13.5% for a student rental- is this about right or excessive?

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    13.5% for a student rental- is this about right or excessive?

    Hello,

    I am the de facto landlady for a student flat that belonged to my late father and which has always been managed (for at least 10 years) by a firm of agents.
    They charge 13.5% for finding tenants, getting guarantors and being the day to day point of contact if there are issues (students are not given my contact details)
    A couple of years ago they also introduced a £30pm rent guarantee as they wanted to market the property deposit-free, possibly to attract tenants away from competitors.
    Next academic year's students have been found and want to pay a deposit and sort out their own bills. I'm being encouraged to take out the rent guarantee anyway, in case they default.
    So I guess there are 2 questions really
    1) Is 13.5% too much
    2) Should I just bin the rent guarantee or continue paying?
    Many thanks

    #2
    Originally posted by Lots on View Post
    Is 13.5% too much
    What do other agents in the area charge for exactly the same service?

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      #3
      I don't actually know Mrs Mug. This is my 1st port of call.

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        #4
        if your students have joint and several liability and guarantors who are home owners you have twice as many people to sue if necessary. The university probably has an accommodation office and you could find your tenants through that, post graduate tenants if you are lucky.

        Students can be fairly demanding and first year students may have no idea how to rent so can make more contact than other tenants, up to you if you think you could handle that. They are legally entitled to have contact details for you anyway.

        I'd ditch the rent guarantee, provided you understand how to protect deposits.

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          #5
          Thanks Buzzard. I can't realistically manage without an agent because the property is 3 hours away by train.
          I have built up rapport with the staff there over the last 5 years, but that's not to say I couldn't start again with a new agency if necessary.
          Would they be unlikely to refuse if I ask them to consider reducing the percentage eg to 11.5%?

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            #6
            Find out what others in the area are charging. Get on Rightmove and see which agents are offering student lets and then research to see what kind of service they're providing (online reviews, Facebook comments, etc.)

            Once you’ve shortlisted a few, give them a call, speak to the manager and ask what they can offer.

            However, I would be very wary of considering switching agents without meeting them. And as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Is the agent willing to who’s willing to bend over the furthers necessarily the one you want negotiating on your behalf with your tenants?

            Originally posted by Lots on View Post
            Would they be unlikely to refuse if I ask them to consider reducing the percentage eg to 11.5%?
            Most agents will want to keep your business and will be reasonable if they feel like you are genuinely willing to leave. But the answer to your question really depends on who’s in the driving seat.

            You might have a contract prohibiting you from leaving them given that they’ve got tenants lined up for next year.

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              #7
              Thank you Hants agent. I appreciate your feedback. I don't necessarily want to get rid of them, it would just be good to get an idea of what others are paying.
              I'll definitely have a look at Rightmove, it'll also be good to see how other agents are marketing properties.

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                #8
                Having managed a few student lets over the years I think 13.5% is an absolute bargain! We try not to do them now if at all possible as most of my children have left home and every new academic year I felt like I'd adopted an entire houseful of new kids who could do nothing for themselves. From an inability to use kitchen appliances to a complete lack of cleaning skills I'd say that any managing agent who takes on students deserves every penny. I am sure there are some good ones out there they just didn't seem to rent any of our properties!

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                  #9
                  OK point taken Goobs. I have had a call form the student to come and hang curtains up as they couldn't figure out hooks and eyes! So I got on the train (4 hours round trip) to hang up curtains. If you think 13.5% ain't bad, that's reassuring.

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                    #10
                    Well if you are going to do that 13.5% is a bargain - but I imagine if your agent does anything it is either to suggest they phone the nearest parent or email them a link to a you tube video like this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWQDCX3Gang

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