knock-on impact on numbers of people who cannot afford housing. However, it appears it is not just the tenants who are under pressure.
OBSERVATIONS ON RECENT MEDIA COVERAGE
A recent article in the Irish Times examines the decision by estate agents, Hooke and MacDonald, to cut back on managing individual lettings for landlords due to the increase to cost and paperwork resulting from recent changes to residential tenancies laws.
This means that many landlords are now without an agency to manage their rental property and therefore see the benefit in selling on that property rather than taking on management of the property themselves or paying for a new agency to take over.
For both landlords and tenants alike, this is bad news. For the former, it means being forced to go through a sale when this may not have been their preferred time to sell or planned outcome for the property and for the tenants who cannot afford to buy, it means less rental property options on the market.
With the introduction of new laws, vast amounts of paperwork and re-organisation of internal administrative processes follow suit. In this case, it seems the changes incurred are impactful enough to cause estate agents to simply draw the line at single property management.
BUT, IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE?
If Hooke and MacDonald had an easier way to process and store their paperwork and keep costs down, would this dramatic move have occurred in the first place?
In the article published on June 5th of this year, the firm’s MD, Ken MacDonald, told the Irish Times, “It is as easy to manage 20 properties as it is to manage one or two properties. With all the new legislation that has come in, there’s a lot of background work involved so we are cutting back.”
Gathering of documents, signatures and financial records is a laborious task and can take up vast amounts of an employee’s day. MacDonald’s point that it is the same amount of work regardless of the number of properties may well be true – the initial gathering of information from a landlord who has one property is the same as the process for a landlord with 20. After that though, surely each individual rental incurs its own allocation of time spent requesting, obtaining and filing data?
IT IS POSSIBLE TO MAKE THIS PROCESS EASIER
By requesting documents via a secured platform instead of via emails, you save time and ensure security for the date being requested and received. The documents can then be saved automatically by the same online tool and kept for a specified amount of time and deleted when they are no longer needed. Businesses will no longer need to engage in numerous email exchanges on top of worrying about security breaches when confidential documents are in their possession.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
In a world of paperless transactions and document transfers, estate agents need a simpler way to manage this background work that Ken MacDonald speaks of. In addition, they need to know that this new method is secure; it will not only speed up their internal administrative processes and free up their staff to manage more work, it will also ensure that they are compliant with GDPR data regulations.
Finally, and perhaps above all, it will ensure that they don’t have to let customers down.
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