There’s No Point Using Letting Agents

Cut The MiddlemanWhen the rental market is booming, why use a letting agent? It makes no sense. They charge extortionate rates for doing very little work. So why not CUT OUT THE MIDDLE MAN?

Currently, there’s been a lot of articles in the news about the serious drought of properties to rent. Supply simply isn’t meeting demand at the moment. When the rental market is in that kind of state it’s good news for landlords because they know they can quickly fill properties with tenants! If you’re a landlord and you’re struggling to find tenants in the middle of a rental frenzy, you either give really bad first impressions, or you’re trying to rent out a piece of shit.

Currently, a lot of people want to rent. Why?

Why renting has become popular

  • properties are too expensive to buy
  • a lot of people are getting their homes repossessed (i.e interest hikes are causing strains)
  • a lot of people are selling their homes as they anticipate a property crash.

Yesterday I encountered my first actual real-life sign of there being literally a shortage of properties to rent. I recieved this letter from a letting agency:

Letter from letting agency

“We are finding that the renting market is currently very buoyant and we would envisage having no problem at all in finding you a suitable tenant”

That’s nice to know, aye?

When I was looking for a tenant, I went to a few agencies; this particular agency happened to be one of them. Unfortunately, I never ended up using them as I got better rates elsewhere.

I guess this agency is sending out letters to every client in their books that aren’t currently housing one of their tenants. There really must be a shortage.

I’m thinking, if demand is that high, why would landlords need to go through agencies? What exactly do letting agencies do?

What letting agents do…

  • They do credit checks (apparently)
  • Arrange the tenancy agreement
  • Depending on the package, they can collect rent for you
  • They do routine checks on your property (apparently)
  • They market your property to find tenants
  • Chase your tenants for late payments

For all that, they take a ridiculous 8-14% cut of your rent.

Here’s a list of alternatives that even Average Joe can do for a fraction of the cost

All that will cost you a fraction of what agents charge, and the work they do really isn’t THAT taxing. I say cut out the middle man, and take advantage of the demand.

Like I said, when the rental market is booming – who needs a letting agent?

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25 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Danny Moore 13th September, 2007 @ 13:02

This is interesting news. My experience confirms this to be the case. The landlord of the house I rent has already had five viewings! And this is before I have even handed the keys back. And there were people leaving notes on the doorstep, too. Funny, though, because I have read too many articles telling you why buy-to-let is no longer good rate of return.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th September, 2007 @ 13:26

Hey Danny,

To be honest, I think the rate of return isn't as great as it once was. That's mainly due to high interest rates. But that unfortunate situation mainly applies to landlords that are just entering the industry at this moment of time.

In my case, I have a property on a decent fixed rate, repayment mortgage- the figures stack up, and I believe i'm getting a good rate of return. My rent covers my mortgage. However, if a landlord is on a 6% interest-only mortgage policy, which is just about covered by rent; the return may not be so great. I think the rate of return depends on the individual circumstance.

But there's definately room for a great return, especially with rental demand being so high.

In the longterm, it's very unlikely a landlord will get a bad return, unless they do something stupid :)

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Matt 4th October, 2008 @ 12:36

Great Blog, I've just about finished reading all of it. I'm a smalltime landlord too, and your experiences mirror mine, almost exactly. I've purchaced in East Central London where I feel my flats will appreciate, and tennants would be easier to find. I'm just scared of investing in the 'country' when I don't know the market and i'd need more properties to achieve the same return. Seems to be coming off well, although I'm only achieving 5% yeild. Hopefully this will improve over time.

I use gumtree everytime now, agents can go swivel as far as I'm concerned, although I have one friendly agent that would give me great rates and manage too. (I'm considering emigrating)

I'm seeing some great buying opportunities at the moment, and debating whether to pick something up cheap. As yeilds increase though price falls, I'm guessing the market will bottom out when people can get 6% - 8% return. Thats going to be much better than holding cash once the gov drops rates to 4.75% or 4.5% shortly.

Matt

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th October, 2008 @ 10:17

Hey Matt,

I've had the same thoughts as you, in regards to investing in unknown areas (the country). I decided just to stick to areas I know because i'd feel more comfortable that way. I'm probably losing out on great opportunities, but I guess that's the decision I made.

There are so many great opportunities about at the moment, with the credit crunch and everything. I'm currently looking around, although I think i'm going to wait a few months because I think as it comes closer to Christmas, they'll be better bargains about. I also think better mortgage deals will eventually come onto the market as the banks start to sort themselves out. At the moment borrowing is expensive!!!

If you buy the right property, which is significantly under market value, there is no reason why you can't reach 8+% yield, which is great! It's a buy-to-let market as far as i'm concerned, especially with the growing demand for rental property!

I eventually want to travel for a year, so I'm going to need a letting agent. If you can get a good agent that doesn't charge an arm and a leg, then that's great!

I wish you the best of luck, and many thanks for sharing your situation!

Kind regards

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T 12th June, 2009 @ 10:31

Really enjoyed reading your blogs about letting on your own. I just got rid of the worst tenant ever (holes in walls, have painted rooms, naked children running round, neighbour arguments etc etc. You get the idea) which was handpicked, for a price, by my local letting agent and "good references" given. So I am just setting out on my lonesome and have put my property on Gumtree so glad that I have picked well :). 10 enquiries already and 4 viewings.

I was wondering however if you had any recommendation of a few credit check agencies that you used? Don't want to get shafted at the last hurdle.

Cheers and many thanks

T

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paul hill 12th August, 2009 @ 00:56

“Apart from ripping off perspective tenets’ I see it they were also ripping of the land lord”

A word on some sharp practices by letting agents, I have just viewed a 2 bed detached let today, surprised to find I was not the only hopefully who had asked to turn up at this time, in fact within the half hour I was their 4 families and two other couples were all viewing the property. , ,

The letting agents A Manchester based and well known Chartered Valuation and Estate letting agents seemed more interested in gaining non refundable application fees then individual customer service going off the box full of forms he had at his feet! ( £150 Joint £100 single ) .

I asked the agent if they could justify this charge and what guarantee I had that any applications would be processed fairly, He went on to explain that the fee covered finders fees transfer of utilities and admin of credit search and all applications will be given every opportunity,

But I found You I said and I am quit capable of transferring my own utilities in fact I would not allow any body ells’ to handle this, I can read a meter So how do you handle the application fairly I asked, when do you stop taking applications I asked, if there is a large demand seems a bit of a cash cow!!

" Yer he laughed but what you going to do, if you credits good you have as much chance as everyone "

Apart from ripping off perspective tenets’ I see it they were also ripping of the land lord in this case the rentable value was at least £50 to £80 below what I would have expected this 2 bedroom detached to be in south Manchester £495 set to show up on a £400 to £500 pcm web search, at this level going off what I saw they would make a few grand on non refundable apps rather then get the best price for the property,

I would also be very surprised if they checked every app, at the commercial rate for standard credit check £19.50 for 5 applications this is properly as far as they go .

I left this property and voted with my feet I have no interest in joining a lottery and receiving such patronizing service, I am still looking but via the papers I have great references from my employer my bank and past land lords all off whom have been on first name bases, I don’t know why the rental sector is allowing the agents to worm themselves into a nice little earner and rip off everyone.

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Kate 16th April, 2010 @ 11:21

Please can I have some advice? I currently let my property through an agent who do nothing but transfer monthly rent and take their cut. I sort out and manage the property- they haven't even inspected it as they agreed. My agreement says that I have to use them whilst the current tenants occupy the property, but since I have refused to sign another 12 month agreement the letting agency has threatened me with legal action. Should I just start my own legal proceedings?

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Jools 17th April, 2010 @ 08:19

Kate,

who is the client here? Go get you biggest pair of bollocks on and go and tell them to f*** off! How can they threaten you with legal action for not signing a new agreement (unless of course you did not read the original one before signing which said they could!?).There is no basis or foundation for such action.

Go and tell them that YOU have been doing the management which you pay them for (unless of course that is what you have signed to do).

They may try to charge you an amount for renewing the AST but then refer them to the Foxtons case (you will have to google it but there is plenty of info about.

Kate - go and tell these pin headed idoits to start acting like professionals and do the job they are taking their management fee for. See what happens before deciding what to do further. If you want to take your business away - do so.

Let us know how you get on!

Jools

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Kate 19th April, 2010 @ 19:28

Thanks for your advice, I still haven't signed a further agreement despite receiving an email now saying that they will do anything KI want them to in terms of managing the property from now on. I have read the agreement (or covering letter) and it does say that the tenants are 'theirs' in terms of managing the property for the duration that they live there for. Howwever, it is my money at the end of the day and as theu don't do anything other than take the rent each month, I don't know how legally firm they stand. I have contacted a solicitor who wanted £150 to read the agreement and then/ if they felt there was a case to write them a letter. My one concern is that the letting agents have my tenant's deposit which they might not relinquish. I was going to put the property on the market this Spring and think in retrospect it would have been the right thing to do, but the tenants are really lovely, whilst the staff at the agency are curt and rude.......

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Darius 19th October, 2011 @ 15:26

This is sickening, all you vultures thinking of new ways to squeeze money out of us young people just getting into the world. The letting agents screw us over for £120 admin fee just for allowing us to apply for the property. And because you lot are all fighting over property to buy so you can collect our rent, the prices are rediculasly high,I hope there is a housing crash so all you selfish greedy cunts fuck off and let us live..

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Twattybollocks 19th October, 2011 @ 16:06

Dear, dear poor misguided Darius.

I do hope that you manage to find somewhere that will accept you and your attitude, but given the size of the chip on your shoulder you are going to need somewhere with a large extension just to get it in.

Where do you think you are going to live if all us "selfish greedy cunts fuck off"?

So come on bollock brains - you tell us how you would change the system?

Love

TB

PS - It's spelt 'ridiculously' not whatever you wrote - just getting facts straight and all that!

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Darius 19th October, 2011 @ 18:00

Im sorry "Twattybollocks"?

I see now that you are really doing us a favour and I guess its not your fault this system encourages those with no conscience to jump on this goldmine bandwagon of exploitation, thank you for allowing us to pay your mortgage its really valiant of you.

I guess I just lashed out there when I was searching for landlords directly so I didnt have to get shafted by a letting agent and then I found this site with all you lot talking about how much profit you makin from the next generations trying to survive.

These are homes they are not money making tools. All this Buy to let shit is the reason its impossible for BUY TO LIVE because you greedy fucks are fighting over our rent revenue it drives the cost up. And drop all this "wow the rent market is booming" bullcrap, the whole economy is being screwed by design starting with the "Banker Bailout" of 2008, our government sold us out and the austerity is just us getting raped, we dont owe shit. So the people HAVE NO CHOICE but to rent but you lot see it as "WOW stocks are up on our investments, Yipee!"

I dont know how to change the system but there appears to be some Laws missing which prevent this scandal from occurring, and I sincerely hope you rot in hell

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Mr X 19th October, 2011 @ 19:10

I honestly don't know why people think landlords are selfish or greedy. A lot of them (myself including) still had to save a deposit to buy a house, just like any first time buyer.

When I bought my first buy to let property, I lived frugally for a few years to save up my mortgage deposit, and then put it on rent whilst living with my parents. It is now on rent, they pay me monthly and I make sure they are safely housed with no problems. Whats greedy about that? I am simply providing a service.

As twattybollocks mentioned "Where do you think you are going to live if all us "selfish greedy cunts fuck off"? " - Truth is, tenants need landlords just as much as landlords need tenants.

If you dont want to rent, then cut back, save, and come up with your own mortgage deposit to buy your own house.

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Mr X 19th October, 2011 @ 19:17

lol at "rediculasly"

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Darius 19th October, 2011 @ 19:32

ok ill try live frugally for a decade so I can one day pay extortionate mortgage interest on a shitty little flat, and maybe one day get to suck off someone for a living as my prize.

I say we re-claim the trillions stolen by the international banks and use it to FORCEFULLY buy you little empires off you so that they can be sold at a loss at a reasonable price and have laws to cap house prices attached to inflation of course.

But if we got a position to do that, our problems would have already have been sold.

Im sure there are prbably some really nice people here in person and its none of your fault criminals run things. But "twatty bollocks?" I cant think of a better name for you lowlife

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Spanner 6th March, 2013 @ 16:35

I am a letting agent running a small agency alone, forums like this crack me up, you all have no idea.
I admit there letting agents out there that do rip the ass out off every possible oppertunity. I dont charge tenants a penny befor during or at the end of the term.
We charge one fee to lanlords as an all inclusive price with no hidden charges. We even advertise our fees on Rightmove before we even speak to a new landlord they know what our charges are.As for doing it yourself, most decent landlords dont have the time or can do without all the hassle that goes with it. 90% of agents are scum over charging shits. I am not, but one things for sure, there are shit landlords shit tenants and shit agents.
I charge a flat rate incl check in, viewings, refrenceing, AST inventory and checkout £295 managed at 7.5%. I dont run a shop so my outlay is low and thats reflected in what i charge. Alot of work for a fair return. I think landlords and tenants need to do their homework rather than taring us with the same brush.
Politically none of us will ever win. YOU ALL KNOW THAT.

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Refusenik 19th March, 2013 @ 20:50

Way to go Darius !
Most of these cunts got on the ladder by virtue of inherited wealth. That's OK, but then you have to listen to their self made man bullshit. As if the money that they're charging isn't obscene enough we all have to listen to them moaning about agents fees !

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 20th March, 2013 @ 09:22

"Most of these cunts got on the ladder by virtue of inherited wealth"

I'd like to see evidence to support that statement...

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Richard Lovitt 16th July, 2014 @ 16:07

I would like to confirm that 99.9% all estate agents are complete cunts! Doesnt matter if your a buyer or a seller they will stitch you up regardless.

I have seen it from all perspectives,as a landlord, as a tenet and as a developer and I have been completely done in by a pink shirt wearing tosser every time!

letting agents Charging you 9%pcm just to pass on a message, great work.

Not getting back to you if you put an offer in, priceless.

Leaving stuff on rightmove for months even though its be sold or let, stunning.

I'm sorry but I think all estate agents and recruitment consultants should be rounded up tossed in to the see. Not only would that put shit suit makers out of business, it would free up a few more homes for the rest of us.

I had one useless chunk of estate agent turd value a property at 105k, he was adamant his valuation was correct, I sold it a month later for 138k , nice one buddy nearly cost me 30 grand or two working years of my life.

Lovely blog by the way, refreshing change.

P.s I hope i have offended all letting agents and estate agents. Your some bags! Go have a long hard look in the mirror, you blood suckers

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helen 17th July, 2014 @ 11:15

i have to say i completely agree with darius. i am currently trying to find a house to rent for me and my two daughters. although my income is 18,000 because some of that comes from tax credits i have had multiple landlords refusing to rent to me because apparently tax credits are viewed as 'benefits' and consequently this seems to mean that i am some kind of horrible person.

my life is completely on hold at the moment, i am sharing a bed with my older daughter because all three of us are living in one room. after attempting to apply for one property and being turned down, i asked to view two others that were in my price range only to be told they were owned by the same individual so there was no point as he wasn't interested. how can people justify landlords completely cornering the market and then withholding housing stock from individuals who are desperate for somewhere to live.

i am very careful with my money, i always pay my rent and i just want to get my daughters settled somewhere before my oldest starts school in two months. these houses may be a profit making venture for landlords but for tenants they are or should be homes. people should come before profit and i only hope that at some point we get a government that actually cares about those in our society who are least well off and puts a stop to the buy to let bullshit that leaves multiple people not only unable to buy their own home, but also unable to find anywhere to rent.

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Don'tWasteYourSpit 15th June, 2015 @ 17:27

It's nausea-enducing enough that these dickless, clitless bastard 'agents' even exist – let's face it, even knob-cheese is higher up on the evolutionary scale. But then to witness these jizz-bags squirming away in an attempt to justify their vile and utterly useless existence brings on a bout of projectile vomiting. 'Darius', well done fella. You're not the first, nor the last to want to see this exrement erased from the face of the planet, but you you most certainly are part of the overwhelming majority. 'Mr X', 'Twattybollocks', you're both cunts.

Q: "Where do you think you are going to live if all (of) us "selfish greedy cunts fuck off?"

A: "In houses, at reasonable prices, and not paying wankers who bring absolutely nothing to the world, and leech as much as they can from it."

Bring on the inevitable property market crash – I want to witness these sorry detritus begging for a crust on the streets. And God help them if they ever admit to their former 'profession' [sic]. They'll be lucky to get more than a kick in the teeth. It must be a sad existence knowing you're a wanker, and knowing that the whole world also knows you're a wanker, too. Welcome to miserable life of those simpletons known as known as 'letting' and 'estate' agents.

1. Agent (n): def: Person low moral fibre and dubious practices, whose sole purpose in life is to inflict hardship and suffering upon families and indivduals, to the singular purpose of their own financial gain. Contemptible person of either gender so vile as to be without any redeeming feature. 2. Agent (slang): Used perjoratively to express utter contempt for someone.

E.g.: "You complete and utter agent.", "Fuck off, you agent."

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Wealthy Estate Agent 15th June, 2015 @ 18:10

just laughed my arse off. So funny to read a statement from such an ill fed illiterate prick.Im just back at the office after a 10 hour day to do
another 5 hours loading up 7 new properties to Rightmove and onthemarket.
We charge low fees and to date not one complaint from our 150 managed tenants and Landlords. Given your comments, I fear the worst for you. We are hear to stay. Online portals 3%, Landlords 1% Agents 96%. If you can add up without using your fingers dick splash, your blog is flawed on all levels.
Get a job, get your IQ up to a reasonable level and people might listen to you. Only for a chuckle you low life twat.
Back to work now, ta ta.

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Don'tWasteYourSpit 16th June, 2015 @ 15:45

Sentences begin with capital letters, jerk-off. (Notice the hyphen there? Something else your retard brain can't handle). Never mind, though. When your mum comes home, I'll explain to her why an abortion would, in fact, have been the better option.

But for now, given your inability to even begin a sentence correctly – let alone finish it cogently – I'll just register my delight that you enjoyed a laugh at your own expense. Although, given that you found my 'comment (not 'blog', you muppet) as both unintelligible and belying of the necessary IQ to have either gained my PhD in Economics at the LSE, or to have upheld my consultant's job at Rueters for the last 15 years, then I am at a loss as to exactly what you found so amusing. But then, idiots are renowned for laughing irrationally at absolutely anyting in the universe. So, by the way, are cunts. Enjoy your job, as you call it, while you still have one. My apologies for the long sentences and big words. I'm sure mummy will help you, after she's finished crying over her wasted youth. ;) Ta'ra, twinkletoes.

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Darius 18th June, 2015 @ 13:05

Helen I hope you managed to sort something out and that things have settled down ok. In the end I was forced to go stay with my mum for a while which was not ideal but the extra income into the household no doubt was helpful in this dire economic situation.

You mentioned about a decent government getting into power well I can tell you that would have been UKIP led by Nigel Farage, but election fraud and criminal activity prevented that from taking place. In other words 4 more years of the same - which I fear is beyond what the hanging threads of our civilisation can withhold. Expect gangs of hungry youths roving the streets, empty food banks, a total collapse of the NHS, shanty towns of homeless people cropping up everywhere, prostitution, all that good stuff.

I read this wealthy estate agents comment and in a sick way cannot wait for society to collapse.

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Wealthy Estate Agent 18th June, 2015 @ 13:54

Hhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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