PDA

View Full Version : Go it alone for first time landlord?



Shadowcat
21-10-2009, 20:09 PM
Hi everyone, I have been a live-in-'landlord'(kind of) before but not done the whole shorthold tenancy agreemant routine before.... I have talked with many agents and have a good idea of the income and fees I can expect... But I'm wondering if agents fees of 8% for collection etc are OK or if I should just go it alone?

Would it be better getting an agent for the first time just get started and learn the ropes? Any advice is much appreciated!

jeffrey
22-10-2009, 11:53 AM
At LZ, we see almost every DiY first-time landlord come unstuck. Don't.

Shadowcat
22-10-2009, 15:33 PM
Short and to the point. Thankyou.

So its best just to slowly get into it, let agents handle things then just learn more?

dominic
22-10-2009, 15:35 PM
At LZ, we see almost every DiY first-time landlord come unstuck. Don't.

That said, I did it, and have not regretted it one little bit.

But...:

a. I am a lawyer; and
b. I live 100yrds from the property.

mind the gap
22-10-2009, 15:43 PM
[QUOTE=dominic;166018]That said, I did it, and have not regretted it one little bit.

[QUOTE]

Moi aussi.

And (as well as being Australian :D), I love making order out of chaos and I wield a mean sink plunger. You may find this useful:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/search.php?searchid=1347914

westminster
22-10-2009, 15:44 PM
Would it be better getting an agent for the first time just get started and learn the ropes? Any advice is much appreciated!
Best to use an agent first time. There are a lot of legalities, and a lot of potential pitfalls for the inexperienced LL. Choose a long-established firm which belongs to one of the main agents associations, and one which protects their clients money.

Reading this forum is a very good way to learn the ropes. Also the Shelter website is an excellent source of information. http://england.shelter.org.uk/

And if any problems arise, ask immediately on the forum - don't wait till the problem gets worse.

I wouldn't have the agent collect rent on your behalf - have the T pay you by standing order.

pauldubery
22-10-2009, 16:07 PM
It depends on the agent. I understand that most are ok during the good times but bad one will be a hindrance if things go wrong.

Either way insist on seeing the references and credit rating documentation for any tenant introduced by an agent before signing a contract .

Shadowcat
22-10-2009, 16:10 PM
Many thanks for the informative replies... I'm looking forward to becoming more of a regular on here. Would the general advice be to get an agent to set everything up but manage rent collection etc myself? Agents fees of 8% for 'rent collection' do seem a bit steep!?

Lawcruncher
22-10-2009, 18:08 PM
At LZ, we see almost every DiY first-time landlord come unstuck. Don't.

Rather, at LZ we see DIY first-time landlords who run into problems and post on LZ come unstuck. What we do not know is how many DIY first-time landlords there are out there who have not come unstuck. If this forum is anything to go by any sensible person would avoid letting agents, but there must be some out there doing a good job and who do not rip off landlords and tenants.

Letting property is a business. Like any other business it pays to have some knowledge of it before you go into it. Unfortunately there are no apprenticeships. If you want to go it alone you need to read extensively. Books are on the whole more reliable than anything you can get on line (apart from this forum naturally) since publishers usually check the credentials of their authors. I have seen much on line on sites that one thinks one ought to be able to trust that have had me take to a darkened room to recover my equilibrium.

Jaybee542
22-10-2009, 18:20 PM
Agents fees of 8% for 'rent collection' do seem a bit steep!?
Actually that doesn't seem unusual. Indeed it seems cheaper than some quotes I have had - I think the most was 15% for management. I always stick to the tenant find only service when in the country. I personally don't find much use for agents after this point - they only tend to pass on the problems to you and keep hold of the money longer than they should. That said, I may have been unlucky.

jeffrey
22-10-2009, 18:21 PM
At LZ, we see almost every DiY first-time landlord come unstuck. Don't.


Rather, at LZ we see DIY first-time landlords who run into problems and post on LZ come unstuck. What we do not know is how many DIY first-time landlords there are out there who have not come unstuck. If this forum is anything to go by any sensible person would avoid letting agents, but there must be some out there doing a good job and who do not rip off landlords and tenants.
OK. Let's reword it as "At LZ, almost every DiY first-time landlord from whom we see posts has come unstuck. Don't."

mind the gap
22-10-2009, 18:22 PM
OK. Let's reword it as "At LZ, almost every DiY first-time landlord from whom we see posts has come unstuck. Don't."

No, let's not. What a dreadful mangling of syntax and sense that would represent.

tom999
22-10-2009, 19:01 PM
Would it be better getting an agent for the first time just get started and learn the ropes? Any advice is much appreciated!Answer really depends on the type of person LL is. It helps if you are interested in property and have a hands-on approach. Whilst there may be some first time LL's who have come unstuck who post on LLZ, conversely there are many who:

Have taken the time to educate themselves in housing law and regulations, e.g. regarding LL's and T's obligations.
Aren't afraid to get stuck into property maintenance (or find reliable tradespeople who can)

Problem with an agent is getting the right one (even with long established national chains, there is no guarantee).

Shadowcat
25-10-2009, 09:27 AM
I'm happy to get stuck in and do have an interest in this.. I'm leaning towards getting an agent for my first time as it will (hopefully) allow me to learn things with a 'guiding hand'....

islandgirl
25-10-2009, 09:51 AM
I think if you are the right kind of person go it alone. Agents take commission but if there are problems (tenants who dont pay) wash their hands of you! All the costs of court action etc are down to you anyway. Take full references and do credit checks and spend hours on here would be my advice. You may wish to use an agent to find tenants but I did and it was a total and utter disaster!

Shadowcat
25-10-2009, 11:59 AM
Ultimately I'd like to go it alone, I'm just concerned that I won't know the overall process well enough to jump in at the deep end. I have a couple of books but is there something like a checklist for idiots on this site?

tom999
25-10-2009, 12:04 PM
Yes, you could start here:

Tenant Checks & References (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/tenant_screening.htm)

mind the gap
25-10-2009, 23:35 PM
Then read up on tenancy agreements, tenancy deposit protection schemes EPCs, gas safety checks and electrical safety checks! You may find this thread useful:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=23015&highlight=strong+stomach

dominic
26-10-2009, 09:42 AM
If you do instruct an agent, I would certainly insist they do not provide you with the dubious service of "rent collection". This service comprises your tenant paying the agent, who in turn will pay you (unless the agent goes insolvent, in which case you'll never see again the money they owe you). In fact, you are doing them a service by improving their cashflow.

If I were to instruct an agent, I would inform them that T is paying me directly, but that if they should miss a payment, I would inform the agent who then, as per their remaining "rent collection" obligations, would chase up the matter with the T.