Are these fees reasonable, and would you try and self manage?

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    Are these fees reasonable, and would you try and self manage?

    Hello, I am a landlord of one-flat. I became a landlord through personal circumstances (got married, move in with my now wife).

    I've been renting out my flat for a few years. For a while, I let it to friends, and didn't use an agent. For the past 18 months, I have been using an agent. I live abroad, and pay 12% of the monthly rent to an agent. I haven't had any particular problems, but the agent is not always easy to reach, and I wonder if I'm getting a good deal.

    I have a few questions.

    In your opinion, is 12% a reasonable rate for fully managed?
    Would you recommend reducing the service, (i.e. rent collect or simply tenant find) and trying to manage myself, or sign up to services like British Gas boiler insurance?

    Keen to hear views, as I have a niggling feeling that 12% may be too high, but on the other hand, it has been fairly trouble free (so far, touchwood).

    #2
    If you're living abroad an agent is helpful because of the issue of deducting tax before sending rent abroad.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      Not sure if this will be helpful. But hope it may give you a guide. I've recently made enquiries about using a letting agent (having self managed for the past few years) and was quoted 10.5%. This was via an estate agent, I have no idea how good or bad they are; this was my only quote therefore others may be higher or lower; 12% may give you more sevices. As jpkeates mentioned bear in mind the issue of deducting tax before sending rent abroad.
      mrsdee

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        #4
        Letting agents will be charging more now that they can't charge tenants.
        I'd have said 10 (plus VAT) was ok outside London and the SE, but now it would have to be higher.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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          #5
          If you're living abroad you probably dont have much choice

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            #6
            I don't think 12% is unreasonable if you are getting a decent service. I don't know what the saving would be if you switched to a rent-collect service and took over the day to day management yourself but I suspect it would only work if you have a number of reliable local contractors to do work for you. The British Gas option is good and I think it is one of the better schemes as they do offer emergency cover but would your tenant be happy to call them up (at peak times you can be holding for over 30 minutes) and then they will have to be in when the engineer comes as they will not collect keys? They offer morning 8-1 or afternoon 12-6 appointments (or sometimes a school-friendly 9.30-2.30) so the tenant will have to take time off work. Some tenants have flexible hours but some simply cannot spare the time. It would be the same if you needed to replace an appliance, can the tenant stay in for delivery which could be 7am to 7pm?

            I suppose only you know how happy your tenant would be to do this and also whether the property is modern, well looked after and hopefully low maintenance.

            You could get the tenant to pay rent to you direct but as you are an overseas landlord there are tax implications which I think you would have to explain to current and future tenants.

            Comment


              #7
              12% seems at the high end, but not excessively so.

              Personally I would not consider self managing from overseas. There are some here who do - effectively, by the sounds of it - but I think if you were to do that you would need to know exactly what you were doing, have trustworthy tradesmen in place that you could call on, and be willing/able to go there if circumstances required it. (The latter point is the case anyway, whether using an agent or not ; but more so with no agent).
              There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

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