Going direct to landlords?

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  • Going direct to landlords?

    Hi, can you please advise how private lettings are arranged? The Gumtree seems to be full of dodgy-delaings, there is nothing in our local newspaper and even adverts in local shops seems a bit scant. I am sick of paying over £200 for a letting agent shark to photocopy some paper and do a £10 credit reference check. Any ideas?

  • #2
    I assume you are you a tenant.

    Many landlords prefer to use an agent, because agents can often spot "professional" tenants who only pay the first month's rent and no more, have county court judgements for unpaid rent, damage property, invalidate insurance, cause a nuisance, use delaying tactics to prevent eviction. These rogue tenants do this several times unless spotted and stopped. They are usually attracted to unwitting landlords who advertise privately and don't carry out proper checks.

    What you could try is to find a letting agent in your area that only charges the tenant for the cost of the credit check. Alternatively, you could search for a landlord who does their own advertising. You are already aware of gumtree. Take a look at spareroom.co.uk and accommodationforstudents.com. I must say, it's illogical for a landlord not to make a tenant pay for obtaining a credit check. If they didn't, it would attract tyre-kicking tenants who know they won't pass and it's a complete waste of time and money.

    I know you don’t like the expenses, but we've all got to pay our way through life and remember that the landlord doesn't get off completely free either - mortgage repayments, letting fee, income tax, gas safety check, energy performance certificate, deposit protection fee, repairs/renewals/maintenance. And that's the normal stuff. For the unluckier landlords, add to that chasing arrears, interest added to unpaid mortgages, eviction costs, reinstatement of damaged property, solicitors.


    • #3
      Not hijacking but to add a little more to the question: where do people advertise their properties when going direct? I am also fed up with agents' fees, but the couple of larger property web sites I tried would not accept private ads.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sinbad View Post
        Not hijacking but to add a little more to the question: where do people advertise their properties when going direct? I am also fed up with agents' fees, but the couple of larger property web sites I tried would not accept private ads.
        Personally, I use the local weekly newspaper (in my provincial town); a professionally-produced signboard outside the property; and a RightMove listing. It is actually perfectly possible to get a private listing on there, you just have to approach the right agent! Several have been listed on this site previously if you want to track them down. I don't particularly want to list my favoured one here for reasons described below.

        The problem is that basically these agents are breaking the T&Cs of their agreement with RightMove by doing this, other agents don't like it and routinely dob in to RightMove out of spite, to get them kicked off. They (or RightMove themselves) may do this by posing as prospective tenants to try to suss out private listings - indeed, my tame RightMove agent has warned me to be on the lookout for this!


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