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Letting agent fees and service - what's normal for London?

(6 Posts)
Lexilicious Tue 12-Jul-11 13:08:56

Does anyone have a property they let out, and what sort of level of fees are typical in slightly-outside-central London?

I'm about to have agents around to view a flat I've done up, which is a javelin's throw from the Olympic site (well, 2 miles), and as I've never been on this side of the rental market I have little idea what's worth paying and what's a joke.

One local company says their let-only fee is "two weeks rent for 12 month contract" which works out at 4%, and their full management fee is 8%. A slightly bigger company said 8% and 12% but indicated they'd negotiate. A significantly bigger company said 10% and 15%.

What should I be looking for in their Ts and Cs? should they be working with local plumbers up to a pre-agreed limit of expenditure rather than calling me up to authorise replacing a washer? Could I suggest that they should be organising annual boiler checks (or would that be risky, as the liability ends up with me anyway)?

I am fairly certain that I don't want to go down the gumtree/self-manage route. I know it would save money but it would add hassle. But please, any guidance on how to work with lettings agents is really welcome

Lexilicious Tue 12-Jul-11 18:49:37

bump ... anyone?

stainesmassif Tue 12-Jul-11 20:54:33

i found two agents and they bid each other down to 7.5%, which i found a really annoying way of doing business, tbh, i would rather know their 'best price' without beating around the bush and wasting my time. however, my mortgage company told me it was the lowest % they'd heard of for a full management fee. good luck!

Lexilicious Tue 12-Jul-11 22:42:38

hmm, sounds like a typical way of doing business in the lettings industry. I can't remember exactly but I think the 10/15% one was the answer just after I said "I haven't let out a place before". Sucker, they probably thought...!

are you in, er, staines?

seaside72 Tue 12-Jul-11 22:59:43

I rent out two flats in SW london and use the dreaded green mini brigade. It really is a case of better the devil you know though. You will be horrified to learn that I pay 10% of the contract term for lettings and 7% for management - so a whopping 17%. I am a sucker however I have been with them for 5 years now and tbh they get me on average 15% more rent per month than anywhere else I have talked to and I have only had 5 weeks void in 5 years on both flats combined and 2 of those were because I asked for a break to do some work on the properties etc. Don't get me wrong though they are the devil incarnate and one day I will shop around again.

I use their management service but I usually get my own quotes/tradesmen because they will make 10% on those bills too. However I do live 300 miles away so it is useful for the inevitable emergency or annoying tenant.
I pay for the basic British Gas homecare (boiler and central heating) which has been great as the tenant can just call them directly any problems and never bother me.

Good luck!

stainesmassif Wed 13-Jul-11 03:31:14

Yes, i am atm!

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