Fee Free Property Letting

by Mark Alexander

15:56 PM, 5th January 2012
About 9 years ago

Fee Free Property Letting

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Fee Free Property Letting

Would you be sceptical of an advert for fee free letting?

Being a landlord for over 20 years has made me a bit sceptical so when I first heard about a fee free property letting offer my gut reaction was “what’s the catch?”

It was obvious to me that the only way anybody could offer a free letting service via all of the following portals was to charge the tenants and to have an upsell agenda.

  • Rightmove
  • Prime Location
  • Globrix
  • Find A Property
  • Zoopla
  • Homes24
  • etc. etc. etc

Curiosity always gets the better of me though so I decided to dig a bit deeper. I went onto the website of the company offering the service and I read their terms and conditions very carefully. The bottom line was that if the landlord deals directly with the tenant and cuts the letting agent agent out of the game they charge the landlord £500. Does that mean they are charging the tenant £500 for referencing and producing a tenancy agreement then, I thought. I checked very carefully and there was definitely no requirement to employ the letting agent for long term management so I knew that wasn’t the catch.

I couldn’t just leave it at that, it’s not my nature to allow my scepticism to ruin an opportunity so I emailed the company concerned. They telephoned me today and I had my opportunity to dig deeper still.

It turns out that they are a relatively new business and are offering this promotion as a bit of a loss leader to gain brand awareness. Nothing wrong with that of course, the supermarkets do it every day. I asked how much they charge tenants for referencing and the answer is £99 including VAT. They don’t charge tenants for anything else and its up to the landlord whether they choose to use the agents tenancy agreement. OK, fair enough I’m thinking, that’s not the cheapest I’ve seen but it’s by no means the most expensive either. In fairness, if a tenant which they had found for me seemed decent enough, passed all the credit checks etc. and wanted my property, but these fees were the sticking then I’d probably subsidise them myself.

I’m going to give this a try the next time one of my tenants serves notice. What have I got to lose?

I did wonder whether the letting agent charges the fee to introduce the tenants to me but I’m assured that’s not how it works. The explanation I was offered was that they put us in touch, I show them my property and if I choose to do a deal then I simply refer the tenants back to the agent for the referencing. Can’t say fairer than that.

So in summary I now see this as being a decent offer, possibly a very, very good one and a very cost effective way to source tenants.

I’ve not named the letting agent because I’m hoping to get them to advertise on Property118. I’ve decided to write this article now though to demonstrate interest levels in this service from readers of Property118.com to them, so if you are interested in knowing more please leave a comment below. If enough comments are left, they will advertise and I will add a link to their website here.

What do you reckon?

Comments

Mark Alexander

10:41 AM, 8th January 2012
About 9 years ago

I'm hoping that the company will take advertising so that we can reveal their identity in our Newsletter on 18th January.

19:36 PM, 8th January 2012
About 9 years ago

Sorry did I say 2 months rent up front.
I meant to say I take 2 months rent as a deposit which I protect.
I also take 1 months rent in advance.
I suppose I should not have stated the deposit was equal to 2 months rent; because of course the deposit may be for any amount you so choose.
I could have a £5000.00 deposit.
This would not be rent and therefore I would not have created a premium tenancy.
It is only because of the advices on this site that I have no removed any hint of my taking anymore than 1 months rent in advance,
So thanks for that I could have given myself a whole heap of problems  potentially.

19:48 PM, 8th January 2012
About 9 years ago

I think had your associate read my comment above he would not have been ripped off.
Essentially and it is worthwhile reiterating until you are blue in the face.
EVERY landlord MUST esnure that they have registered up to 4 addresses for the purposes of Land Registry communications to themselves.
These may comprise a combnation of email and normal addresses.
NONE of the communication addresses should be of the rental properties.
Had your associate followed this simple expedient he would not have been ripped off as ALL Land Registry communication would have been sent to up to 4 registered addresses.
If you start receiving communications from Land Registry about a proposed sale one would presumably smell a rat and contact LR immediately to report the fraud and stop the sale process!?
I believe however that Land Registry are liable for these frauds and the claim needs to made against them.
A few years ago LR in light of the same fraud occurring ,had a campaign of mentioning ALL I have stated above ; Indeed as a result of my awareness of such I registered my home address and 3 email addresses.
This means that if any body attempts to seel my properties without my knowledge they won't be able to as I will receive ALL LR communicatiuons relating to that property sale.

19:52 PM, 8th January 2012
About 9 years ago

Also I ensured that ALL ground rent, service charge, mortgage communications were only to be sent to my home address and NOT to any of the rental property addresses.

10:26 AM, 22nd April 2012
About 9 years ago

I was contacted by a company recently called Tenants4U.com offering free property letting, has anyone else used them, seems pretty good and they offered me 6 months RGI for £79.99 and property letting included! Would be good to hear other people's views as I think they are a new company

17:30 PM, 22nd April 2012
About 9 years ago

Why not use upad.co.uk for £99.00 for tenant source and discount lettings for RGI for £99 for 1 year.
I think upad are doing a deal at the moment and I think discountlettings are also doing a deal presently.
So you could get it even cheaper than this.

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