Finding Tenants Without Letting Agents Does Work!

For a while now, I’ve put the idea out there that landlords can avoid letting agent fees by finding tenants for themselves. It’s a great way to save A LOT of money, and it’s generally a great way to capture landlording/business/people experience. I’ve avoided letting agents for the past few years, primarily because of how powerful the internet has become as a marketing tool. I do 99% of my marketing online using various websites which I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts. I’ve literally saved thousands by doing so.

I like to believe that if more landlords are made aware of how it can be done, then there’s likelihood that a lot more landlords will successfully recruit tenants themselves.

While I personally love being able to cut out the middle man (letting agent), nothing literally makes me happier than knowing that someone else managed to do the same after taking away something positive from my experiences. That’s genuinely the core of why I’ve kept this blog going- I want people to learn from my mistakes and experiences. Actually, not just learn from MY own mistakes and experiences- but from all the other contributors to my blog as well. Over the years I’ve had thousands of people leave comments, consisting of so many great tips and answers to questions that I never would have known otherwise. The comments have come from all sorts of people, not just landlords, but tenants, letting agents, estate agents and people with a general interest in the property sector. So many people have learned from those comments (especially me). It’s just fucking awesome when a community with a common interest helps one another.

This comment was left in the property forum earlier tonight:

Hi all,

Thought I’d share my recent experiences with you. I’m a long time lurker on this site, though I occasionally post in the blog comments. Great site by the way, it’s really helped!

So, we’ve had a bit of a nightmare getting our first tenants in, we’ve had a few people agree, sign an application form, then pull out at the last minute, or withhold information meaning we had to cancel (like, they’re claiming HB). We’ve even been threatened with legal action after refusing to return someone’s holding deposit after they pulled out, despite both us and them having a receipt signed by both parties which clearly states that the deposit isn’t refundable if they pull out!

Anyway, so it’s getting a bit tricky now and we really had to get someone in, so we decided to pull out all the stops…and hire an agent as well. We went with quite a reputable one, and they were charging one month’s rent + VAT for finding us a tenant. One bonus was that there’d be no re-let fee, so it was just a one off payment. It’s still pretty expensive for simply placing an ad and finding us a tenant. So we went for it, and gave them a set of keys and some pictures of the property (I don’t trust agents to take their own pictures any more!!).

Meanwhile, we set about trying our own luck. We decided not to simply stick with the free sites (Gumtree, houseladder, etc), and we went through Let Match (as recommended on this site) and they put an ad on Rightmove for us for around £30.

It appeared both us and the agents were getting a bit of interest so I thought it might be a dead heat, but I wasn’t convinced that the agent really did have all the interest he said he did. He knew we were trying to do it ourselves at the same time, so I couldn’t help but wonder whether he was telling us he had loads of interest to try and get us to slow down.

Anyway, so we had quite a bit of interest ourselves and hosted several viewings and eventually took a healthy holding deposit after confirming interest with a tenant. Just as we did, the agency rang up to say that he had someone who might be interested (if we lower the rent). Obviously we said no.

Anyway, I’m sorry I’m not a more interesting writer, but I did want to share with you all my experiences of trying to get a tenant in before the agent could, thus avoiding having to pay any agency fees. It’s a nice story, and I got a lot of help from this site, so thanks!

What a wicked story (and well written). I’m extremely thankful that this landlord shared his/her success story. Credit where credit is due, finding your own tenants as a newbie landlord is admirable. I certainly could never have done that.

I wish this landlord the best of luck.

Resources:

How Landlords Can Advertise And Find Tenants On Popular Websites Like Rightmove
Finding Tenants Without A Letting Agent- A Live Experiment (Part 1)

UPDATE: I’ve recently written an eBook, “Death of the Agent“, it’s a comprehensive guide on how to find tenants without employing the use of a letting agent and their fees.

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7 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Steve 30th March, 2009 @ 16:05

Adding my recommendations also for Let Match - I had it on gumtree and received the usual dross. Within a week of using Let Match I had two perfect coupls view, one of which moved in within two weeks of viewing.

A happy client!

1
Guest Avatar
graham 2nd April, 2009 @ 09:28

I got my tenant through an ad on a notice board at work. No letting agent required.

However he just text me yesterday to say he's moving so now im back to the tenant hunt again!

Anyone want to rent a 3-bed maisonette in gosport?? :-)

2
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 2nd April, 2009 @ 09:35

Yeah, local notice boards are always a good idea. I used to put ads up in my local supermarkets (tescos, sainsburys..etc), but the quality of prospective tenants were pretty poor. Ha!

But still a good method to generate enquiries, no doubt.

3
Guest Avatar
Tazeem Siade 22nd August, 2010 @ 10:06

Hi Great informative blog. I have used an agent and received poor service. Decided to market my self. Signed up to Letmatch but have not done property profile. Came across blog by chance and thought it was both interesting and aspiring, just what i needed. Always wanted to know how to advertise on Right move and now you guys have given me the "how" thanks. I am sure there are more professional landlords out there, who would love to know this kind of information. Thanks again.

4
Guest Avatar
stacy 6th October, 2010 @ 19:20

hi if by any chance the maisonette becomes back available i would love to hear from you, on stacy3787@hotmail.co.uk. Thanks

5
Guest Avatar
Sharon 18th April, 2014 @ 13:42

Hi,

I want to move out of my 3 bedroom house in Huddersfield but don't want to sell, I am thinking of renting it out to students but have no experience of renting out property. I don't want to use an agency either, any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance

6
Guest Avatar
credit check 29th May, 2014 @ 23:23

What is the best way to preform tenant screening and tenant background checks?

7

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