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Bad letting agency help and advice needed please


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Hi all, I'm after some advice. I've just put my first rental property with a letting agency and less than a month in have already had no end of problems.

The latest, and the one which has really cheesed me off, is they have just sent a statement through with a 'registration' fee and a few smaller fees. I knew nothing about these fees, their communication is terrible and this is yet another example. I'd really love to tell them to stick it and wonder if i can do as i don't actually have a signed contract.

We have had no help or guidance as landlords in preparing the property for letting. The agent and i have already had crossed words.


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Picking any agent without a recommendation as to their performance can result in tears.

We have had no help or guidance as landlords in preparing the property for letting.

If they provided you with no guidance during your preparation then it begs the question as to why you continued to place the business with them.

Has the property been let, did they find you a tenant, are they members of ARLA ?

I suggest that if there is no contract then you can part company......but I suspect there is more info than you haven't provided.

Here's my list of do's & don'ts:

The most important thing that any potential landlord can do is choose their tenants very very carefully.

1. Get Referencies.....bank, employer and previous landlord.
2. Take out rent guarantee insurance.....its not expensive.
3. Get a home owning guarantor. Carry out reference checks on the guarantor. Give the guarantor a copy of the AST. Make sure the guarantor document is drawn up as a deed.
4. Don't let to people with pets or children......the risk of them giving you problems are big.

5. Don’t let to anyone under 18 (minors). Draw up your own limits….I prefer nobody under 25.
6. Don't let to smokers........you won't get rid of the smell.

7. Don’t do Company lets.

8. Don’t let to anyone on Housing Benefits.

8a. If you do choose to let to applicants on Housing Benefit CHECK that your mortgage & freeholder (if your property is leasehold) allows it.

9. Don't let to anyone who isn't working full time.
10. Inspect properties every 3 months.
11. Only let initially on a 6 month AST.....that way you can both part company after 6 months if you don't get on.
12. Use a reputable Lettings Agent OR one who has been recommended OR do it yourself (only if you know what to do).
13. Meet your tenants personally. Make sure you ask all the right questions and gauge whether they are right for you.

14. Protect the deposit in one of the official schemes.

14a. If you have a dispute with your tenant(s) over deductions from the deposit remember…..you can either go through the DPS adjudication process OR take the tenant to the Small Claims Court for recovery of your losses where you may have a better chance of success.

15. Issue a section 21 notice as soon as the deposit has been protected.

16. Make sure there is a detailed inventory & schedule of condition……signed by both parties.

17. Remember its a business....so avoid emotion & being overly sympathetic to your tenants.

18. Read as much as you can about renting & letting i.e. educate yourself.

19. Don’t let to anyone who doesn’t speak or understand English.

20. Don’t forget that you will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)…….before you market the property.

21. Don’t forget to get an annual Gas Certificate.

22. You are responsible for ensuring anything electrical in the property is safe so consider getting the electrics checked professionally….and any appliances you provide.

23. Try to avoid having your property classified as an HMO……meeting regulations is expensive and time consuming.

24. Make sure all adults living at the property are on the AST & any other documents.

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If there was nothing about these payments in any T&C's you signed or even mentioned request to be refunded.

Before relations break down and and if you are planning to give notice to the agency it is very advisable to get all the infomation relating to the tenancy. It is not unheard of for agency to refuse to give this over which can cause problems.

Your need at least.

Tenancy agreement

Precribed information relating to the deposit

Deposit certificate


All referancing info the agency did on the tenants prior to the tenancy starting.

There is no legal reason why they cant give you the above or at least copies of it because they collated it on your behalf and you have pay for it in agency fees. Be prepared for them to sprout data protection but it doesnt really apply and just say you have allready checked with the Information Commissners office (data protection) and ARLA.

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