Is it really worth using a letting agent?

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    Is it really worth using a letting agent?

    My question is - is it really worth using a letting agent?

    From reading various forums, the only benefit I can really see is that they have access to a list of possible tenants. We are quite capable of doing a credit check, getting references and doing any court forms that might be required for eviction etc for the tenant and my husband is very handy and could do all the maintenance himself.

    Are there any other benefits that I am overlooking?

    Many thanks!

    #2
    Originally posted by thesmiths View Post

    Are there any other benefits that I am overlooking?
    None whatsoever, in my experience. You can sometimes negotiate a basic fee for a 'tenant introduction' (which is just that), then you do the rest yourself.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    Comment


      #3
      you would have to do all the court stuff yourself anyway and you will pay thru the nose for maintenance if an agent sorts it - no, there is nothing you are overlooking!
      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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        #4
        I am a letting agent and as much as I would say use an agent, the reality is that if you are confident and have the time spare then there is nothing an agent can do that you can't.

        As stated agents are good for finding tenants and sometimes can have access to larger web sites and larger scale advertising but depending on where the property is and the demand in your area then you might also feel confident to find the tenant also.

        Personally, I would say that if you have never done it before, then it might be worthwhile having an agent come round to speak to you to carry out a valuation, by doing this you can gleam what they would do for you and at the same time you can see if there is anything you hadnt thought of, maybe a little sneaky if you dont plan to use them at all but an easy way to get information, though you can make the decision then if its worthwhile giving them money for their services. Most agents will offer a free valuation.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
          you would have to do all the court stuff yourself anyway and you will pay thru the nose for maintenance if an agent sorts it - no, there is nothing you are overlooking!
          Some agents will do the paperwork for court, and only have an admin charge for maintenance.
          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

          Comment


            #6
            As a new landlord, I had a horror story with my letting agent. I used them because I had no idea how to do it myself.

            I now manage myself.

            However, for a first-time landlord I would recommend using an agent to find first tenants and ensure that all the legal obligations are in place before letting.

            Your agent should be well established, preferably recommended, and a member of one of the main trade associations (ARLA etc).

            Comment


              #7
              Agents are useful to those without the time to manage their property. They can also reach a wider market through the portals but you can do this with some of the advertise only companies. In your position it'd only be worthwhile using a let only/tenant find service, if at all.
              <a href="http://www.manchesterpropertygroup.co.uk/" target="_blank">Manchester letting agents</a>

              Comment


                #8
                In theory and sitting at our computers it's is easy. Can be a little more differcult for a newbie, out the in real world. If it always that easy, there would be no need for this forum.

                So use an agency for your first time let, learn from them and get them to do the EPC, electric, gas, inventory and fire checks and you do it yourself. And in the mean while read this forum and learn from our mistakes.
                Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

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                  #9
                  If you have the time and energy then do it yourself! Be decisive in how you word the advertisement.ie;no smokers,pets or LHA etc.If thats your preference and take a deposit but make sure you protect it in one of the three schemes.Do make sure you get proper references from bank,employers (on headed note paper ) present landlord, in writing not just a phone call .Good luck!Once you have done it you will gain confidence and save money.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My clients are generally the people who do not have the time to do it themselves though like the idea of property investment. Today for example we have taken on a client and will deal with her property from start to finish, literally project manage the investment dealing with re-wiring, redecorating, making fit for letting and then the letting and management purely because she works away and full time, then on the flip side our sales had a chap in looking to buy 10 properties but will deal with everything himself, the letting and the management.

                    Just take your time and read as much as you can........ I like just trawling these forums and every so often you read something which you can directly relate to and learn from.

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                      #11
                      An agent will charge around £150 for an EPC, you can get one done privately for £50

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by teeps View Post
                        An agent will charge around £150 for an EPC, you can get one done privately for £50
                        But most people aren't bothered- it's entirely pointless (except to mind the gap).
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                          #13
                          Thank you everyone, you've been most helpful. We are tending towards only using one for finding tenants only and doing the management ourselves, or not at all. Have found a good local letting agent who was extremely helpful on the phone just now and didn't seem to be pushy or up themselves so we'll see.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by thesmiths View Post
                            Thank you everyone, you've been most helpful. We are tending towards only using one for finding tenants only and doing the management ourselves, or not at all. Have found a good local letting agent who was extremely helpful on the phone just now and didn't seem to be pushy or up themselves so we'll see.
                            Good luck with your letting.

                            As far as the EPC is concerned : if your property's energy efficiency rating is good (over 60%), use it as a 'selling point' with tenants. It means their energy bills will be significantly lower than for a less efficient property of the same size.
                            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Right, thesmiths - you have got the sort of idea that I would recommend as well. It sounds like you have a good local agent. Cultivate him and use him for advice. When he charges you a substantial sum to find, credit check and interview a prospective tenant, think how much it would cost if the tenant failed to pay his rent and you had to go to court to get him out (answer: many, many times what your agent is asking for). Just check carefully the agreement that the agent asks you to sign and if any term concerns you, post back here for advice before signing - all these terms are negociable despite what the agent may say!

                              P.P.
                              Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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