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speedy
12-03-2009, 11:17 AM
Right then first post here, im going to let my house out and was going to employ a letting agent, this is the first time i have done this, i have read various threads and are now thinking i might be better doing it myself.

Im letting the property out unfurnished

Ive sorted the landlord buildings insurance cover through simple, who seem to be quite good(please tell me if they are not)

Sorted the british gas homecare service cover for landlords.

And i have also decided to go for the rent gaurantee through endsleigh.


Now i know to get the rent gaurantee, you have to put your tennants throught certain credit checks, can anyone point me in the right direction to get these done?

Also the actual agreement between landlord and tennant, where is the best place to get these from, i was going to have a 6 month agreement?

I also need to sort the deposit scheme, how do i do this?

Or should i just forget about doing it myself and just let a ltting agaent do it?

sorry for asking a load of questions, they have probably been answered already, but cheers anyway.

speedy

Bel
12-03-2009, 11:29 AM
Have you checked the tems and conditions of the insurer; they should say what they expect with regard to referncing.

For everything else, I suggest you get a book on letting or spend several days reading these forums, or join a landlords association and they can take you though it step by step.

Be prepared to spend time researching. Landlording can be risky so you need to do your homework.

jeffrey
12-03-2009, 11:30 AM
Speedy: Unless you are very sure of what you're doing, which I guess not to be the case, you will probably come to grief. There are just too many pitfalls and traps- see LZ's thousands of threads for examples. If I were you, I'd start a first letting via any well-recommended Letting Agent, to be on the safe side!

Poppy
12-03-2009, 11:46 AM
Suggest that if you decide to use a letting agent, that they are members of either NAEA, ARLA or RICS. Try to negotiate out any ongoing renewal fees.

Research then choose one of the three deposit schemes:
The Deposit Protection Service (http://www.depositprotection.com/) (custodial)
Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited (http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/) AKA MyDeposits (Insurance-based)
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (http://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/) (Insurance-based)

yaf201
12-03-2009, 11:47 AM
I recommend joining a landord's associtaion. Choose one that has a strong local presence in your area. For that reason, I chose the NLA www.landlords.org.uk. Also, check here http://www.anuk.org.uk/directory/directory.asp to see if there is an accreditation scheme running in your area. Both are excellent sources of information and well worth the membership fees, which are tax-deductable. Also, go and talk to your local authority's private rental department - they are more than happy to help potential landlords stay within the letter and spirit of the law.

If you view lettings as a business, then I recommend you put the legwork in, learn whatever you can learn and manage your property yourself. It's not rocket science but it does take effort.

On the other hand, if your view is that lettings is an investment and trust someone else to find you a tenant and look after your property, then go for a letting agent.

The second was my original intention, but after getting 3 letting agents in to sell me theri services right at the start, I found that I already knew more than them, so decided to go it alone. I've not regretted that decision even though I have made costly mistakes. At least when I make a costly mistake I learn from it. When an agent makes a costly mistake, I just end up paying for them to learn from it.

Maybe letting agents have improved over the years, but I wouldn't take the risk.

Of course this assumes that you live clsoe enough to your property to be able to manage it yourself. if you live in Penzance and your property is in Aberdeen, use an Aberdonian agent.

jeffrey
12-03-2009, 12:06 PM
Of course this assumes that you live clsoe enough to your property to be able to manage it yourself. if you live in Penzance and your property is in Aberdeen, use an Aberdonian agent.
Pedant's note: don't forget that E&W law is different from Scottish law!

yaf201
12-03-2009, 12:17 PM
Pedant's note: don't forget that E&W law is different from Scottish law!

OK, Penzance and Berwick-upon-Tweed then :)

Paragon
12-03-2009, 12:28 PM
Use an established, large firm and pay the premium. It is well worth it. I even get annual consolidated statements from them to give to my accountants.

speedy
12-03-2009, 13:30 PM
how about online letting agents, are any of these any good?

cheers for the replies.

yaf201
12-03-2009, 13:40 PM
For advertising, yes theya re. They can get your property onto Rightmove, findaproperty et al for a reasonabel fixed fee. Whether that's money well spent depends on the market in your area. So far, I've found nothing gets a response to match an advert in the local paper. That may not be true of all areas.

I wouldn't trust anyone else to manage my properties, especially someone without a local presence whom I can rant at when they cock it up.

Why so complicated...?
12-03-2009, 13:44 PM
Hi Speedy,

Whether or not you end up doing it yourself, read yourself a book like 'The Which Guide to Letting and Renting' - it will give you quite a lot of background that you may not already have, in layman's terms. As a first time LL, I used a sample contract from the book, interspersed with bits I'd come across in my own earlier agreement from a Lettings Agent. Maybe I was just lucky with my tenant, but I can't help thinking that if you need to seek possession or go to court, or anything, the process is no simpler and no less fraught if you are paying through the nose for an agent.

My advice would be to follow the advice above and give it a go, if you feel you've covered all the bases mentioned. Good luck!

Ria

speedy
12-03-2009, 13:54 PM
ive had two agents round and im arranging for two more, i like the iedea of using a agent but its just finding a good one, i would be gutted if i paid one and they were no good.

Bel
13-03-2009, 09:39 AM
ive had two agents round and im arranging for two more, i like the iedea of using a agent but its just finding a good one, i would be gutted if i paid one and they were no good.

If you join a LL association you can get recommendations from other LL's at meetings