Lockdown #2 update: You can still let/rent a home, buy/sell your home, and move home during the lockdown in England starting on Thursday 5 November (unlike the first lockdown in March). But you must follow Covid safety guidance.
There’s No Point Using Letting Agents
When 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:
“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
- Go direct to a credit checking firm (£10 approx)
- Download a Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement
- Get Rent Guarantee And Legal Expenses Insurance
- Perform quarterly inspections yourself
- Advertise your Buy-To-Let on websites like Rightmove. That’s how Letting agents get most of their leads anyways.
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?
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.