Go it alone for first time landlord?

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  • Go it alone for first time landlord?

    Hi everyone, I have been a live-in-'landlord'(kind of) before but not done the whole shorthold tenancy agreemant routine before.... I have talked with many agents and have a good idea of the income and fees I can expect... But I'm wondering if agents fees of 8% for collection etc are OK or if I should just go it alone?

    Would it be better getting an agent for the first time just get started and learn the ropes? Any advice is much appreciated!

  • #2
    At LZ, we see almost every DiY first-time landlord come unstuck. Don't.
    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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    • #3
      Short and to the point. Thankyou.

      So its best just to slowly get into it, let agents handle things then just learn more?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        At LZ, we see almost every DiY first-time landlord come unstuck. Don't.
        That said, I did it, and have not regretted it one little bit.

        But...:

        a. I am a lawyer; and
        b. I live 100yrds from the property.

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        • #5
          [QUOTE=dominic;166018]That said, I did it, and have not regretted it one little bit.

          [QUOTE]

          Moi aussi.

          And (as well as being Australian ), I love making order out of chaos and I wield a mean sink plunger. You may find this useful:

          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...archid=1347914
          '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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Shadowcat View Post

            Would it be better getting an agent for the first time just get started and learn the ropes? Any advice is much appreciated!
            Best to use an agent first time. There are a lot of legalities, and a lot of potential pitfalls for the inexperienced LL. Choose a long-established firm which belongs to one of the main agents associations, and one which protects their clients money.

            Reading this forum is a very good way to learn the ropes. Also the Shelter website is an excellent source of information. http://england.shelter.org.uk/

            And if any problems arise, ask immediately on the forum - don't wait till the problem gets worse.

            I wouldn't have the agent collect rent on your behalf - have the T pay you by standing order.

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            • #7
              It depends on the agent. I understand that most are ok during the good times but bad one will be a hindrance if things go wrong.

              Either way insist on seeing the references and credit rating documentation for any tenant introduced by an agent before signing a contract .

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              • #8
                Many thanks for the informative replies... I'm looking forward to becoming more of a regular on here. Would the general advice be to get an agent to set everything up but manage rent collection etc myself? Agents fees of 8% for 'rent collection' do seem a bit steep!?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  At LZ, we see almost every DiY first-time landlord come unstuck. Don't.
                  Rather, at LZ we see DIY first-time landlords who run into problems and post on LZ come unstuck. What we do not know is how many DIY first-time landlords there are out there who have not come unstuck. If this forum is anything to go by any sensible person would avoid letting agents, but there must be some out there doing a good job and who do not rip off landlords and tenants.

                  Letting property is a business. Like any other business it pays to have some knowledge of it before you go into it. Unfortunately there are no apprenticeships. If you want to go it alone you need to read extensively. Books are on the whole more reliable than anything you can get on line (apart from this forum naturally) since publishers usually check the credentials of their authors. I have seen much on line on sites that one thinks one ought to be able to trust that have had me take to a darkened room to recover my equilibrium.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Shadowcat View Post
                    Agents fees of 8% for 'rent collection' do seem a bit steep!?
                    Actually that doesn't seem unusual. Indeed it seems cheaper than some quotes I have had - I think the most was 15% for management. I always stick to the tenant find only service when in the country. I personally don't find much use for agents after this point - they only tend to pass on the problems to you and keep hold of the money longer than they should. That said, I may have been unlucky.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                      At LZ, we see almost every DiY first-time landlord come unstuck. Don't.
                      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                      Rather, at LZ we see DIY first-time landlords who run into problems and post on LZ come unstuck. What we do not know is how many DIY first-time landlords there are out there who have not come unstuck. If this forum is anything to go by any sensible person would avoid letting agents, but there must be some out there doing a good job and who do not rip off landlords and tenants.
                      OK. Let's reword it as "At LZ, almost every DiY first-time landlord from whom we see posts has come unstuck. Don't."
                      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).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        OK. Let's reword it as "At LZ, almost every DiY first-time landlord from whom we see posts has come unstuck. Don't."
                        No, let's not. What a dreadful mangling of syntax and sense that would represent.
                        '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

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Shadowcat View Post
                          Would it be better getting an agent for the first time just get started and learn the ropes? Any advice is much appreciated!
                          Answer really depends on the type of person LL is. It helps if you are interested in property and have a hands-on approach. Whilst there may be some first time LL's who have come unstuck who post on LLZ, conversely there are many who:
                          • Have taken the time to educate themselves in housing law and regulations, e.g. regarding LL's and T's obligations.
                          • Aren't afraid to get stuck into property maintenance (or find reliable tradespeople who can)

                          Problem with an agent is getting the right one (even with long established national chains, there is no guarantee).
                          The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

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                          • #14
                            I'm happy to get stuck in and do have an interest in this.. I'm leaning towards getting an agent for my first time as it will (hopefully) allow me to learn things with a 'guiding hand'....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think if you are the right kind of person go it alone. Agents take commission but if there are problems (tenants who dont pay) wash their hands of you! All the costs of court action etc are down to you anyway. Take full references and do credit checks and spend hours on here would be my advice. You may wish to use an agent to find tenants but I did and it was a total and utter disaster!
                              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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