Who's a Letting Agent on this Forum?

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  • veryartysteve
    replied
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    Don't get excited...and please don't flatter yourself that you made a powerful and important impression (sadly, you didn't. All this stuff has been chewed over before, many times, and there will never be general agreement on it). Your comments didn't really strike at the heart of anything They seem to have made a "powerful and important impression" upon you as your long replies would seem to evidence and I don't expect mine did either. To be honest, I couldn't care less about letting agents so why bother doing such a long critique of my post if you are not exercised by the subject , since I don't use them. I was just being devil's advocate, really; my observations were based partly on the experiences of my student children and my friends who have had to deal with them, and partly on the laments which flood onto this forum on a daily basis about the incompetence and stupidity of some LAs. I accept that some LAs are perfectly competent, it's just that they seem to be in a minority. It's always good to see the world through the eyes of a different species, though.No, logically, if you are on the LLs 'side' (as I suppose I am), then you are no more or less neutral than someone who takes the LA's 'side' But I am not the ones claiming to be neutral - you are Correct, but both would be LESS neutral than someone who took neither side, which is my position (I am not an LA nor a LL) and that is why I AM neutral despite protests there may be to the contrary :-)
    MTG, I don't think I need to flatter myself, the high quality of your replies have flattered me enough already :-)

    Leave a comment:


  • Snorkerz
    replied
    Originally posted by Xtacy4U View Post
    Hi all,

    Just a quick question, who's a Letting Agent on this forum?
    Bet you're glad you asked now aren't you? Pistols at Dawn between MTG & VeryArtySteve!

    Originally posted by Poppy35 View Post
    Im one and proud of it! (dont keel over in shock now!!).

    Being doing my job for a long time now, relish the challanges (good and bad), its a steep learning curve.

    Not all LA are crap , the same as not all solicitors, estate agents, teachers are bad....
    Now the good LAs don't mind admiting it - after all, a quick review of Poppy35s posts will show the kind of person she is and what her business ethics are!

    Leave a comment:


  • jeffrey
    replied
    Originally posted by johnboy View Post
    premium rate numbers (0870).
    No. 0870 is not a premium rate code. Only those beginning 09 (used to be 0898) are.
    0870 is a national call rate code applying no matter where the caller is in relation to the callee (?)
    Problem: some telecom providers offer lower-than-national rates (or even free service) for some/all calls- so such a caller overpays if using 0870.

    Refer to the 'saynoto0870' website: http://www.saynoto0870.com

    Leave a comment:


  • NoMoreFaith
    replied
    I think its fair to say mind, that you aren't ever going to see a post on this forum about landlords or agents who are doing things really well, and are fantastic.

    Judging any professionals ability (LL or LA) based on forums is innately flawed in that almost always only ever see the worst side of things, not the positive.

    Leave a comment:


  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    MTG,

    Your replies made me smile, I thank you deeply. The very fact that you took so much time and trouble to respond means that you must feel deeply about them, which is good, its shows that my comments did strike at the heart of the matter, which is what they were designed to do.
    Don't get excited...and please don't flatter yourself that you made a powerful and important impression (sadly, you didn't. All this stuff has been chewed over before, many times, and there will never be general agreement on it). Your comments didn't really strike at the heart of anything and I don't expect mine did either. To be honest, I couldn't care less about letting agents, since I don't use them. I was just being devil's advocate, really; my observations were based partly on the experiences of my student children and my friends who have had to deal with them, and partly on the laments which flood onto this forum on a daily basis about the incompetence and stupidity of some LAs. I accept that some LAs are perfectly competent, it's just that they seem to be in a minority. It's always good to see the world through the eyes of a different species, though.
    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    Also, by your logic it would seem that "if I take the LL side I am neutral, but if I do not then I am biased", that is SO FUNNY - LOL
    No, logically, if you are on the LLs 'side' (as I suppose I am), then you are no more or less neutral than someone who takes the LA's 'side' But I am not the ones claiming to be neutral - you are

    Leave a comment:


  • veryartysteve
    replied
    Originally posted by Telometer View Post
    So by your own admission, you were trying to be controversial. Strange idea of neutrality it is that you have.

    We never heard back from you on your very interesting ideas about CGT, by the way.
    No, they were designed to touch on the heart of the matter. Controversy does not negate neutrality. A neutral party may well say something which causes controversy in his audience, but that statement does not make him biased. If it did no judge could ever give any sort of ruling.

    On the CGT....as far as I remember I think the poster needed specific advice (from someone with a full set of figures in front of them) as he was non resident, had an interest only mortgage, and was making a loss on the rental income. :-)

    Leave a comment:


  • NoMoreFaith
    replied
    Originally posted by Telometer View Post
    It most certainly would. If the employee does not last 6 months, for whatever reason, then the fee is refunded. Within the first 6 months, the employee may easily be dismissed for being a nightmare.
    I stand corrected on this point as it has not been my experience this is so, but my experience with employment agencies is much more limited, so I assume you are correct in this.

    However, if the references are thorough, and accepted, it seems a little unfair to blame the agent for subsequent changes in behaviour.
    Occasionally(see how careful I am with the wording lol) it is the LL's behaviour (as you say, some excellent some abysmal) which causes the tenant to become a nightmare.

    Again, I would reiterate, if the referencing isn't done properly, or the guarantor protection if required, isn't correctly drawn up, then an agent should be morally obligated to repay the fee.

    Leave a comment:


  • joshdhaliwal
    replied
    My experiece of Letting Agents

    Hi guys,

    Whilst we're on the subject of Letting Agents let me share just some recent experiences. I don't have an issue with LA or EA in fact they can be your best friends.

    I recently had my tenants leave a West London property and with 1 months notice in course I placed an ad on Gumtree. I got calls from half a dozen LA interested in viewing and listing the property. Desirable location, off street parking, onsite gym with pool, 3 mins from tube, reasonable rent etc.

    3 weeks before the current tenants were due to leave I organised a day to which I invited them all and some other local LA/EA to photograph, value and add to their listings.

    And then nothing.

    I got a phone call 2 months later from one asking if it was still on the market? Fortunately for me I found a suitable tenant through Gumtree who moved with a weeks void.

    A similar story on the South Coast where I picked up the keys for a new rental property put it on Gumtree. Ad picked up by 2 prominent local LA, keys arranged and again no activity, no viewings, no listing on their website despite promises of a long list of prospects. Fortunately for me again, Gumtree continues to deliver and I finish the work on that flat today and the new tenants move in tomorrow.

    Are these 2 isolated examples? For me with the dozen or so LA I dealt with on these 2 properties there seemed to be a lack of understanding of the landlords need to fill the vacant property asap.

    Thoughts and comments welcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • Telometer
    replied
    Originally posted by NoMoreFaith View Post
    Would an employment agency refund a company if the employee turned out to be a nightmare? Of course not.
    It most certainly would. If the employee does not last 6 months, for whatever reason, then the fee is refunded. Within the first 6 months, the employee may easily be dismissed for being a nightmare.

    Whereas with a tenant, you are stuck with him for a minimum of 6 months - and more likely longer than that even if he never pays a penny of rent after the first month.


    Without doubt, there are excellent LAs, and abysmal ones.

    Leave a comment:


  • NoMoreFaith
    replied
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    You are clearly not neutral...and your evidence for all your sweeping generalisations is...?
    Blimey mindthegap.. you must have had some bad experiences.

    I work for a letting agency and I'm also a tenant, and I think that people really need to realise, that just like landlords, as with lettings agents, the few bad ones give the rest a bad name.

    I'm also a very nice person with a strong moral code.. believe it or not, although I have to say, your post had more sweeping generalisations that the post it was replying to. I'm not sure there was any need for it.

    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    for a simple introduction, I do not think it would be unreasonable for that sum to be refunded if the T turns out to be a nightmare.
    Would an employment agency refund a company if the employee turned out to be a nightmare? Of course not.

    If an agency does landlord and employment references which are acceptable to the landlord at the start of the tenancy, I struggle to see in what world you live in that the agency remains responsible for any subsequent changes in the tenants behaviour.
    However, if the LA hasn't vetted the tenant, or correctly signed up the guarantor as you said, then I would agree completely.

    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    If the LA did write to the LL for permission to carry out expensive repairs, then clearly the LL should respond. In the case of minor repairs, isn't that what the agent is paid to organise anyway? However, it would appear that some agents do not persist in trying to contact the LL if their first attempt fails. It's sloppy business practice, really.
    So if the landlord doesn't respond to the email, telephone calls and letters.. its still the agents fault.. I guess we have to start visiting the landlord at his home and bang on his door until he gives us the authority to go ahead.
    The LL should respond, but I suspect you'd be surprised by how often it goes ignored.
    Even if the agent goes ahead with minor work under their delegated authority limit for costs, we do, and will get lambasted for doing so. Sadly, if the work isn't "essential" or "legally obligated".. many landlords get very shirty if work is conducted without their say so, hence why agents tend to end up with a tiptoe approach, even to minor repairs.

    I would be interested to hear of anyone who has experienced this amazing service since the complete opposite usually seems to be the case. LLs are often ripped off unless they organise the repairs themselves as LAs charge commission on organising tradesmen.
    As a general rule, the LA will be using "approved" contractors, who have valid public liability insurance. Its possible we may be able to source "Bob" who can do it for "a tenner guv".. but it wouldn't be prudent to do so.

    Not necessarily demonic. This has been debated to death already; perhaps 'unrealistic' or 'greedy' would be better descriptors.
    Sweeping generalisations. I'm sure many LA's would describe the majority of LL's in EXACTLY the same way. But as you say, debated to death already.

    Not mentally, so much as professionally deficient!
    Because we don't have degrees in human psychology, macro economics and structural engineering ???? This is a bit harsh don't you think?
    Although I would agree the LA, should have a firm grasp on the law, which isn't always the case.

    I do not think most LLs expect that. In fact the reason they stick with 'find only' is because they don't trust an agent to manage their property.
    All I can say is that you would be very very surprised at the amount of indignation we receive because a LL wants extra services without paying for them.

    --------

    Regardless of the waffle, and point-counterpoint type posts I'd like to give a bit of background before you lay into me.

    LA's complaints about LL's generally won't apply to landlords using this site, or giving advice on it, since by definition, they want to do things correctly.

    Sadly, just as with LA's, many LL's don't do things correctly, and the LA's usually ends up in the firing line. We work for LL's, LL's are our client, not the tenant, nor anyone else. When things go wrong, it because we are acting on the landlords instructions.

    Before you start on me, of course the LA does things without taking LL instruction as well, sometimes rightly, mostly wrongly. But the sweeping hatred and generalisations on LA's is frankly shameful. Most of us are people too, doing the best we can with imperfect people (on both sides and including ourselves) and situations.

    In short, sometimes its our fault, sometimes its the LL's fault, sometimes thats just life. But as mind the gap says, greed and unrealistic expectation isn't just a trait of some agents, its also the domain of some landlords.

    But seeing as we are posting help to people together, lets just get along

    Leave a comment:


  • Telometer
    replied
    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    MTG,

    its shows that my comments did strike at the heart of the matter, which is what they were designed to do.
    So by your own admission, you were trying to be controversial. Strange idea of neutrality it is that you have.

    We never heard back from you on your very interesting ideas about CGT, by the way.

    Leave a comment:


  • veryartysteve
    replied
    MTG,

    Your replies made me smile, I thank you deeply. The very fact that you took so much time and trouble to respond means that you must feel deeply about them, which is good, its shows that my comments did strike at the heart of the matter, which is what they were designed to do.

    Also, by your logic it would seem that "if I take the LL side I am neutral, but if I do not then I am biased", that is SO FUNNY - LOL

    Leave a comment:


  • Xtacy4U
    replied
    Letting Agents are boss la'

    Leave a comment:


  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    It seems to me that LA can become easy scapegoat. The general rules are.

    a) Bad tenants are always the fault of LA no matter what the circumstances. If the T looses his job half way through the AST that is also the fault of the LA. A property should be left immaculate, if not that is also the LAs fault. Its also the LAs fault if he does not want to sue (on the LL behalf) the T for a stain on a 15yr old carpet..
    Perhaps not, but that is not usually the LL's chief complaint about Ts sourced by LAs. Given that the LA is taking a large sum of money from the LL (i.e. several hundred pounds or more), for a simple introduction, I do not think it would be unreasonable for that sum to be refunded if the T turns out to be a nightmare. It is not unusual for the T to default on rent only, for the LL to discover the LA has not credit-referenced the T or correctly signed up a guarantor when he was being paid to do that.
    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    b) If there are any faults with the property that are not repaired, its the LA's fault, even when the LA wrote to the LL about them..
    If the LA did write to the LL for permission to carry out expensive repairs, then clearly the LL should respond. In the case of minor repairs, isn't that what the agent is paid to organise anyway? However, it would appear that some agents do not persist in trying to contact the LL if their first attempt fails. It's sloppy business practice, really.

    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    c) If anything goes wrong with the property and it is repaired, it the LA's fault, and the the LL feels "ripped off" even if the LA called in a favor to get a superb job at a bargain price..
    I would be interested to hear of anyone who has experienced this amazing service since the complete opposite usually seems to be the case. LLs are often ripped off unless they organise the repairs themselves as LAs charge commission on organising tradesmen.

    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    d) LAs are somehow daemonic for wanting to get paid for the work that they do.
    Not necessarily demonic. This has been debated to death already; perhaps 'unrealistic' or 'greedy' would be better descriptors.


    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    e) LLs are always entitled to stop paying the LA even when the contract LL agreed says that the LA is rightfully entitled to being paid..
    The old issue of continuation fees has also been done to death. Fortunately LLs seem to be asserting themselves a bit more when the contracts are drawn up these days, and refusing to stand for it. There is a clear moral argument for not charging the LL when a T renews, but again, it has been done to death already on this forum.


    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    f) If the LA does not have an intimate and total knowledge of the law, human psychology, macro economics and structural engineering they are in some way mentally deficient.
    Not mentally, so much as professionally deficient!


    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    g) The LAs fee is always too high, even when the LA has achieve a rent which more that compensates for their fee..
    In absolute terms I would probably agree with that bald statement - yes, the LA's fee is often too high relative to what he actually does (which isn't very much, it would appear).


    Originally posted by veryartysteve View Post
    h) When a LL pays for a "find only" service they are actually entitled to a full management service thrown in for free..
    I do not think most LLs expect that. In fact the reason they stick with 'find only' is because they don't trust an agent to manage their property.




    At the moment I am a neutral observer on here, I am just speaking the truth as I see it. LAs do get a bad press, and it is mostly unjustified bad press.[/QUOTE]

    You are clearly not neutral...and your evidence for all your sweeping generalisations is...?

    Leave a comment:


  • veryartysteve
    replied
    Originally posted by tom999 View Post
    Your views in post #10 are still hardly neutral, and are clearly biased towards LA's.
    This may well be in your (and also others) view, but not in fact LOL.

    Leave a comment:

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