Thursday, 12 September 2019

Advice for landlords wanting a ‘let only’ service

Whilst many landlords will happily pay a letting agent to take care of everything, some landlords like to get stuck in and control as much of the process as possible, which leads them to a ‘let only’ service. This is where the letting agent finds the tenants and sets up the tenancy, before the landlord takes over the running of things from there.

Regardless of the service I’m instructed to undertake, my philosophy is always the same in regards to finding a tenant; it’s about getting the best tenant for the property, not necessarily the first one that comes along. That means finding ‘nice’ tenants who will pay the rent and look after the property and, where possible, who want to stay in the property long-term.

Unfortunately, some agents will do the minimum amount of work to get the job ‘done’; which to them means finding any tenant who’ll take the property. This is particularly true in the case of a ‘let only’ service whereby they may keep the better tenants for their managed stock, knowing that once they’ve moved tenants in on a let only basis they’re the landlord’s problem! Be sure you know who the tenants are and check their referencing reports to ensure you’re going to be comfortable dealing with them once they’re in your property.

Some unscrupulous agents have also worked out that by putting a short-term tenant in the property they won’t have to wait as long before being instructed (and paid) again to find the next set of tenants. Whilst the agent will make more money this way, the landlord will suffer from additional void periods and wear and tear from the greater churn of tenants.

You should watch out for agents with lots of similar (unlet) properties on their books and consider whether it is in their best interest to get your property let or the one across the street, which might start earning them a chunkier ‘fully managed’ fee.

A major reason landlords go down the ‘let only’ route rather than ‘fully managed’ is to save money. Unfortunately for these landlords they might be in for a shock when they next instruct an agent on a ‘let only’ basis, as the banning of tenant fees has seen letting agents greatly increase their price in this regard (many used to offer ‘let only’ very cheaply to landlords in the knowledge they would be in line for a big ‘admin’ fee from the tenants).

Be sure to check there aren’t any added costs or renewal fees tied into the service too. It’s a legal requirement for letting agents to list ALL the fees they will ever charge to landlords on their website, although I know a few who still aren’t doing this…

So, when it comes to choosing a letting agent, don’t be afraid to ask some tricky questions at their initial visit to weed out those in it for the short-term gain at the expense of your long-term pain!

This article was featured in...

If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:

c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP

Chichester rental valuation

No comments:

Post a Comment