Letting agents - what should I pay?(9 Posts)
Hi, we're about to let out our flat for the first time, what is the going rate to pay a letting agent, weve had one in so far, and he's quoted 10% let only, 12.5% rent collection and 15% fully managed, also can you negotiate?
That sounds slightly high to me. We pay around 12.5% fully managed. Also compare set up fees, tenancy deposit scheme fees, change of tenancy fees etc, as these can vary.
8% let only, 10% let & rent collection, 12% fully managed in the regions. More in central London. We have a letting agency in central London - PM me for better rates than this if you're in the area :-)
I would look at a fixed fee if you're only asking them to find a tenant. It's obviously a bit of a gamble if your tenant doesn't stay very long but it could save you loads if your tenant stays for a long time.
Can I also add that most agencies will add a clause in the contract that entitles them to a fee if you sell the property to a tenant. I suggest you cross that clause out even if you have no intention of selling.
Thank you for your replies, I've got another two coming this week, but it sounds like I should be paying less. I hadn't even thought about other fees - isn't everything just included? Are there loads of costs on top?
Also which service would you recommend? We don't live near the property (about an hours drive) do you think its reasonable to be able to manage it ourselves?
You also need to pay for a gas safety certificate.
Our flat is about 30-40 minutes drive and we manage it ourselves. We have a friendly handyman who is fairly close and could be called on if necessary but in the two years our current tenants have lived there we haven't had to do anything. It is a fairly new conversion so ther'es nothing to go wrong. If your property is likely to need regular maintenance then bear that in mind before deciding to manage it yourself.
Either go for a fully managed or a tenant finding service only. The rent collection option is nonsense because how hard is it for the tenant to just pay the money into your bank account instead of the letting agent's.
I have not been impressed by letting agents as either a landlord or a tenant. As a landlord, one specialised agent (i.e. lettings only) put a tenant into my rather lovely house in rather lovely area that the police surgeon opposite described as 'scary'. They also failed to notice the dog or the smoking! Or that he hadn't paid the rent! As a tenant, a different agent failed to do any periodic checks and gave me my deposit back without a proper check out. They also failed to notice that I hadn't paid the rent (due to cock up on the finances).
I am now looking to let again and have decided to do it myself. Local advertising failed to yield any leads so have decided to go with House Network. For little more than the cost of the EPC, they have provided photos, virtual tours and a floor plan (important as my cottage is the opposite of a tardis!). It also gives access to Rightmove. It went live on Sat and so far have 3 viewings booked (though one cancelled tonight). I have also signed up for it's referral scheme but not sure I can mention details here!
Rented ours recently through Upad after being told about it by a very savvy Mnetter landlord (sooz28). Paid £69 and uploaded pics, wrote description and ad went on Rightmove and Zoopla. Had 6 viewings and 3 offers in 2 weeks and am about to enter contract.
It is time consuming but even if you used an agent you'd need to invest time/effort. I find that I have spent too much time chasing agents in the past and decided to get on with things myself and save some money. Also good to know that I could interview prospective tenant while showing house.
Joining the Natl Landlords' Association is also helpful - for an annual fee you get access to forms, advice line and discounts for services eg inventory, referencing.
Have a think about if you are organised enough/have time, energy to invest and you may find that it suits you to do it yourself.
I let a property on high Wycombe fully managed and pay 12%. I recently enquired about letting an additional property on Maidenhead to which the fully managed fee is now standard at 13.5%. we have however been fortunate that in using the same letting agent for both properties they are going to match at 12%. ... bear in mind their price is not necessarily as fixed as they say. Initial out lay also needs consideration regarding epc, gas check and also inventory. Agents generally also require 3 sets of keys which dependent on your type of locks could be expensive!
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