Property letting

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    Property letting

    Hi,

    First of all, very informative and interesting website, I must say.

    Big hello to a possible new landlord in Staffordshire

    I have had a good dig around the forum for quite a while, and to be honest, i'm hoping that one or two may be able to answer my questions.

    I am in the process of hopefully buying a property directly across the road from me. This is for myself, wife and little un to live in as its bigger than our property.

    The upside for us is that I have paid the mortgage off on our property which hopefully puts us in a good position, and want to rent my property out.
    My questions are - do i use one of our local reputible estage letting agents to run it for me, so they are in full control of the tennants and property etc?

    Whats a fair monthly fee for them to quote me, as i havent approached anyone yet, or is this something i am best taking control of myself and do it privately?

    Hope these are viable questions

    Cheers,

    Andy

    #2
    Letting agents can charge anything from 8-15% commission - last time I used one it was 10% of the monthly rent (+VAT of course). They may also charge you an initial fee for drawing up the first contract, and try to charge you for annual renewals (totally unnecessary as there is no need to renew a tenancy EVER if tenants want to stay on).

    Even if you do choose to use an agent, there is a lot to learn and you need to be up to speed with the legal side - agents can make mistakes, and even if you use a good one, should you ever need to evict a tenant through a court order, agents cannot represent you at court - you need to do that yourself or employ a solicitor.

    There is a good thread on another site I use that covers a lot of the basic LL legal obligations and requirements. Read this:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...2&postcount=12

    and all the links it contains. You also need to delcare you income for tax - no need for an accountant for one property as its fairly straight forward.

    If you do choose to use an agent, choose wisely, as there is no minimum qualification or experience required to become one. You could set yourself up as Andy's lettings tomorrow!

    Comment


      #3
      Many thanks for the prompt reply. I certainly wasnt aware of the lack of qualifications required to set up a letting agency. There is numerious ones that keep coming up around staffordshire, so will have to choose wisely. Thanks for the advice

      Comment


        #4
        Based on the experience I had with agents and this forum, I would be really careful about the termination clauses of their contracts. Some of them are impossible to get rid of and require extortionate compensations. They get away with it as nobody thinks of the divorce on the wedding day

        I would also ask them for their standard AST agreement and fees they charge their tenants. You dont want to lose good tenants because of the treatment and charges they receive from your agents. The agents my LL uses charge £200 for a renewal and ask the tenant to give notice to leave if they dont want to renew. LL gets a low monthly fee but he is asked to pay £300 every 6 months for new tenants.
        All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by MSaxp View Post
          Based on the experience I had with agents and this forum, I would be really careful about the termination clauses of their contracts. Some of them are impossible to get rid of and require extortionate compensations. They get away with it as nobody thinks of the divorce on the wedding day.
          You will find that the OFT are against unreasonable terms and you cannot get tied-in to an agent for a long period. The OFT intimated to NFOPP some years ago that members should not try and tie-in a client for more than 3 months at the very most as they would consider that to be 'unfair', and as a result NFOPP advised 1 to 2 months as being much more reasonable. Agents also cannot make "extortionate" charges as that again is contrary to 'equity and fair dealing', and should be vigorously challenged.

          Agents terms are often unclear to a client so that would always go in the client's favour as the supplier of any contract has a duty of care to make sure terms are unequivocally clear and in plain English.

          I'm not saying you can just walk away from a contract because you can't, but it is worth letting an agent take you to court if such charges try to tie you in well beyond the date at which the agency terms are cancelled.
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

          Comment


            #6
            I think you would be happier challenging such terms from the start cause i doubt most people want to go to court against a letting agent, even if they are in the right. Quite a few LLs are intimidated even though the advice is on their side.
            All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MSaxp View Post
              I think you would be happier challenging such terms from the start cause i doubt most people want to go to court against a letting agent, even if they are in the right. Quite a few LLs are intimidated even though the advice is on their side.
              Can't argue with that sentiment!
              The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

              Comment

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