List Of The Best Online Letting Agents


Online Letting Agents, the efficiently cheap way of Letting your Property!

Landlords that use online letting agents instead of the traditional high-street letting agents save on average £1,000 per let, and for many the savings run into thousands!

Find out all you need to know about Online Letting Agents, including the best options available to you…

List of the Best Online Letting Agents for Landlords

There are a buttload of online agents out there, and more and more are opening up shop every day, but here’s a list of online letting agencies that I personally recommend, because I’ve either used them myself to find tenants, or because they have received awesome feedback from the landlord community.

The prices and details below are for “Tenant-find” services. If you want a “Managed” solution from an online agent (yup, they offer that, too), you may want to hop down to the managed services section.

Search Filters

Require any of the following?


  • Tenant referencing


    Tenant referencing
    To ensure you stand the best chances of getting reliable tenants, your agent will reference prospective tenants, which can include credit checks and employment history.

    X


  • Deposit registration


    Deposit registration
    In order to comply with the tenancy deposit legislation, the agent will secure the deposit on your behalf and serve required documents to your tenant.

    X


  • Rent Collection


    Rent Collection
    Agent will collect rent from tenant and then send it to you.

    X


  • Tenancy sign-up service


    Tenancy sign-up service
    The agent will draft your tenancy agreement contract and get it signed by the tenant(s) on your behalf.

    X


  • EPC


    EPC
    An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is needed when a property sold in the UK. They are valid for 10 years, so if you already have a valid one you do not to order another.

    X


  • Gas safety check


    Gas safety check
    Agent will arrange for a gas safety check to be conducted. Landlords are legally obligated to have annual gas safety checks.

    X


  • Photograghs


    Photograghs
    The agent will arrange for a photographer to visit your property to take pictures, which can be used with your adverts. Good quality photos are important in making your property look attractive and can increase enquiries.

    X


  • Floorplan


    Floorplan
    The agent will arrange for a professionally produced floorplan showing the layout and room sizes of your property. Many buyers find floorplans useful when viewing property details online.

    X


  • Inventory service


    Inventory service
    The agent will arrange for an independent inventory clerk to create an inventory report.

    X


  • Hosted viewings


    Hosted viewings
    A local agent will take viewings and show potential tenants around your property. Please note, some agents limit how many viewings they will take, so please read the T&C's carefully.

    X


  • Pay on Completion


    Pay on Completion
    Pay on Completition means there's nothing to pay upfront until you find your perfect tenants (T&C's may apply, so please read carefully).

    X

Online Letting Agents
Letting AgentDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Duration
5 days / 3 months*
Includes / Notes

Ultimate Advertising package
  • 5 days / 3 months* marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more

*5 day free trial, then the option of continuing service for 3 months - which is £24 (Inc VAT) for new customers, and £29 (Inc VAT) for returning customers!

Price*FREEInc VATNo hidden fees, no credit card details required!

Free Trial
Visit Website
Duration
3 months
Includes / Notes

Advertising + Rent Now package
  • 3 months marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Deposit registration
  • Rent Collection
  • Tenancy sign-up service
Price £49Inc VAT Visit Website
Duration
Until Let
Includes / Notes

Express package
  • Until Let marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Tenant referencing (*unlimited)
  • Deposit registration
  • Tenancy sign-up service

*Credit check all your prospective tenants with Promo Code: FreeRef

Price £49Inc VAT

Promo available
Visit Website*Unlimited Credit Checks Promo Code: FreeRef
Duration
1 Month
Includes / Notes

IATA Speedy package
  • 1 Month marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
Price £53.1Inc VAT
Normal price: £59

Discount available
Visit Website10% Discount Code: Propinv20
Duration
3 months
Includes / Notes

Plus package
  • 3 months marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
Price £74Inc VAT
Normal price: £89

Discount available
Visit Website£15 Discount Code: PIP1
Duration
3 months
Includes / Notes

Advertising Only package
  • 3 months marketing on Rightmove
Price £95Inc VAT Visit Website
Duration
12 months
Includes / Notes

DIY package
  • 12 months marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • For let sign
Price £99Inc VAT Visit Website
Duration
3 months
Includes / Notes

Find a Tenant package
  • 3 months marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
Price £129Inc VAT
Normal price: £149

Discount available
Visit Website£20 Discount Voucher

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each agent up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from the agents’ website for the most up-to-date information.

Other Popular Services

Just in case you require a couple of other competitive quotes for popular letting services…

Table of contents:

What is an Online letting agent?

They’re letting agents that don’t have a high-street presence (i.e. a local branch you can walk into), instead they operate from one centralised office, and make all their sales via their website. Ultimately, that means they have much lower overheads compared to high-street agents, which is precisely why they’re the able to offer much cheaper solutions for finding tenants. Like, massively cheaper.

An online letting agents goal is fundamentally the same as any other high-street letting agent, which is to generate as many leads from prospective tenants as possible in order to fulfil a vacant tenancy for a landlord. They achieve this by marketing a landlord’s property across several (if not hundreds) of the biggest UK property portals, which are all crawling with prospective tenants looking for their next home.

Quick fact: a staggering 92% of tenants search online for their next rental property on websites like Rightmove and Zoopla. So getting your website listed on those websites is paramount to finding tenants efficiently.

In order to get listed, you simply need to pay a [small] fee, and then upload your BTL property details onto the online agent’s website. The online agent will then distribute your property details across various different property portals, including Rightmove, which means your property will appear in Rightmove’s search results.

When a prospective tenants makes an enquiry through one of the property portals, the landlord will receive it directly, and then, typically, schedules and conducts the viewings. The final step is for the landlord to choose the most suitable applicant.

Some online letting agents do offer ‘hosted viewing’ services for an additional fee (£300 on average) – so you don’t necessarily have to take the viewings – but *most* landlords that use online letting agents take the viewings themselves, because that’s how they’re able to make the biggest savings.

The most reputable (and recommendable) online letting agents have a fully-dedicated support team which can be easily contacted via phone and/or email, so you’re not just dealing with a dormant website and automated responses- you actually are dealing with real people.

Online letting agents originally only catered for landlords that wanted a simple “tenant-find” service, and NOT a fully managed service.

If you opt for a “tenant-find” service from an online agent, which is approx £50 on average, you can typically expect the following service:

  1. Property listed on the biggest UK portals, including Rightmove and Zoopla, to generate enquiries from prospective tenants
  2. A range of forms and documents, including Tenancy agreement templates
  3. Support from an account manager in case you have any questions
  4. Tenant referencing service

However, many online agents have evolved their services by offering a more comprehensive service, which includes those services expected from a regular fully managed service you receive from a high-street agent, such as rent collection and maintenance management. So if you’re looking to benefit from online letting agent prices, while still wanting a managed service, you may want to skip down to the online letting agents that offer managed services section.

What are the differences between a high-street letting agent and online letting agent?

These days, in terms of services, online letting agents can offer most of the services high-street agents can. For example, online letting agents can offer ‘hosted viewings’, ‘professional photography’ services, ‘Rent collection’ services etc.

However, they differ in the following ways (in my awesome opinion):

Local knowledge – high-street agents operate locally out of their shop-front, while online agents tend to operate nationally (so lack local knowledge of specific areas) from an office. High-street agents pride themselves on local knowledge, and feel they have an extra edge with that useful information. Granted, local knowledge is useful in some ways, but in this internet driven world, the importance of local knowledge is declining by the day. Moreover, most agents generate most of their leads from property portals like Rightmove anyways, and local knowledge isn’t even required for a tenant acquisition sourced by Rightmove.

Shop-front / Face-to-face service – high-street agents can offer a face-to-face service. So, for example, if you get really pissed off with their service, you can storm into their shop and punch your agent square in their stupid-looking face (assuming the intoxicating scent of their Old Spice aftershave doesn’t choke you to death first. Only joking). With an online letting agent, you’re limited to communicating via phone and/or email- assuming you’re not a psychotic maniac and prepared to track down your agent, the biggest threat in your arsenal is a string of harsh words, like, “you’re a cunt, mate!”

Price – this is where high-street agents and online agents become drastically alien from one another.

When you start looking at the pricing differences you almost have to wonder if they’re selling the same commodity (they essentially are!).

High-street agents have massive overheads in comparison to online agents, so they NEED to charge more for their services, and believe me, that they do! That’s a fact. Those fabulous multi-coloured Mini Coopers don’t pay for themselves.

High street agents generally base their fees on the percentage of rental income achieved over a one year duration. For example, if you receive a rental income of £1,000pcm, they might charge you 10% of of the annual rent (£1,000 x 12 = £12,000) to find you tenants, which would cost £1,200. That’s a horrendous amount of money.

From my experience, ALL online letting agents work on a fixed-fee basis (i.e. the £45 price on the tin is what you pay, unless you opt in for add-on services e.g. gas safety certificate, EPC, professional photography etc), so there are no hidden fees or sneaky extras that sneak in, which are notorious of the traditional high-street agent.

You do the math… and then tell me online agents aren’t worth a punt (if you’re not a believer yet, that is).

Enquiry management – unless you opt for a fully-managed solution (more on that further down the page), handling enquiries is generally a service online letting agents don’t provide.

High-street agents, on the other hand, generally include enquiry management and a viewing service with all their packages (of course, you’ll pay through the ass for the privilege).

Inspections – most high-street agents include a quarterly inspection with their fully-managed service, while this is a service most standard online letting agents won’t offer (although, it is available with online letting agents that offer managed services).

Inspections are imperative, as they can weed out any distasteful practises shown by the tenants at the early stages of the tenancy. Alas, a lot of agents methods of inspecting has yet to be desired- they may as well have walked in with a blindfold on. On the flip-side, it really isn’t much hassle for a landlord to arrange an inspection. Plus, you’d probably be more thorough when inspecting your own property, so it actually works out more beneficial in my opinion.

Online letting agents managed services

Ok, so the table above shows the prices and details for “Tenant-find” services, which is suitable for landlords that want to deal directly with the tenant and take full control of the management. And yes, while I have stipulated that I believe that’s where the best value is, I also do appreciate that some landlords want more from an agent.

Fortunately, and as said, some of the agents in the list do offer more comprehensive ‘managed’ packages with the ‘tenant-find’ service, which are suitable for landlords that want to benefit from online letting agent prices, while also wanting a fully-managed service. You’re in luck! Online agents offering fully-managed service is actually a real thing (although, up until recently it never used to be)!

So if a fully managed service is your bag, I would personally recommend the agents and their packages listed below! The best part about them? Unlike with high-street agents, you won’t be tied into any lengthy contracts, because they all operate on a month-by-month contract…

Online letting agents managed services
Letting AgentContractNotes / IncludesPrice
Duration
Month by month
Notes / Includes

Solution for Fully Management Service!

Will market your property on Rightmove, Zoopla + more.

  • £0 up-front - nothing to pay until tenant moves in.
  • Pre-qualification of all tenants before viewing.
  • Full references & credit checks for tenants.
  • Tenancy agreement drafted and signed.
  • Viewings scheduled based on your availability.
  • Rent collection service.
  • Full repair management using your contractors, getting you quotes or using our national provider.
  • Inspections: full photographic reports after 3 months and then 6 months thereafter.
  • Access to legal helpline.
  • 24/7 support phone support.
  • Online platform gives you visibility over your portfolio, including overseeing repairs, statements etc.

Optional Extras

  • £250 for hosted viewings
  • £90 Professional photos for marketing

Pricing & Discount explained

*£65 for properties in London.

**Sign up to get 2 months FREE property management when you pay the first year upfront - just mention you came from Property Investment Project.
You can still cancel at any time and you will be refunded the difference.

Price
*35pmInc VATPrice shown is before discount!

Discount available
Visit Website**First 2 Months FREE using link above!
Duration
Month by month
Notes / Includes

Solution for Fully Management Service!

Will market your property on Rightmove, Zoopla + more.

  • Full references & credit checks for tenants
  • Tenancy agreement drafted to your requirements and signed.
  • In-person thorough assessment by an inventory clerk
  • Check-in service handled by inventory team
  • Professional Photography and Floorplan
  • To Let sign
  • Rent Guarantee
  • Rent collection service
  • Tenant Eviction Insurance (full legal eviction service with all associated costs paid)
  • Section 21 Compliant
  • Repair management
  • Periodic inspection (x2/yr)

Optional Extras

  • £399 for hosted viewings

*Payment Options

  • 6% - if you pay for the service up front
  • 7% - if you pay from your first month's rent
  • 8% - if you want to pay monthly for 12 months

**Discount explained

2 months free management when you sign up for 12 months. Quote code: PIP2

Price
*6%Inc VATPrice shown is before discount!

Discount available
Visit Website**First 2 months FREE with Discount Code: PIP2
Duration
Month by month
Notes / Includes

Ultimate Solution for Management, Rent Collection & Home Emergency Cover!

Will market your property on Rightmove, Zoopla + more.

  • Free online valuation
  • Viewing & Enquiry organiser
  • Tenant referencing
  • Contract drafting & Digital signing
  • Deposit registration
  • Letting board
  • Offer negotiation
  • Professional photos and Floorplan
  • Property dashboard to control and check progress on your advert
  • Inventory
  • Legal assistance
  • Periodic inspection
  • Maintenance
  • Notifying the local council and utilities providers of the new tenant details
  • Rent collection, including chasing arrears, and issuing late payment notices as required
  • Annual rental tax return statements
  • Gas safety check & Carbon monoxide test
  • CP12 certificate
  • 24-hour UK helpline. (T&C apply)

Optional Extras

  • £300 for hosted viewings

*Exclusive £40 discount code: 99PIP40

Price
*£39 + £85pmInc VATNormal price: £79 + £85pm

Discount available
Visit Website£40 Discount Code: 99PIP40
Duration
Month by month
Notes / Includes

"Rent on Time" Package: solution for Rent Collection & Guaranteed Rent, Home Emergency Cover and Legal Cover!

  • Advertising on all major property websites, including Rightmove & Zoopla
  • Rent paid on time - paid to you on time even when the tenant doesn't pay!
  • Full tenant referencing (2 x people)
  • Digital tenancy agreements
  • Deposit secured
  • Holding fee service
  • Dedicated advisor
  • Guaranteed rent
  • Legal helpline
  • Legal expenses
  • Eviction support
  • Home emergency cover
  • Dispute resolution
  • Free tenancy renewals
  • Vacant possession cover
  • Read about my fantastic Experience With Letting A Property To Find Tenants

*Landlord pays £149 upfront, and then £89 per month.

Price
*£149 one-off + £89pmInc VAT

Visit Website

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each agent up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from the agents’ website for the most up-to-date information.

Consumer Protection with online agents

Putting aside the fact that I don’t think tenants or landlords don’t have enough protection when dealing with any type of letting agent, I do want to make it clear that both online and highstreet letting agents must be a member of a redness scheme. If they’re not, they’re operating illegally and you should avoid them at all costs.

Essentially, every agent must be regulated in order to maintain consumer protection, and more notably, you don’t get any more or less consumer protection rights whether you use an online or high-street agent.

If you experience any problems with an agent, the scheme should be your first port of call to lodge an official complaint.

It should be clearly stated on the agent’s website or shop-front (if you’re using an high-street agent) which scheme(s) they are a member of.

Which is the best online letting agent?

I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but I can’t. However…

I have used several online agents in the past (and continue to use them every time I need to find tenants quickly), and many of which I have reviewed.

Every online letting agent I have used delivered exactly what they said they would; they marketed my property on the biggest property portals in the UK, generated a shitload of enquiries, and assisted me with finding tenants quickly, all for a very reasonable fixed-fee (i.e. no hidden costs). They did exactly what I wanted and expected.

In my opinion, as long as you use an online agent that will put your BTL on Rightmove and Zoopla, you stand a good chance of achieving your goal efficiently, if that is to generate enquiries from prospective tenants.

Where some online letting agents differ is the level of additional services they provide, beyond the basic tenant-find service. For example, while Visum and OpenRent are GREAT for throwing your property onto Rightmove and generating enquiries, other online agents like LettingAProperty offer managed-services, which include rent collection and dealing with repairs and maintenance.

All the agents I have listed have received a remarkable amount of positive feedback. So as far as I’m concerned, picking the right online agent for you really boils down to determining what level of service you’re after, as some offer more than others. If you’re unsure, I recommend reading through a couple of the agents’ websites, and learn more about what they offer, and go with what feels most suitable. But in reality, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them (unless you’re trying to flog a deadhorse, and in that case, it’s probably your fault). It could just boil down to which online agent is currently offering the best deal.

I will say one thing though, online agents are generally a lot more flexible and forgiving than high-street agents. What I mean by that is that they don’t tie you into contracts, so you’re not forced/contracted to continue using a service you’re dissatisfied with.

The tenant-only package is the value solution!

Currently, the average price for using an online letting agent to generate enquiries across the biggest property portals, like Rightmove & Zoopla, is £50. Last time I checked, my local high-street agent wanted to charge me £700 for exact same service. And seriously, they are a bunch of inbred wankers, so I would have begrudged giving them money, period. I think many that have jumped ship from high-street to online have similar sentiments.

I’ve personally saved thousands by using tenant-find services from online agents. It’s a no-brainer.

The Extras e.g. Professional Photography & EPC’s

By law, landlords are required to show their prospective tenant’s an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) BEFORE signing a tenancy agreement i.e. during the viewing.

Most online agents will give you the option to buy an EPC an ‘add on’ purchase during checkout. They generally cost anywhere between £60 – £120. Alternatively, you can just independently source your own by using a local supplier; simply Google “EPC [insert your area]”, and plenty of options should become available. You’re more likely to get a better deal if you source your own, but if you’re after convenience, buy one through the agent.

If you already have a valid EPC, then you don’t need to purchase another one. EPC’s last for 10 years per property (not per tenant!).

While providing professional photography and floorplans isn’t a legal obligation, the purchasing process is similar to EPC’s. Most agents will give you the option to buy a property photography package as an ‘add on’ product during checkout. And again, you can Google for local suppliers for better rates.

Professional photography typically has a positive impact on the enquiry rate, so if you don’t already have a set, I personally think they’re a wise investment. Bear in mind, you’ll be able to reuse them over and over again!

Ignore the cynics. Online letting agents are awesome

I read an amusing article last week over at ‘Estate Agent Today’ about angry high-street letting agents bitching about online letting agents.

Essentially, you have a bunch of high-street letting agents complaining that Online Letting Agents (e.g. LettingAproperty, OpenRent) shouldn’t be able to advertise their properties on Rightmove. I don’t really understand the argument. I’m not even sure there is a problem, beyond the fact that high-street letting agents aren’t able to compete with the low prices online letting agents are charging. But that’s tough shit. They should either change their business model so they can compete; focus on building their “fully-managed” package….or roll over and die.

The consumer (landlord) should be able to choose whether they want the service of a virtual or high-street letting agent. Despite common misconception, neither service is better than the other and they shouldn’t be compared, because they’re different services all together, designed for different types of landlords.

So, comments like this, “Some landlords will always be prepared to cut corners and avoid paying a good letting agent. In my experience, many live to regret it” are the remarks muttered by a petulant child. If I don’t need the extras that come with a high-street agent, why the hell should I bloody pay for one? It’s genuinely not a case of “cutting corners”, it’s a case of assessing my needs, and choosing a service that will meet them. Simple.

You don’t need to be a salesman (at the moment)

If you decide to conduct the viewings (because it’s a buttload cheaper than upgrading to a ‘hosted viewing’ service), you may have concerns over your ability to ‘sell’ your property; you may not have the gift of the gab or be a natural salesman, or you may just be incredibly shy around strangers. Understandable.

While I won’t be able to cure any anxiety issues you may have about taking your own viewings, I do want to say the following two things about ‘selling’ your property, which may make the situation a little less daunting:

  • The reality is, if someone falls in love with a property during the viewing, they’ll probably make an offer as long you come across as relatively friendly and reasonable. There’s not much ‘selling’ required; the product is in front of them, they can see what’s on offer.
  • In today’s climate, where demand for rental properties is massively out-striping supply, tenancies are flying off the shelf. Point being, during a booming market, you really don’t need to push a hard sale – the selling happens in cruise control.
  • I’ve recently written an in-depth blog post on why it is so much better and safer for landlords to take their viewings! If that doesn’t reassure you, I don’t know what will!

So I wouldn’t over worry if you’re concerned about the ‘selling’ aspect; the sales pitch will mostly boil down to showing prospective tenants around, and answering a few questions about the property and tenancy agreement.

You can ALWAYS use both an online agent and high-street agent

When people talk about online agents and high-street agents, I always get the impression they think it’s an either/or situation. That’s definitely not the case. Actually, I’ve probably given that impression myself, but I’m about to set the record straight.

For anyone that’s reluctant about using an online agent, but wants to give it a whirl by ditching a high-street agent and their fees, I would recommend doing the following…

Use an online letting agent- invest £45 (or so) into their service, and see if you can bag yourself a tenant, but at the same time use a high-street agent to find tenants. May the best greaseball method win.

Most high-street agents don’t charge unless you actually USE the tenant they source (but double check that with your agent, and get it in writing to be safe!We’re dealing with agents here. Enough said, right?). If the high-street agent sources the tenant, then the worst case scenario is that you invested an extra £45, which isn’t a big loss in the grand scheme of things. Alternatively, you just saved yourself a few hundred quid, and finally recognise how awesome online letting agents are. Congratulations.

But let me expand on how you can still use both online and high-street agents together. If you manage to find a tenant through an online agent, and take on the fully-managed role, but then realise taking on the responsibility isn’t suited to your lifestyle, then you can easily just approach an agent to take over the management. It really isn’t a case of either/or as far as I’m concerned.

Still adamant on using a high-street agent? Then cut a deal!

You’re not convinced by the whole online letting agent thing.

That’s cool, I can dig it.

In that case: it’s always worth mentioning to your high-street agent that you’re looking into online agents because they’re so much more cost-efficient and offer the same services. Once you drop that bomb, many agents have been obliged to lower their initial rates.

Needless to say, online agents’ low prices have been causing havoc for high-street agents, and I don’t see it getting any easier for them.

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112 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 62 - 112 comments (out of 112)
1 out of 5 rating2 out of 5 rating3 out of 5 rating4 out of 5 rating5 out of 5 rating25 people have rated their experience with Online Letting Agents.4.6 out of 5 Stars.Leave your Comment / Review
Guest Avatar
marcelle 2nd March, 2017 @ 12:42

Very interesting comments, thanks for contributing.

I am in process of putting my flat on with open rent,
will report back on the results
all the best Marcelle

62
Guest Avatar
Catherine 13th March, 2017 @ 18:20
1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating 5 out of 5 rating

Hi Landlord, I've just used the 5 free days option for new landlords on Open Rent and am delighted to say I had a huge response. I have now signed a tenant up, following your excellent advice on referencing (bank statements, visiting current rental property, landlord refs, Facebook, employment refs, etc.). I also used Open Rent's £20 pp check, which the tenant was happy to pay for and which proved very speedy. I'm a Landlord of 18 months (learning all the time!) and Open Rent worked for me. Many thanks for your excellent articles and documentation. Keep up the good work.

63
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th March, 2017 @ 22:35

@Catherine,
Amazing!!! I'm really pleased to hear OpenRent worked for you (although I'm not surprised, they offer great value)!! And I really appreciate you letting me know :)

Sounds like you were rigorous with the referencing and did all the right things, so hopefully it should all work out!

64
Guest Avatar
Tom Charrier 19th June, 2017 @ 05:23
1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating 5 out of 5 rating

@Catherine (et al),

I can certainly vouch for OpenRent, I usually have to delist my property as it gets so much interest. Happy Days.

Thats in central Manchester though. I have tried it in smaller cities (Lancaster) with little joy, and have heard similar. Seems to be an urban thing. Would be good to understand where they focus.

65
Guest Avatar
Karin 15th August, 2017 @ 08:24

I have just got rid (S21) of.the most horrendous tenant, she literally wrecked my property in the last 12 months (she was actually a tenant for 3 years but split with her bf last year and turned into tenant from hell) I'm now really wary of renting again 😢 as its costing me about 3k to sort the property out (including front walk rebuild, that she drove into with her car!) Feeling like selling up completely. Has anyone else had bad experiences like this?

66
Guest Avatar
Guy Fothergill 15th August, 2017 @ 09:13

Reply to Karin:
Hi, yes definitely. I would say most landlords who have been 'landlording' for any period of time have had a similar experience (mine funnily enough were all in Liverpool/Merseyside!)

It was previously worth these occasional 'hits' but now the climate is heavily against private landlords (everything from Stamp Duty/Section 24 tax changes through to Landlord Licensing, changes to Section 21, mortgage applications, Deposits, Agent Fee's etc) and so, on balance I would suggest that the sector/business has had it's day.

In any event I have been selling my portfolio in a controlled manner for the best part of three years now and have invested elsewhere (mixture of commercial, new builds, equities/funds etc). It will be very interesting to see the long-term effects of the changes detailed above on the PRS as I can not see it helping tenants (or first time buyers) too much and will only move it into the hands of massive Pension Funds/Building/Service companies who have to satisfy layers of employees, shareholders/stakeholders, in my view.

67
Guest Avatar
David 15th August, 2017 @ 18:51

@Karin

I would not let this put you off, it seems to me if she hit the property with her car you have a claim against her insurance company and failing them against her personally.

A CCJ is expensive but in the end she pays, her credit record is affected and you can force her to pay or become insolvent.

There is of course nothing making you stay in the UK property market.

It always seems to me that when Governments overdo it on the tax that people structure their investments into Trusts and other vehicles to avoid them. The killer for established Landlords is they are caught between a rock and a hard place (CGT and Stamp Duty). Still for new investments seems essential, that or buying in a country that has more flexible laws.

This is a business and that means insuring against what you can and becoming professional in your processes and procedures.

Still they do say if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

68
Guest Avatar
Crystal 24th August, 2017 @ 22:43
1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating

@Catherine @TheLandlord

I used OpenRent previously to advertise my property and it was my first time. Unfortunately, I listed my property in November and the worst time to let possibly. That coupled with the fact that fixed term mortgage was coming up for renewal and I needed consents, I decided to hold off.

This time round I decided to try uPad and it has been highly rated.
Positives: The best thing I like about it is that the pictures do not need to be edited and they do not get stretched. Also the boxes to create your advert is awesome - your ad is like-for-like compared to a letting agent. It has a property summary shown on search results which doesn't mess up your main description. It allows for up to 10 lovely bullet points. It allows you to state your fees. All good.

Negatives: Their online management of enquiries is appalling - a list of names, mobile numbers and email addresses. That's it. Oh and a button to reference them through uPad. Comparing this to OpenRent, I had a message from the tenants and a private box where I could make my own notes. On OpenRent you can also click a button to Schedule a Viewing once you have agreed this and this then sends a text message to the 'tenant' with a date, time and address.

So a bit of a swings and roundabouts situation really!

My biggest issue at the moment is where should I go for Tenant Referencing. So far I have narrowed it down to OpenRent using RentGuard for £20, RLA Referencing using (don't know) for £22 or TotalTenantReferencing that use Rent4Sure with cost unknown. Has anyone used these services - are they good enough to be eligible for Rent Guarantee Insurance? Also do you get a RentGuard report from OpenRent?

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lucyG 18th October, 2017 @ 23:09
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I've used both openrent and Upad now, both were fab. So glad I've started using online agents thanks to this blog.

For anyone that's considering it, I can only recommend trying one as it's so much easier than it may seem.

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Jennifer 22nd November, 2017 @ 08:56
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I used Openrent in May and I was so impressed with the service. I am just about to use it again for my second rental house and so far I am just as impressed.
I haven't used any other online agents so can't compare them, but they blow the high street agents out of the water on every count, including personal customer service.
I would highly recommend them for novice Landlords like me, and thank you "The Landlord" for putting me on to them.

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Graham 29th November, 2017 @ 11:53

Hi I am looking for an online agent that offer tenant viewing. My property is in London and I live in Glasgow.

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David 29th November, 2017 @ 12:06

@Graham

Have you considered Viewber?

"Viewber is the world’s first property viewing service that uses the sharing economy to make trusted members of the public available to accompany buyers and tenants anywhere in the UK, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – all at the click of a button."

https://viewber.co.uk/

I am not affiliated to this company, just heard about them on Radio.

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Marc 30th November, 2017 @ 02:01
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@Graham - Purplebricks and NoAgent both offer viewing services

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Maxine 11th December, 2017 @ 11:58
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As a landlord I would 100% would recommend carrying out the viewings yourself. No one else will know the property better than you. I always put the heating on an beforehand and talk each prospective tenant through the rooms and give them an idea of where furniture should go etc. I try to help them visualise themselves living there.
I've always used Purple Bricks and have found them really efficient.

Interestingly I've received quite a few complaints about other high street agents and have ended up letting them out for other landlords. One agent in particular was unable to let a property for 11 months, a colleague happened to mention this and within two weeks I had a tenant signed up and referenced!

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Jennifer 11th December, 2017 @ 13:34
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Previous to my further review about using OpenRent for the second time. Once again - superb - tenant found and moved in, 6 days with all credit checks and right to rent done and deposit deposited. All inclusive for £49.99 for me and £20 for my tenants. Easy site to use, questions and glitches sorted rapidly. Open rent - I love you, and I wouldn’t even consider going else where. Would give 10 stars if I could.

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Stevieck 24th January, 2018 @ 09:21

I have existing tenants in a flat that I manage myself. They keep it clean and pay rent on time, so that’s all good. However, any little thing and they are straight on at me. I’m about to give No Agent a try.

I’ve spoken to them a few times and am happy with the outcomes.

Has anyone used them?

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David 24th January, 2018 @ 09:37

@Stevieck

There are many articles on this site about demanding tenants, some of them hilarious.

It is all about managing expectation.

I remember one landlord had a tenant complain about a toaster, my thought was why the F are you providing a toaster in the first place.

At the same time those little things may be big things for them, some Landlords have it the other way around, with tenants not reporting important things which then get worse.

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Gary Kewin 3rd February, 2018 @ 15:15
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Very easy to use, clear and concise

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Vanessa 8th March, 2018 @ 17:40

Hi there, contemplating letting my property, does furnished property still exist?

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David 8th March, 2018 @ 19:03

@Vanessa

Don't do it, it creates expectation in minds of tenants if they break it that you will replace it as it is part of contract.

You also get no premium really and most people want to bring their own stuff.

Put the furniture on eBay or Freecycle, less hassle, not worth spending money on storage.

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adam 8th March, 2018 @ 22:27

Hi Vanessa,
Agree with David re expectations.
Definitely wouldn’t provide Portable appliances such as kettles.
Semi furnished may have positive tax implications.
The above depends on other factors such as type of property i.e. flats gets rented by more transient younger people. And the converse applies to houses (generally speaking). You get to know this after a while.
If it’s your first time, do expect many issues on a continual but not constant basis. Read most of the items in this site and you will get lots of great advice. You can do it yourself for sure. Where abouts is your property.

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Vanessa 4th April, 2018 @ 09:50

Hi there thanks for the advice,I'm in the Northumberland area, I've had quotes for storage, they are exspensive!!! But as I was only going to let for a year I thought it might be an option, I am to return after a year, so I'm exploring different options, I love this site it's so informative,it's now just deciding what letting agent to go for!!!!

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David 4th April, 2018 @ 17:29

@Vanessa

I checked Northampton Housing Associations, yours are still run by the Council

£12 a week for non council tenants

https://www.southnorthantshomes.co.uk/finding-a-home/renting/renting-a-garage/

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Andrew whitmey 6th April, 2018 @ 07:24
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I really appreciate this blog and like it very much because you have mentions List of the best online letting agents for landlords. Thanx for sharing it.

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karmal 21st April, 2018 @ 19:18
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just wanted to let you know about my experience of Openrent.
The holding deposit to secure the flat is a very small amount especially for London so if your to be tenants fail their referencing or change their minds you have lost a lot of time and only get back a small amount of money to cover you for time wasted. Most referncing can take 5 days minimum.
Also if they change their minds Openrent will investigate why they did and look at all communication which can take a few days and they will not let you readvertise in that time so again you can lose 4 or 5 days not being able to do anything on their site.
They then deduct the referencing charge that the tenants should have paid off the holding deposit that they hold for you co that you get even less.
Because the holding deposit is so small tenants are more prepared to mess you around becasue they have very little to lose especially if its a group moving in and its split between them.

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karmal 21st April, 2018 @ 19:23
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I have also used Lettingaproperty who are great but expensive compared to other online agencies. I have only used them to find tenants nothing else.
I would like to pick people brains or rather ask advice, i want to take out Rent Guarantee Insurance but who actually pays up and is simple and straight forward to deal with. A friend of mine took out RGI with Simple Insurance who wriggled out of paying when his tenant didn't pay his rent so i would not touch them.
Anyone had any good experiences i know that Homelet have been mentioned as have Upad and a few others but do they pay?
Also do they have to do the referencing for it to be valid. Thanks

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David 21st April, 2018 @ 19:37

Sounds like two spam messages to me!

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karmal 21st April, 2018 @ 19:51

OH David ,please get over it, you must have some other conversation apart from spam spam.
If anyone has something useful to say about my question on RGI would love to hear it.

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123-Landlord 11th September, 2018 @ 12:36

Thanks for the advice and the lists. I'm about to relet a property so am looking for a new agent.

I'm dubious about 99 Homes though - the press release on their website says they launched in May 2018 but after less than 4 months in business they already have 143 reviews on Trust Pilot and they're all 5* - too good to be true? The reviews on Google and AllAgents are also all 5*.

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The Landlord 11th September, 2018 @ 13:03

@123-Landlord
Rest assured, 99 Homes are legit. I've spoken to the guy who owns the company on a few occasions.

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Dean 27th February, 2019 @ 16:58
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I have only recently began to use OpenRent (This week) and what a breath of fresh air, I cannot compare to other online portals but frankly at present I wouldn't wish too, once I'm happy IM HAPPY. They thus far have been nothing short of an absolute pleasure to use and have lifted my spirits both in terms of the ludicrous costs high street letting agents seem to think is appropriate to both the landlord and tenants and in terms of tenant interest. I have a renewed vigour for this landlording malarkey again, so far so good.

D

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The Landlord 27th February, 2019 @ 20:48

@Dean
Great to hear, thanks for the feedback!

And yup, OpenRent are awesome!

Just out of curiosity, did you end up finding tenants, or are you just in the process of collecting enquiries and arranging viewings?

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James 9th April, 2019 @ 16:59
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Another positive vote for OpenRent. Just used them for the 1st time and have saved over £2,000 per year buy not using my usual agent. It was so easy I was kicking myself for not using them sooner, and I found tenants at the asking price.
The only downside I could see was having to show the property myself. But for me that is a positive as I got to meet the prospective tenants and size them up myself as they where sizing me up making sure I wasn't a Rachman type..
I took my own pictures, did my own advert and set my own screening requirements.
It was really exciting seeing the enquiries coming through on my phone and being able to react quickly to them.
I did pay for the full financial tenant check, and also for the inventory and check in. The contract was great and I was able to add my own clauses.
Now I think how can letting agents survive?
I mean do you browse estate agents on the highstreet looking for your dream home or to see how much the neighbours are selling for.....or do you go to on-line sites like Zoopla?

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Landlord 7th May, 2019 @ 11:33

Thoughts on www.thehouseshop.com?

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The Landlord 7th May, 2019 @ 11:44

@Landlord
Free to list on there, so why not? Good for added exposure, I wouldn't use them as a complete replacement for Rightmove/Zoopla though, but more so an additional means of marketing.

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Nicola Teague 30th May, 2019 @ 16:35

Hi there

Great website and information, thanks everyone. I live in the US but have a flat in London area and in the past I have used high street real estate snakes! Had a really bad experience with high fees with low service and in my opinion slight bullying tactics in renewing with them.

I now want to use an online agent and would like to find one that does all the usual things but does include photography and viewings. I don't mind paying for good service and I would prefer to find a company that doesn't just have add ons that has more of a premium package. I don't need rent collection, EPC or those types of things.

Any tips would be appreciated

Nicky

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David 30th May, 2019 @ 16:50

@nicola

If you are outside UK make sure you are legal, most common error is deposit protection, see this article

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/tenancy-deposit-protection-easy-guide/

Also the new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 which recently pass fully into law.

https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/homes-fitness-for-human-habitation-act/

Also the Tenant Fees Act 2019

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2019/4/contents/enacted

The most common issue with this will be deposits of more than 6 weeks but any fee or charge is covered one way or another. Easy option is to just wrap your costs into your rent and make sure your property is of a standard where the rent will be competitive for what you are offering.

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Nicola Teague 30th May, 2019 @ 17:04

Thanks David. My property has been rented for the last 8 years so it is no good shape, I am legal and pay taxes on my property, I do indeed know about changes in law for tenants which I think is great. I also know about deposit and the changes to that as well. I am really just looking for an all in package

Thanks

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Marc 31st May, 2019 @ 04:25

@Nicola I'm interested in responses as I'm in the same boat.

I already use online provider Howsy - they do viewings, photos and very basic managment but it's a pretty barebones experience. I'm looking for proactive/hands-on support with good customer experience. Thinking of making the jump to uPad, which seems a little more "premium" but hard to really know until trying. Maybe you can take a look if you haven't already.

Please share here with who you end up selecting and why - thanks :)

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Peter England 10th December, 2019 @ 09:29
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I've used the onlinelettingagency.co.uk for 3 of our last Lettings with some great success. Tennants found within a matter of days, after excellent photographs and right move/zooplankton adverts. Costs were just under £400 for the complete package where we or our existing tenants did the viewings.

Definitely worth doing.

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Marc 3rd January, 2020 @ 04:51
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Anyone know if any of the online (or hybrid) lettings agents can provide a dedicated point of contact OR offer a decent turnaround time for responses?

I went through a HMO licensing process and and my council told me that Howsy was insufficiently responsive to provide managed services to a HMO. They didn't like the generic mailbox approach.

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David 3rd January, 2020 @ 11:34

@Marc

That sounds like a carefully crafted (second) spam message promoting Howsy, why not just be upfront and have your MD contact "The Landlord" (aka Flossy) and do a Howsy deal for the 50k of members who have registered with this blog?

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The Landlord 3rd January, 2020 @ 11:54

@David
Isn't he doing the opposite of promoting Howsy? He's saying that Howsy were slow at responding, if I'm not mistaken...

@Marc
So from what I understand, did the council try and contact Howsy (because you wanted to appoint them as your agent), but they were slow at responding? So now the council are refusing to grant you a license if you use Howsy? That seems a bit OTT. Please clarify, because I'd love to reach out to Howsy to find out what happened there.

Also, did you ask Howsy if they have a direct contact for an account manager?

You could try 99home or LettingAproperty, both are very good, and are very responsive from my experience. I'm sure they can give you direct communication to an account manager...

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Marc 3rd January, 2020 @ 11:55

@David Haha, thanks for your healthy cynicism. I just took a second read and really don't think I was all that complimentary!

I'm on the verge of jumping ship to lettingaproperty.com as they appear to have a somewhat personalised service.

I've only had one constructive input from this community despite leaving my first query nearly a year ago - feel free to provide some if you have any ;-)

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The Landlord 3rd January, 2020 @ 11:56

@Marc
I didn't think it was complimentary either :)

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Marc 3rd January, 2020 @ 12:09

@The Landlord - thanks for the response!

For info, it's Southwark Council in London. They have fairly stringent licensing requirements but fair and friendly staff. They didn't refuse a licence - they just gave me informal feedback after the fact that I should look into a change of agent because the "dedicated account manager" I had listed was rarely available and they had to rely on contacting the generic mailbox and hotline and were subject to a response time of a couple of days.

To be fair to Howsy this was back when they were NoAgent so their service has possibly (but not noticeably) evolved but having asked them what level of service they could commit to just this morning, I was passed from first level service support to now waiting for a callback from a "manager" so I think this has already answered my question. In the meantime I have contacted 99home (am still waiting) and lettingaproperty who, to their credit, scheduled an extremely prompt callback and can apparently offer a dedicated property support person.

I'll likely finalise a decision on Monday depending on today's other two callbacks. Aiming to lock in the switch (if I pull the trigger) before proceeding with my HMO licence renewal.

Thanks!

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The Landlord 3rd January, 2020 @ 12:13

@Marc,

Thanks for that, really appreciate it. I'm going to reach out to Howsy and see what they have to say!

Please let me know who you end up going with and why. It's really useful information for me, the other agents, and for anyone contemplating between online management agencies.

Oh, and don't forget to use the discount codes available :)

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Marc 3rd January, 2020 @ 13:14

@The Landlord

Sure, will return with feedback in due course! I only have two properties so don’t have vastly varied experience - I imagine HMOs are still niche... mortgage lenders seem to think so :( However I do think that most online agents are probably still badly equipped for handholding during the licensing process, even if they can support the (slight) additional complexity of the rental contract afterwards.

As someone who used to self-manage I know my tenants enjoy worse service than before I moved abroad and opted for a fully-managed deal. I like the idea of testing an online agent with the need of being sufficiently responsive to a local council. If they can do that then surely that will be a good indicator of their ability to resolve tenant enquiries promptly!

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David 3rd January, 2020 @ 15:49

Sorry @Marc

I think I must have read that wrong, I see it now.

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David L 13th February, 2020 @ 01:38

Hi @the landlord could you review bunk? And snippie?

Bunk gained attention in the web because of nationwide is backing them.

I was going to pick LAP but they have other stuffs like inspections as seperate charge and the charge is bit high so I am seeking any alternative

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The Landlord 14th February, 2020 @ 11:07

Hi @ David,

They're both relatively new services, and I usually wait for an agent to establish a reputation before I start prodding around. It's hard for me to recommend anyone while they're so new.

That said, I have recently been in communication with Snippie.

I will eventually get around to taking a closer look at both services, but I'm not sure when that will be I'm afraid. Probably not useful to you since you're in the market now.

For what it's worth, LAP is relatively expensive compared to other online agents, but they're a premium service, and their customer service really is exceptional from my experience! You do get value.

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