Helpful Tips No: 1 & 2


I am a member of various groups and often see landlords posting questions and receiving advice on which route to take when looking for tenants.  


When new landlords are looking for help in finding tenants and don't know where to start my advice would be to carry out your research regarding the agents.  A recommendation is always great, but you need to decide if you would have the same experience.  All agents will sell their services, but how knowledgeable and helpful is the team?


After you have selected agents to contact call them as if you are a tenant.  See how they treat you.  If it is possible go to viewings to see how properties are presented.  This will give you an indication of how well they are managed.  I know this won't go down well with other agents, but your BTL property is your investment, and you need to make sure that the agent appointed will be looking after it properly.


If a property is not well maintained and looks tired it doesn't always mean that it is because the landlord is reluctant to carry out work.  Sometimes it is the cost of the repairs needed that is the issue.  Did you know some agents charge the contractors between 10 and 20% on top of their quote/invoice just to give them jobs?  This can sometimes mean the agent is making more profit on repairs carried out than the contractor themselves.  This is another question you should ask whilst being shown around the property as the negotiator will know if they do this and you can ask the question when you have the agent out to provide a rental assessment. 


The agent’s monthly management fee may be lower, but they will make it up by charging you through the repairs arranged.  I don't believe in this and have never charged contractors in this way.  In an agent’s Terms of Business, they are required to declare whether they receive a commission.  Charging the contractor is their way around this.


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