Own Company Acting as Agent...

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    Own Company Acting as Agent...

    Hello,

    I have several of my residential properties of my own and ready for let.

    I really want to save money on lettings management fees.

    I have decided to use my LTD company to act as an agent for myself, as the landlord. I don't really want the the potential customers or tenants to know i am the landlord and rather have a more professional approach to this as i would receive from a well known lettings agent.

    I registered for an online lettings package to advertise the property on the popular sites out there, such as RightMove, Zoopla, etc and was wondering how or whether i am allowed to charge a referencing fee to the potential interested clients.

    It costs £35 to reference clients of mine but rather take a fee so it is no cost to myself if it it fails.

    Also, would i need to register for ARLA, Property Ombudsman? As these are all my properties and will never deal with other properties that does not belong to me.

    So, in summary, I am doing and would like to do:
    1. LTD Company promotes/Advertise properties in behalf of me (Landlord) ( Management Agreement is in place)
    2. LTD will Charge a small fee, allowed to do so. (If so, name of a contract?)
    3. LTD Manages property, rentals, new tenants, enquiries.


    Thanks

    #2
    The tenant has the legal right to know your name & address (real actual address or place of business). And these days , social media, land registry (£3 for deeds) it's easy to find you -

    Whilst there are good agents - I use one - there is loads of evidence here & elsewhere that agents don't always mean professional
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      No, i dont mind if they know my name or address as it is after Let when they know all details.

      " I really want to save money on lettings management fees."

      I can save over 8% per property.

      Comment


        #4
        If you want to save the letting agent's fee then manage your properties yourself, which is in effect what you are proposing to do.

        You can charge whatever you want (in England) for referencing and admin.

        Comment


          #5
          I don't want to, as stated in my first post.

          As my own LTD company will act as an agent and only deal with my own properties, do i still have to register for clients money protection (ARLA) or any other qualifying criteria needed for lettings agent? Also, can the LTD charge the fees without any qualifying criteria?

          Comment


            #6
            Unless you plan to hire an employee, you will be doing the work, so you will manage your properties yourself.

            Therefore, I am not clear as to what you expect the benefit will be.

            Comment


              #7
              Sorry i dont mean to rude or anything, but i started this post to gain knowledge of whether it is allowed, not to be advised of any other route that could benefit me more. Also, i have been doing it my self for 8 years now and to 5 properties and there are many reasons why i am taking such course of actions.

              Just need to know:

              1) whether the LTD company is allowed to charge a referencing fee to the potential interested clients as it may still be classify as a letting agent?

              2) Do i need to register for ARLA, Property Ombudsman?

              Comment


                #8
                Excuse the stupidity of an old man but, what advice would gain from that please?
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Yes, your LTD company can charge a referencing fee. Answer to question 2 I don't know - I guess this would depend on the classification of your business. At the end of the day, you as the Landlord still have to protect the Deposit.

                  For what it's worth, I can see why you would want to put a bit of distance between yourself and the tenants by using a Ltd company.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Yes, you need to join a professional body with an approved redress scheme (i.e. recognised by the property ombudsman).
                    You need to publish all possible fees to tenants prior to transacting with them - but fees for referencing are allowed.

                    You may encounter some interest from HMRC.
                    A limited company run entirely by you and trading only with you is unusual and as landlords can't claim their own labour as an allowable expense against income tax, but can claim agent's fees, HMRC may try and argue the arrangement is simply an attempt to circumvent this.
                    On the other hand, they might not even notice.

                    If you are currently self managing and will (in future) be self managing via your own limited company, I don't really see where any savings arise (other than tax, see above, which will probably be mostly offset by the cost of running a limited company).
                    If you are currently renting via agents and moving to self management (albeit via your own agency), you may find the cost of leaving the current agent is higher than you expect.
                    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).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                      You need to publish all possible fees to tenants prior to transacting with them - but fees for referencing are allowed.
                      Not necessarily.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...pter/3/enacted
                        The regulations are fairly unambiguous.
                        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).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I don't think OP intends to set up an office, and may not set up a website either.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            In which case every property being visited by prospective tenants with the agent* probably becomes a "premises at which the agent deals face-to-face with persons using or proposing to use services to which the fees relate".

                            *presumably disguised so as to avoid being identified as the landlord.
                            8-)
                            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).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                              In which case every property being visited by prospective tenants with the agent* probably becomes a "premises at which the agent deals face-to-face with persons using or proposing to use services to which the fees relate".

                              *presumably disguised so as to avoid being identified as the landlord.
                              8-)
                              Not at all. The premises concerned are only the "agent’s premises".

                              Comment

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