Letting direct (not via agent)- guidelienes/help, please

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  • Letting direct (not via agent)- guidelienes/help, please

    I have a flat to let in SW London and have previously used an estate agent to find tenants. I am now considering reletting the flat privately as I don't want to pay the agency fees, 10% for every year the tenant stays seems excessive and not worth it.

    I'm not sure what the best way is to find the new tenants, eg how to get onto the best websites. All the big sites seem to be estate agents only.

    Does anyone have any ideas of how to go about it.

    Or, does anyone think using agents is a good idea even with the fees.

    Thanks for your help

  • #2
    Look at my signature, it's a free website for posting flats to let for free. Just take a look and see what you can get...

    Hugs and good luck,

    Ryan
    OutRentHome.com the Home You Want, the People You Want

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by isabelsutherland@hotmail. View Post
      10% for every year the tenant stays seems excessive and not worth it.

      Does anyone have any ideas of how to go about it.
      Yes it looks like Agents do nothing. because good Agents behind the scenes do it all with out you knowing.

      So your stuck on Advertising, well you can give free sites a miss they dont generally work, there is only one site that everybody looks at and thats rightmove which costs a couple of hundred a month , or advertising in or Local press-the only problem there is costs and much higher percentage of no shows after driving to the property, don't forget your keys, referancing data sheet, receipt pad (who knows you may get lucky), I do know that a lot of iffy tenants will go with private Landlords on the basis they won't/can't referance people like Agents can, also human nature says that driving across London (ok Ken taking that bus) is stressful so you are going to give in easier to the bartering on the doorstep routine or the "I just came back from abroad" referancing dodging story abit more,, anyway eventually after a few journeys/parking tickets you find the person, you will need a holding deposit, most people do not carry a couple of hundred quid/or you may not carry a card machine on you so it's drive them to the ATM or wait for that promised cheque in the post-(you could be back to square one if it dosn't turn up) then referancing, this is a must.

      then, drawing up a tenancy agreement
      arranging a inventory
      taking the initial money and so on

      good luck !!!! but remember my golden rule
      "Better an empty property than a tenant without a guarantor"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rinomanfroni View Post
        it's a free website for posting flats to let for free.
        What if she doesn't want to let her flat for free?

        Peter

        Comment


        • #5
          What's wrong with Gumtree.com? I've found 3 tenants using this site. It's not perfect but it's the closest that London has to craigslist (a highly successful American website)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
            What if she doesn't want to let her flat for free?

            Peter
            No, I didn't mean that, I'm sorry. I mean it is possible to make a free profile and be contacted FOR free through instant messages. There is the option to pay for a membership only if users want to receive instant messages reading notifications, or they want to upload 10 pictures instead of just 3, or if they want to see other users' email address and phone number, or if they want to post up to 30 ads with the same user name. The maximum cost is 49pounds for one year.

            All the rest is just free.

            Take care!

            Ryan
            OutRentHome.com the Home You Want, the People You Want

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rinomanfroni View Post
              No, I didn't mean that, I'm sorry.
              Oh, silly me

              Peter

              Comment


              • #8
                There are lots of free online sites but usually find Gumtree gives best response. Also usually get a lot of replies from LOOT ads which are not too expensive but beware of all those agents who can "get a higher rent therefore cover their fees" without even seeing the property.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
                  What if she doesn't want to let her flat for free?

                  Peter


                  I agree with Sportingdad though, a good agent is definitely worth their fees. As he said, if you had any idea of just how many "behind the scenes" stuff we do without worrying our Landlords, then you would definitely agree!

                  Good Luck!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rinomanfroni View Post
                    The maximum cost is 49pounds for one year.
                    I don't think I'll be availing myself of the service as AFAICS you only seem to have signed up one prospective tenant so far. And unfortunately he's several hundred miles from my nearest property.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wouldnt bother with letting agents as they don't anything you couldnt do yourself with a bit of time and effort.
                      I initially marketed my flat through agents but they brought me some terrible potential tenants, some of whom clearly couldnt even afford the rent! I also stressed that I wanted professional tenants but they didnt seem to understand the meaning of the word 'professional'.
                      All they are interested in is their commission which is paid upfront so they couldnt care less if you get bad tenants and I doubt if they even bother with proper reference checks.What also annoyed me were the exorbitant renewal fees for which they do nothing more than reprint the tenancy agreement.
                      I would use Gumtree because thats where I found my tenants.Its true that you have to do the legwork yourself but I must say that it gave me peace of mind knowing that I had checked everything out personally.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Madison View Post
                        I also stressed that I wanted professional tenants but they didnt seem to understand the meaning of the word 'professional'.
                        Sorry to hijack the thread, but a professional is someone who does something for a living, I think. So does asking for professionals just mean you only want people who work?

                        What about professional scroungers, there are a few of them around

                        Peter

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not all agents ask for renewal fees. We charge 10% of the first 6 months and that it. We may hold and protect the deposit as well and get a couple of quid in interest and give any advice if there is a dispute when the tenant moves out.

                          You need to check out other agents

                          But now you have got me thinking Renewal Fee's mmmmmmmmmmmm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Madison View Post
                            I also stressed that I wanted professional tenants but they didnt seem to understand the meaning of the word 'professional'.
                            Well what do you understand by it? It's a pretty archaic term these days IMHO - in days of yore it normally meant a doctor, lawyer or teacher or something like that; then it became 'white-collar', as in, someone working in an office; many would argue it's someone with any training, so that includes tradesmen... etc etc etc

                            I think you'll find if you talk to insurance companies about insuring rented properties, what they want to know is whether your tenant is working or not working - they don't use the highly misleading and confusing term 'professional'.

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                            • #15
                              The fee seems excessive until you appreciate how much filtering out of unsuitable applicants that good letting agents undertake and how bad tenants target private landlords hoping that their tenant screening process is poor. The time-wasters will get to you.

                              My initial experience of advertising in Loot and Gumtree as a novice landlord resulted in 90% of calls being made by agents who lazily use the listings to get properties on their books.

                              The remaining 10% were from tenants who didn't meet the basic criteria specified in the advert, couldn't afford it or lost interest when they found out I would be undertaking full checks and required a deposit.

                              My advice, suggested by previous posters, is that you become aware that you will be targeted by unreliable tenants seeking a soft touch.

                              A book like Letting for Dummies will give you advice how to market the property, identify suitable tenants (i.e. produce a list of questions when tenants call) and give you information on the tenant verification process you should undertake as a key step.

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