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Advertising Tenants benefits of avoiding letting agents


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With the introduction of the TDS it has lead me to start thinking about better, more efficient ways of working. Before I go ahead and do this, which I plan to do next week I want to see what other think of this.

Unfortunately I am Mr HMO only, so some may not be relevant to all.

I wish to advertise on house/flat share sites noting the benefits of avoiding letting agents as I think this is a real selling point and saves the tenant a load of money. My proposal is to include the following:


Other benefits available as avoiding using a letting agent:

• No admin fees

• No charge for referencing

• No deposit, so no risk the letting agent will withhold the deposit

• £150 cash back at the end of tenancy *

• No Admin fee to extend tenancy agreement

• £50 cash back every 6 months on extending tenancy agreement

Total saved by avoiding letting agents is approximately £400 per annum per room.

* Please ask for details on the £150 cash back at the end of tenancy on viewing as it is dependant on criteria being met, one being that the accommodation is left how it was received.


Firstly will sites like Spareroom.co.uk, Gumtree etc allow this kind of advertising. Secondly could I get into hot water with lettng agents for saying this. Peoples thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Assuming I can I worked out the £400 saving per annum as:

Average Letting Agent Admin fee £100

Average Letting agent reference fee £50

Cash back on extending contract for another 6 months £50

Average Letting agent fee for extending contract £50

Cash back at the end of the tenancy assuming staying for one year £150

I think this is a huge selling point, and if tenants realised that letting agents were costing them so much would more likely avoid them altogether, which I feel a rising amount of people are starting to do.

In addition to this my way of not having the deposit is to have an incentive at the end of the contract, paid only if the place is left as it was found, rent has been paid on time each month during the tenancy and a new tenant is moving in within two weeks of the tenant moving out.

I feel this may motivate the tenant to pay monthly rent on time, keep the place as it was when they moved in and help to ensure they assist finding a new tenant. A small price for me to pay if it works as could also reduce voids.

I am expecting Trenners to dislike this one, but I would appreciate all comments, even the very opposing ones.

Kind regards,

HMO Mat.

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I cannot answer your letting question and am sure the experienced landlords on the forum will give their views on this, although I would say that from what I have read that you appear to be offering a form of discount, and as such, this will reduce your profits from a tax perspective.



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Yes it certainly would do, but may be offset by reduction in voids.

However, glad you are on here since I'm not sure what the tax implications are to the tenant on this one? Is it a taxable gift or seen as a rent reduction and therefore not taxable as it isn't income???



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Hi Mat

well it is not something I have heard before but applying the usual accounting and taxation principals I would suggest that from your point of view it would reduce your profits - it would not be a gift - particularly if you have the agreement in writing stating the terms and conditions of the cash-back. You wouldnt want this to be a gift as this would not reduce your profits but would be a potentially exempt transfer for IHT purposes - and to be honest, in these circumstances, you wouldn't want that as there is no immediate tax benefit.

From the tenants point of view, does it really matter? I guess if they are claiming accomodation as an expense (which can be the case for contractors on temporary contracts for example) then it would - if they did receive the cash back it would reduce the amount they can claim back.

What I dont know however is whether this sort of cash-back system would affect any DSS tenants due to the way in which that system is operated - I am sure that someone else could probably help with that - Trenners? Melboy?



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Ah, good point, yeah it should just be seen as a reduction in rent.

Not sure how it would work with DSS, but I don't rent to these anyhow, so I'm not going to worry too much about that.

Thanks for your advice, as always very helpful.

Any comments from the landlords, Simon (Rodent)? I know you have quite a lot of experience in this field?

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From my point of view, everything is good up until the £150 back. With my HMO I've advertized on flatshare sites for years, and got excellent results. If nothing else, it's the only time I can pretend to be a 23 year old again. I wouldn't consider using them for any other flats and houses though.

Whilst I've got some really good guys, I wouldn't give them a room unless they were motivated enough to beg, borrow, steal, mug, or find both rent and deposit.

Put their official deposit in the custodial system, charge them £50 for tenancy and inventory and tell them you will refund it as a favour in cash if they leave everything spick and span.

Oh, and whack the rent up by a tenner a month.

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Hi Mat

Are you running a business or a charity !!!!!!!!!!!?????????LOL

Very generous terms - saving £400 for each T - Which could be your profit!

I agree that incentives are good but this is much too one sided for me.

There is a danger of prospective tenants thinking "sounds too good to be true" or "This guy is really desperate to let these rooms " with the result being that they pass your ad over and go straight to the next ad !

If you are going to trust them to "abide" then why bother taking 2months up front ?

what about the idiots who pay late skip the last months rent and leave you a "damage" bill

I dont think this is the way to go at all !

Take a bond- protect it, it will cost you nothing to do this if you use free scheme !

do simple 1 page inventory and take a short vid with dig camera (with tement in shot ) to confirm date and condition of prop

zooming in on any thing you think should be noted .... Then store on your pc

If you do just this at least the tenant will be aware that you are organised, professional and will realise that you will have a good chance of seeking damages !

If you want to offer cash incentives as well (for immaculate return and finding new tenants etc)

then great but not on their own!!


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