12:46 PM, 21st August 2012, About 10 years ago 11
Readers response letter to the article entitled “Landlords should not be allowed to let their own properties” in which our reader lists seven benefits to tenants of dealing directly with a landlord in response to …. “give me 6 good reasons why these other not their fault necessarily but unaware Landlords should be allowed to. If you get past 3 I will be impressed!!”
I am a private landlord and have been letting privately for many years, about 27 years in fact.
1. The tenant knows that the owner is a proper interested party and would not want the property to be devalued by lack of care.
2. Many tenants have been ripped off by letting agents and would MUCH prefer to rent from an owner rather than an agent.
3. Now that the tenant’s deposit must be covered by a deposit scheme they know that their cash is safe as long as they go by the rules. I have seen some dreadful cases of deposits witheld by agents for months and months, or for ever. (I often take up the cases on the tenants behalf)
4. Some tenants have a real personal problem during the fixed term of their tenancy, such as falling out with a partner, relatives getting sick, etc, and they feel their relationship with the owner would lead to a more compassionate response to a request to terminate early.
5. Often the tenant finds that they cannot get anything done to repair property or fittings etc when dealing with an agent. The agent just can’t be bothered to do anything.
6. The private landlord can let the same property cheaper because there is no agent’s fees – of great benefit to the tenant.
7. Most importantly – the agent is paid by the landlord so the agent feels they are benefitting the owner by not responding to complaints and problems that the tenant raises. However, this is often completely wrong. See what damage can be done by a leaking shower that hasn’t been fixed because the agent does nothing!
If you consider the above points you will see that most of these will only really apply when the owner lives locally and can act for himself and be on the spot. Therefore, if you want a good letting place, MAKE IT LOCAL!
One other tip for landlords – beware loony tenants, there are a lot about. If in doubt, say no and look for another.
I think your e-mail correspondent is upset purely by the truth of all the above points – and point 6 in particular, which makes it hard to do business. My response is: Tough.
Regards, TG, Oxford