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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Letting agent or DIY?

Landlords who use a letting agent could shave 20% of their costs if they choose to manage their properties themselves.

Some London letting agents charge as much as 20% the gross rent for a full management service. To me this seems exorbitant for collecting the rent, managing the tenancy and sorting out the odd maintenance issue. Some letting agents will also charge a landlord additional fees for the use of a tenancy agreement.

The essential thing for any landlord when dealing with a letting agent is to negotiate the best deal. It important to remember there is no standard contract between landlord and tenant and especially where you are dealing with an independent that want your business then it down to you to get the best deal. Lets face it at the moment with rental demand in places like London, letting property must be like getting money for old rope. Tips for a landlord would be ensure that any charge include: the inventory, the checkin, referencing, tenancy agreement, mid term inspection and check out. Look for any hidden charges and fees. Ensure that you get an agency agreement that sets out exact responsibilities and costs.

To read more about whether to use a letting agent.

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Anonymous said...

I have a property in Crewe which I bought very cheaply. When the letting agent took some people round, she found it had a lot of damp and other problems despite the fact that I had it refurbished for 2700.

I instructed her to cure the damp problem and do a full refurb which eventually cost me another 8200 but it was renovated to a very high standard - everything new.

The market rent is 450 and the letting agent got me a tenant who liked it so much that he paid 495 for it. Not only that but the agent only charged me 30% finding fee and 8% + VAT management fee.

So, if you invest in Cheshire, lookup Ladybird Lettings. I forgot to mention that they didn't charge me for managing the project.

Gareth C Thomas said...

I've found that letting agents, especially those supposed to be "managing" my properties, are actually the cause of many of my problems.

Their attitude seems to be one of "the tenant wants x, so when are you going to get it done?" and yet when they've clearly mismanaged some part of the agreement they are very slow at dealing with it!

I will be sacking all agents this year and building my own list of prospective tenants so that I don't need the agent. Even when I use an agent for a let only deal, they screwed up by giving me non-speaking tenants and they did not disclose this fact (I didn't interview the prospective tenants, I live an hour away and it's awkward to get to at short notice).

I am also going to start my own lettings agency in Tower Hamlets, East London, as I feel with my 15 years of experience, I will do a much better job than those already supposed to know what they are doing! Look out for me soon :o) I'm going to Angels Property Services, a play on words as I'll be the Angel amongst all the devils (sharks) out there! :o)

Anonymous said...

As well as being a Landlord now for 20 years with multiple properties I also belong to a Landlords Forum and have been contributing to that forum for nearly 8 years now.
It is fair to say that the most popular theme & comment is rip-off Letting Agents and their small print contained in their contracts which leaves Landlords hundreds of pounds worse off each year and they cannot escape due to legal action being taken against them by their LA so the bottom line to all you Landlords out there.... Read the small print and cross out and initial anything you don't find satisfactory before you commit and sign anything by way of a letting Agents contract.
Incidentally I manage ALL my own properties and NEVER have any problems that I can't handle.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, I love the blatant attempt of the agents at Ladybird Lettings to advertise themselves on here!
Well done folks

totallylet said...

it's an all too easy assumption that you can save money by letting it yourself. That's true if you have the schedule and the availability to deal with all things letting.
As a letting agent I would say that and indeed know many landlords who do a great job of letting the property, however I know far more who become too involved with the tenant and often regret the direct involvement.
Most times we can achieve a sufficient rent to cover the difference in our fees and have recently proven that on over 50% of our property that we manage for landlords the real cost to them is just 7.5%..
We are based in Hull and cover East Yorkshire, renowned for poor property and problem tenants. We work hard for our fee and run an occupancy level across our portfolio in excess of 87% with absent rent of just 1% per month.

More to it than popping an ad on gumtree.. all about balance methinks!!