At letproof.com we really do feel that the process of renting has reached a point of being outdated compared to the wants and needs of the customer. This led us to provide our own alternative to traditional letting agents.
The need for an improved way of bringing landlords and tenants together directly is already being recognised and some landlords have already made the decision to go it alone.
We’re taking a look at some of the common issues with the current, traditional routes to letting. Whether from landlords or tenants, there are areas of complaint from both sides of the renting relationship, most of which come down to the cost of the renting process!
Common issues making landlords go it alone...
Issue One: Cost
Letting agents can be expensive, and while fee’s vary, landlords can end up paying high fees for the privilege of having someone oversee their rental property. A recent survey showed that ‘64% of [landlords] polled, would consider using private websites to find a tenant in order to avoid paying […] letting agent fees.’(Landlords Today)
‘23% of respondents claim to have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds through void periods because instructed letting agents had failed to secure them new tenants’ (Landlords Today). So the issue of cost not only means being charged high fees but, for some, actually losing out on rent due to no tenant being found to fill the property.
Issue two: Lack of control
The use of an agent or middleman brings another layer to the rental relationship, the landlord may not feel fully in control as they aren’t dealing with the property or tenant directly.
PIMS reported that in September of 2016, 65% of landlords polled carried out much of their own property maintenance and preferred not to use a third party such as a letting agent but to deal directly with their tenants. “We are seeing an increasing trend of savvy landlords taking direct control of how their property is let and managed and becoming much more self-sufficient.’
Issue three: Transparency
This is closely tied with a lack of control - ‘Lack of communication ranks high among the complaints landlords have about their letting agents.’ Telegraph.
If all fine details are not relayed carefully, regularly and correctly by letting agents to landlords, how can they know exactly what is happening with their property?
With around 1000 complaints per year to the Property Ombudsman, of which a high number are around a lack of communication, it’s clear that transparency is a desired trait in the letting process. Having direct relationships with tenants is what Letproof.com promote as a way to create a truly transparent process in letting.
There are of course some argued advantages of using letting agents - primarily saving time and gaining their knowledge and experience. This, however, depends on your agent of course and if you’re an experienced landlord or even an experienced tenant, your knowledge may already be pretty good.
What do letting agents offer landlords? …
Marketing the property
Leases and inventories
Deposit and rent collection
Property maintenance and repairs
Already, many landlords only use a selection of these services, and according to Property Industry Eye:
‘24% just use an agent to provide tenants and then look after the property themselves,’
‘41% find tenants and maintain the property themselves’
‘35% leave everything to an appointed agent.’
That’s 41% of landlords not using an agent at all! So, landlords, if you're willing to call upon your own skills, get organised and informed you could be saving money by going it alone - a trend that we’re apparently already beginning to see.
Plus with the correct resources at your fingertips, a first time ‘go it alone’ landlord’s hurdles are lowered significantly! We provide materials and resources to make deposits, inventories and referencing much simpler for our landlords to go it alone.
Let’s face it, private landlords, overall, haven’t had the easiest couple of years financially, so some additional saving here and there couldn’t go a miss, right?
One of the great things about this time of startups and proptech innovation and the era of ‘there’s an app for that’ is that managing your property and any potentially time-consuming duties that come with it can be easily managed with apps such as Fixflo or Property Buddy, to name a couple.
If the desire is there to become an efficient cost effective independent private landlord is there, we’re here to help you do it and find you a tenant!
Letproof.com are looking for partners and investors if you like what we're about and think you might like to become part of our journey, visit our Crowdfunding page.