Unfortunately, the stereotype is true.
A large portion of this industry is polluted with snakeoil cowboys, especially when it comes to Letting agents. I know this from years of experience, having dealt with many unsavory characters that were more than happy to utilise unethical tactics in order to line their pockets with cash. Sadly, I probably haven’t dealt with the worst of them; I’ve heard too many bad stories that far exceeded my horror stories.
With so many rogue letting agents operating around the country it is extremely easy for landlords, especially new landlords, to get swindled into bad deals, which ultimately equates to being ridiculously overcharged for a very unsatisfactory service.
In this section I have put together a list of useful tips and advice on how to deal with letting agents, and more importantly, how to differentiate the good from the ugly. I’ve also written about some of my experiences, particularly the bad. Hopefully there’s something in here for you to learn from.
Over the years I’ve personally stopped using traditional high-street letting agents, I just don’t trust them anymore and I begrudge paying for poor service (which is more often than no the outcome). But I do understand that they provide a service that some landlords need. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good, hardworking agents out there, but they’re getting rarer by the day. As a result, I’ve started managing and finding my own tenants through the help of online letting agents, which allow landlords to advertise rentals directly onto Rightmove & Zoopla (the two biggest and most popular UK property portals). Not only have I ended up saving thousands of pounds on agency fees, but I’ve also acquired much better standard of tenants.
If you’re not sure what online agents are, you can find out more about online letting agents. Highly recommended.