When you go into your high street agent to get help finding a tenant, tread carefully
A letting agency is not a charity, its a business just like any other in that its primary purpose is to generate profit. That’s nothing new and it’s what all businesses do. One of the key tools used by businesses is “Upselling” Upselling is when you go into a business for a lighbulb and come out with a new light and you usually have to buy the bulbs seperately too!
Don’t Be Upsold If You You Don’t Want Or Need
So you’re sitting talking to the agent and before you know it, you’ve signed up for full management – without having had time to consider the alternatives or to read the small print – which usually involves you being tied in and subjected to heavy penalties if you want to be released from the contract (see my other post about How To Avoid Golden Handcuffs )
Here Is The Truth
You can opt for just a Tenant FInd Service – This allows you to find a tenant, have them vetted and get the contract sorted etc without being tied in to a contract.
This also means that the rent your tenant pays will (or should) come directly to you and not via the agent.
You will also save a pile of money – If the agent charged you (say) £100/month (inc vat) that’s a saving of £1200.00 per year!
Your Right To Choose
Don’t be fooled into believing that you can only use their tenant find service on the condition that you sign up to the management package the agent is offering. Any agent that tries that approach should be avoided. Who knows, maybe the market will eventually change to that model, but for now – you have the right to choose who you use and for what. If you feel pressured – leave. If it feels a bit now or never – leave. You will not have any problem finding a suitable tenant, nor will you have any problem finding an alternative agent.
Don’t Forget The Deposit
The other thing is, you are then free to shop around for alternative management services. It may be that you like the agency on your high street because they are super-quick at finding tenants, but you have no idea how they will perform when it comes to repairs, disputes or problem resolution. If it turns out that you are not happy with their performance, you might find yourself paying heavily to break the contract simply because they failed to deliver. (Believe me – it happens. A new client of ours is currently in dispute with their last agent for exactly that reason)
You will also know for sure that the deposit has been taken care of properly, as under let only contracts, the agent usually sends you the deposit too, – if they don’t, insist that they do so that you can personally make sure its handled correctly. Way too many landlords have been stung by agents absconding with deposits and not many landlords realise, that even if you us an agent, the liability for failing to bond a deposit is on your head by law. (Read more in my post about How To Avoid Deposit Theft )
Full Management can take a lot of headaches out of being a landlord and it helps thousands of landlords every day – Just be sure you know what you are tying yourself to, how to escape the contract if you are unhappy and what alternatives are available