Being a regular reader of Property118 I felt I would like to express my gratitude for this free website by writing a testimonial for the online property management company which Mark Alexander referred me to.
I submitted a “Readers Questions” article and several GOOD Landlords made a big effort to respond and offer me advice. This is the first time I have let out this property so I’m very much a “newbie”.
Having initially used a High Street Letting Agent and had 2 potential tenants drop out at the 11th hour costing me several months of lost income, I went looking for alternative support. I found an online property management company who have inventory clerks based in many Cities in the UK. Unfortunately they don’t have a local agent in the town where my property is yet but that didn’t prevent me from doing business with them. I had always imagined online companies would lack a degree of creativity and flexibility so I was delighted when we quickly found a way round the lack of agent presence and tailored a service for my individual situation.
They advertised the property on all the major property portals for me and I soon had a good supply of tenants to arrange viewings for. I was fortunate in that I was able to elicit the help of a close neighbour, who was happy to conduct the viewings on my behalf. Having found a lady who liked the property and who I felt would make a good tenant, the referencing was done by the agent. They appointed an independent inventory clerk at their expense and, after discussions and advice regarding the paperwork I required for the tenant handover, I carried out the check-in myself. A copy of the signed rental contract, deposit protection and prescribed information forms from DPS and the inventory had already been sent to the tenant, and all other legal paperwork for the tenant information file is now uploaded on the tenant’s log-in area reducing my workload tremendously. On the handover day I was able to minimise the paperwork to key and other releases plus the equipment instructions file. My new agents will also be managing the rent collection for me.
The office staff were incredibly patient with my copious amounts of questions and the anxiety one feels ‘the first time’ and all that. 🙂 I couldn’t have wished for better support.
And the best bit was the cost!
How much do you think I am pay for this service?
Well, considering that most of the other ARLA lettings I spoke to wanted up-front fees of around £200 +VAT, plus 10% of rent + VAT, I figured that based on the rent I am charging (£895 pcm) the typical cost over the year would be £1,274 for a similar service. I am paying £14.99 pcm plus VAT plus say £50 in petrol and about 5 hours of my time to do the check in. In total, I have calculated that I will save around £1,262.80 over the year which equates to about 82.6% off the market norm.
If you are looking for a cost effective alternative to using a High Street letting agent I strongly recommend the firm Property118 introduced me to. They are knowledgeable, friendly and creative as well as being extremely competitive in terms of price. They are also members of ARLA and The Property Ombudsman so I also know they have client money protection and professional indemnity insurance too. What more could any landlord possibly ask for?
Thanks to Property118 for the excellent introduction. As a result of this I also became a member of The GOOD Landlords Campaign.
To contact the firm which Suzanne’s article relates to please complete the contact form below.