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What's The Best Way To Find Landlords Directly?

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I found my current landlord via a card in a newsagent's window years ago. I've never had an agent acting as an intermediary, taking a fee etc, and I only ever paid 1 month's rent + £100 deposit in advance. The LL hasn't put the rent up in many years and if I stay probably never will. Unfortunately the building is in terrible nick (semi converted into flats) and is having mould and structural problems. (There are 4 out of 7 voids and LL is making no effort to fill them! I think he knows he's toast - building is illegal should be condemned.)

So I need to move. But all I read about agents is they are an expensive nightmare. How feasible is it to cut agents out of the loop and find a pro LL directly? Ideally I'd like a pro BTL landlord with a large portfolio, not an accidental LL who'll take fright when prices slide or IRs go up. Area of interest is Surrey: Sutton, Espom, Ashtead, Leatherhead.

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ask your current landlord if he knows anybody

local newspaper adverts

easyroommate.com and other private advertising websites (?)

go into the area and ask in corner shops, check shop windows and village notice boards

standard stuff

wonder if handy to ask in builders' yards, as they may know the big time landlords in the area?

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Gumtree is usually very good.

There were quite a lot of scams being posted previously, but it is paid advertising now.

We find lots of tenants on there because agents do advertise as well, but the ads state if it is private or agent.

Always worth looking at and vivastreet too.

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Gumtree is excellent. The back pages of your local rag are also worth a look. Finding a place you like via an agent, then bypassing the agent and going straight to the landlord with a roll of notes equivalent to two months' rent has worked for me in the past. It's a bit sneaky, but all the agents I've had experience of would as soon stab you in the back as look at you, so I wouldn't worry about going over their heads.

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Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Gumtree and the local paper seem to be the main sources.

I hope all the scammers have gone from gumtree. When I was looking about 18 months ago, I reckon 1/4 of the private ads were scams.

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How can you make sure you are not getting scammed when dealing with houseshares/landlords direct?

You can't really, but most of the scams on Gumtree were people copying letting agent ad's and using them. They would request up front payment be transferred and then do a runner.

A bit of common sense will show you that they are scams. If your not sure, then post a link to the ad on here or gumtree's forum and those with experience will shed light on it if it is a scam.

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Even without cash payment you can get scammed. Most use Western Mail transfers.

Don't be too afraid to pay cash, but make sure you are inside the property with the keys and a signed contract. A contract that is not just hand written or too basic.

You can always ask to see proof of ownership and see photo ID just like they would request from a tenant.

Another way to find a private landlord is to walk/drive by areas that you wish to rent. Many landlords place a notice in the window or erect their own letting signs.

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  • 285 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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