Problems with a Letting Agent

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    Problems with a Letting Agent

    Hi,

    I have recently purchased a property and contacted a local agent so that he could help me rent it out.
    For a fee he was going to find me a tenant (taking in references, sorting out deposits etc) and then charge me a smaller fee (10% of the rent per month) for maintenance. I was told that finding a tenant would take a maximum of 30 days but he expected it to be a lot sooner.

    The property has been empty now for a month in an area where houses usually rent out quite quickly.
    Every time I ring the agent for an update I feel as though I am getting fobbed off - with excuses like I am waiting for references etc.
    I have the following queries which I hope the more experienced landlords on this site may be able to help me with:

    1. How long would you wait before you would start to let other agents have a go at renting it out for you?

    2. He has not got me to sign any paperwork so my agreement with him is all verbal, is this usual?

    3. If I wait another week or so and then get another agent involved, can the first agent try to charge me for any work that he may have done even though he hasn't kept his side of the bargain - i.e. has not found me a tenant for my property?

    4. Am I right in thinking that when the property has been rented out (either via him or some other agent) then I should get a signed contract between myself and the tenant and details of the Landlord Deposit Scheme where the agent has put the deposit? Is there anything else that I should also expect to receive from the agent?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    S

    #2
    Originally posted by ssingh View Post
    I was told that finding a tenant would take a maximum of 30 days but he expected it to be a lot sooner.
    The property has been empty now for a month in an area where houses usually rent out quite quickly.
    I've been renting out multiple properties for about 14 years now; I only ever used an agent for my very first rental. That was by far the longest void period I have ever had (can't remember how long, probably a couple of months though)/

    Comment


      #3
      As well as charging you to find a tennant, agents also charge an administration fee to each prospective tennant for doing credit checks ect...

      I would expect the 10% is just for forwarding some of the rent to you. If any maintinence is required it will probably be extra.

      Have you got a full ilst of his charges?

      Comment


        #4
        Firstly, may I suggest you read this, as I guess you are a little in the dark at the moment http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...2&postcount=12

        Now, to your question - why is your property not being let? Is it at the same price as similar properties in the area? (try rightmove), is it in nice and ready to move into condition? or is it just that the agent is asleep? Chances are the problem is with one of those 3 areas. Presuming the first 2 are ok, it seems to be down to the agent.

        The lack of signed paperwork is imho unprofessional, so maybe everything the agent does is of the same standard? Perfectly legal, as your conversations with him form a perfectly valid contract. So, what did you agree about his 'costs' and how long you would stay with him? Nothing? Then time for a new agent. With regard to any costs he has incurred that you didn't agree to pay, then he is going to be on thin ice trying to claim them from you - he might be able to if they were reasonable - but how much is a court going to think is reasonable for him to have spent when the net result was zero? Not a lot I guess. If I were the agent, I would consider chasing you through the courts to be not worth the time, money and effort when I might come away with nothing.

        Incidentally, for a landlord who is not sure of what is necessary - or wants to keep away from the tenants - then agents can sometimes be worthwhile, but they are unlikely to ever treat your tenants or your property as well as you would because their efforts are divided amongst many landlords and tenants. Last time I used agents, the fees were £350 just to find a tenant OR £250 to find a tenant AND 10% of the rent each month. I was reasonably happy with that as they found me an excellent tenant. I'm not confident this guy would do the same.

        As has already been said, the 10% is probably only collecting rent, answering tenants queries and arranging maintenance. You will probably still have to find £1000 if the boiler packs up!

        Comment

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