Experience of on-line letting

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    I'm going for it. Tenancy will start on the 20th if nothing goes wrong, which it can, so I'm not counting my chickens or bringing down the advert(s).

    Could be an interesting experience if nothing else.

    Sheffield Rovers, ey? Bags of money.


      Will repeat that the Tenant is not a footballer, but a Director. I did ask if it would be a single Tenant, I was told it would be. I hope it's true, we'll see.


        The football club has passed referencing.

        It looks like this is going ahead.

        However, having used Agents (3 different ones over my time) for Tenant Find in the past, this Agent is behaving differently to others. Whereas in the past I have paid the Agent for their service direct, this Agent wants to take their Tenant Find fee out of the first month rent, then tell the Tenant that they should pay me direct from that first payment on. This is actually no real issue to me - but there is an issue of timing.

        This means, even if the Tenant pays the Agent today... the Agent says that I would not actually receive funds (rent minus their Tenant Find fee) and the deposit until about 7 days after the tenancy starts!!!

        This is not how I would usually operate, not at all.

        Landlording lesson 102(!) says - "always have cleared funds in your own account before you sign the agreement and hand over keys", doesn't it? The Agent assures me that they would never proceed with a tenancy before they had cleared funds, but that does not reassure me one bit.

        Not at all.

        So I've asked if I can pay them the Tenant Find fee direct and they simplify things by just giving the Tenant one bank account - mine. I bet they say "no" as their process won't allow it.

        But I am not eager to meet a Tenant on Friday when I do not have any money in my account and I do not have the money safely stored with the DPS - with a DPS Deposit ID to put into documentation - as I usually hand over the Ts&Cs and get the PI signed on the same day that the tenancy starts.

        Should I be overly concerned?


          If you're renting to a company, it's not an AST, so there's no issue with protecting the deposit (you can, but you don't have to).
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


            Crikey. I wasn't even aware of that. Obviously I'm not on the ball here with this stuff. Anyway, I will protect it, best thing to do, I think?

            The Agent has now said that the Tenant can transfer the rent and deposit directly to me... and I can pay them. Panic over. It's just a matter of when...

            From having zero interest for a while, I now have another viewing booked in for this afternoon with 2 Saudi students with sponsorship letters. I will go in for that viewing, just in case. None of these viewings came directly from the uPad channel... which is a shame.


              I would insist the football club pay you direct from day one - and you in turn will pay the agency after you have received your money and their invoice.

              Edit: I didn't see the latest update before I posted this one. Glad it's all working out.


                Thank you. I concur 100%. And they appear to be OK with it, actually. Which is nice...


                  There are a lot of differences to what you'll be used to.
                  No s21 process, different occupants without notice.
                  Different type of tenancy agreement.

                  Your tenancy agreement needs to be clear that they can't carry out business from the property.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).



                    What about notice to Hippogriff? Do they have to give a minimum notice period of say 1 month and do they have to allow viewings for replacement tenants in their last month?


                      I think pretty much everything is governed by the tenancy agreement; most of the legislation I'm used to dealing with doesn't apply.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


                        I'd have a really good look at the Agreement to make sure everything is covered before getting the new tenants signatures. Hippogriff, I wouldn't rely on the letting agency getting everything right. Just my opinion though - good luck :-)


                          Hokay, the money is in my account and I'll do handover / check-in later today. The start of something a little bit different. My Tenant is apparently a billionaire (not sure in what currency), so maybe he'll buy it off me if he likes it. Muhahaha!

                          The uPad experience has not been that great. More approaches from other Agents then prospective Tenants. While it may have been ambitiously priced, it was evidently not too high, as it has been successfully let. I love the uPad system, but you have to pay upfront for an uncertain outcome. What had happened with the Agents (3) is that they've all agreed to no fee if no Tenant is found, so the precedent has been set, I'd say.

                          They do keep in close touch with you, which is good, but they can only really suggest you make changes to the advert or juggle the photos around if it isn't moving sharpish. They can tell you how many times it's appeared in searches and how many times it's been clicked through to.

                          All said and done, although it sticks in my craw, I might have to admit the brave new world of me taking complete control is not yet ready. This is, obviously, just my single experience and I have the townhouse coming ready soon... I'll have to think long and hard about what I do then.


                            I've used Upad for the past two years. The last time the flat was let within three days.

                            I think it may have to do with whether your target tenant/tenant's rep is willing to look online rather than just ring up local agents and register their interest. Which in London can cost a bit.

                            In fact, the high street letting agents' fees here are getting ridiculous, so tenants appear to be going to online ones much more frequently.


                              I'm a bit surprised with that Hippo.

                              I'm not anti letting agent, I think they fulfil a valuable role for many landlords but I thought this would have been be right up your Bramall Lane and would have given good odds that you would beat a letting agent hands down.

                              All I can guess is the high street agent got lucky. The tenant had to have the veneer of respectability of a well known letting agent, wanted that flat right now and didn't care if they were paying a few hundred quid over the odds for it (I still maintain it was overpriced as a normal let).

                              Whatever the reason, you made the right call. Well done.


                                A single experience will not make me decide for good... but - right now - I seem to be at a point where I can have Agents doing a Tenant Find service for me and not charging me anything up front... which is obviously the opposite of uPad.

                                Previously, I would not have envisaged this... as I'd been paying Agents up front for their Tenant Find service. When they got in touch recently and found out I was marketing myself via uPad not one (out of 3) tried to force me to pay Tenant Find fees up front.

                                If presented with options:

                                1) uPad, fees up front, I write my own advert, I take my own photos, I make the initial contact etc.
                                2) Agent, fees after Tenant Find, I let them take photos and write an advert and receive initial contact etc.

                                It seems a no-brainer... they're both up there on RightMove, Zoopla etc..

                                I thought uPad would be so much better that it would change my thinking forever. I liked the control, I liked the contact from uPad, I liked the cheap price. I am not solidifying my thinking from this single experience, I agree the Agent could just have got lucky, but it [the uPad end-to-end experience] wasn't the mind-blowing sea-change I thought it might have been.

                                More on this, maybe... but probably not in this thread.


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