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Guest pioneer31

Cut Out The Middle Man?

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Guest pioneer31

I am new to this renting malarkey and was wondering what the pros and cons of going through an Estate Agent are? I have been advised to do so by a friend as they say its 'safer', but on the other hand I am reading stories on here of their 'exhorbitant fees'.

Thanks!

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I am new to this renting malarkey and was wondering what the pros and cons of going through an Estate Agent are? I have been advised to do so by a friend as they say its 'safer', but on the other hand I am reading stories on here of their 'exhorbitant fees'.

Thanks!

Well, in my experience (London) estate agents usually charge about 100-200 quid "arrangement fees, " and may tack on absolute absurdities like 50 quid for a credit check. If you hassle them you can usually get it reduced; and if they think you'll walk they usually come around. They're all desperate at the moment anyway (BIG difference to a year ago I can tell you) so I suspect you'll have some good barganing power. It should be cheaper outside London too.

As to the safer thing, that depends. If the estate agent is actually managing the property rather than simply finding a tenant for an independent landlord then it probably is safer. They will obey the law, such as checking gas appliances, and not coming around unannounced. They will also get inexpensive things fixed relatively effectively and promptly. However, do not expect stellar service. Also expect them to try and thieve at least some of your deposit as a matter of routine.

If you get an independent landlord (either through something like loot or through an estate agent), then you are open to both the best and worst of the renting world. You could easily wind up with a nightmare landlord who will come around unannounced, won't fix things and will steal your deposit. On the other hand, you might get some absolute darling who appologises for coming around on Sunday afternoon to do the garden, and who gives the whole deposit back even though you left a big mark on the living room wall (speaking from experience). I advise going through loot, if you've got time to search and can keep your wits about you (get an inventory, check out the person who will be looking after the property etc. etc.); it'll save you money and get you a nicer place if you get it right. If you gotta get somewhere quick then try an estate agent....

Remember, no matter what happens that as a tennant the law is ABSOLUTELY wholeheartedly not on your side. It's esoteric, and always requires action from the tenant (rather than the land lord). Even if you have enough for the solicitors to get it enforced the penalties on landlords are pathetic. If in doubt - don't sign! it's not easy to force them to give your deposit back if they don't want to give it; it's not easy to force them to fix something that you didn't realise was broken; it's not easy to get them to leave you alone.

Hope that helps.

Edited by Kinky John

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Guest pioneer31

Thanks for the advice Kinky John. I have been told by an ex-renter that EA's are more likely to return the deposit and obey the law (despite being dearer) and it looks like you're saying the same. It looks like I'm going to be in a rush to get somewhere quick, therefore I'll probably go for an EA but I'll remember to walk away if they start adding on silly extras.

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  • 301 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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