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Offering To Rent A House For Sale

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I'm trying to find a house to rent at the moment but having trouble finding one I really like.

As there's lots of nice houses in the area for sale and of course not selling, how viable is it to try and contact those sellers privately, to ask if they want to rent it out? Maybe post a letter through the letterbox and include a reasonable offer of what I'd pay monthly?

Or would this be a bad idea, as it might be more likely they are in financial trouble / wouldn't be good LL's / might continue to try to sell?

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I'm trying to find a house to rent at the moment but having trouble finding one I really like.

As there's lots of nice houses in the area for sale and of course not selling, how viable is it to try and contact those sellers privately, to ask if they want to rent it out? Maybe post a letter through the letterbox and include a reasonable offer of what I'd pay monthly?

Or would this be a bad idea, as it might be more likely they are in financial trouble / wouldn't be good LL's / might continue to try to sell?

Always worth a try.

You could always contact the agent to find out if it is possible.

Like you say they could be in financial trouble due to having already bought another property and being stuck with a second mortgage, so they may take on a tenant to cover the costs of the mortgage until the housing market picks up again.

You have nothing to lose, so give it a go.

Half of the properties I have on the market for sale would accept a tenant and I have now started to market a few properties for sale or let.

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I'd be quite happy to contact them and at least discuss. In the past when I have wanted to rent in a particular area I have written a nice letter and then placed it through the letterbox of any flats I fancy.

Something else I once did when not sure about a LL, was to look up the house on the govt. website that shows house plans (Land registry)and checked the name and how long they have had it for. I'm not sure if as much information is still there as there was a fraud problem.

http://www1.landregistry.gov.uk/houseprices/

Good luck.

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Always worth a try.

You could always contact the agent to find out if it is possible.

Like you say they could be in financial trouble due to having already bought another property and being stuck with a second mortgage, so they may take on a tenant to cover the costs of the mortgage until the housing market picks up again.

You have nothing to lose, so give it a go.

Half of the properties I have on the market for sale would accept a tenant and I have now started to market a few properties for sale or let.

I disagree. Bypass the agent, as they often charge hundreds of pounds for doing nothing.

Do you want to pay some agent hundreds of pounds when you can simply put a note through the door yourself? Your idea is very interesting and I may try this myself.

Thank you for the idea....keep 'em coming.

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I disagree. Bypass the agent, as they often charge hundreds of pounds for doing nothing.

Do you want to pay some agent hundreds of pounds when you can simply put a note through the door yourself? Your idea is very interesting and I may try this myself.

Thank you for the idea....keep 'em coming.

Fair enough and some agents do charge too much.

If the property is empty though you may need to go through the agent.

There are also plenty of websites where private landlords advertise if you are so interested in skipping out the agents, but this is obviously for property on the market for rent rather than for sale.

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I'm probably going to give this a try in the coming week as I've found some really nice properties I'd love to rent (one at a time mind ;)).

I'm thinking targeting no-chain properties might be best? Or would there be a risk the properties were sitting empty...hmmm. Also, who should the letter be addressed to? "Dear owner / occupier" letters might go straight in the bin as junk mail. Maybe if it's hand-written and just has the house number / name, that'd do.

Anyway, the letter I send might go something like this:

-----------

Hi,

I saw your house for sale on <insert property website name> and thought it looked <insert compliment>. I'm currently trying to find a property to rent in this area and found your house when searching. I realise you are advertising to sell your house, not rent it. But if for some reason you change your mind about selling and would consider renting, I would be very interested and would pay the market rate, plus usual deposit, references etc.

I'm wanting to rent for at least 6 months, possibly up to 24. I'm a non-smoker and would treat your house with the utmost respect, leaving it just as it was when I moved in.

If you would like to contact me about this, please email: <insert email>.

Otherwise I wish you luck with your house sale and thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

<Insert name>

-----------

Is that letter ok, anyone have suggestions on changes?

Lastly, my only other worry would be who the deposit goes to and contracts etc.

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I'm probably going to give this a try in the coming week as I've found some really nice properties I'd love to rent (one at a time mind ;)).

I'm thinking targeting no-chain properties might be best? Or would there be a risk the properties were sitting empty...hmmm. Also, who should the letter be addressed to? "Dear owner / occupier" letters might go straight in the bin as junk mail. Maybe if it's hand-written and just has the house number / name, that'd do.

Anyway, the letter I send might go something like this:

Dear House Seller

My partner and I saw your house for sale on <insert property website name>. We're currently trying to find a property to rent in this area and found your house when searching. We realise you are advertising to sell your house. Would you consider renting your house until the market improves, my partner and I would be very interested and would pay the market rate, plus usual deposit, references etc.

We wish to rent for at least 6 months, possibly up to 24 and would be willing to move out within two months if you find a buyer in the interim. We're non-smokers, have no children and would treat your house with the utmost respect.

If you would like to contact me about this, please email: <insert email> or telephone xxx.

Otherwise we wish you luck with your house sale and thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

<Insert name>

-----------

I also think we should name a price - say 20% lower than the agency rentals.

Is that letter ok, anyone have suggestions on changes?

Lastly, my only other worry would be who the deposit goes to and contracts etc.

Edited by renterbob

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Nice changes renterbob. I'm tempted to get printing and enveloping letters right now! :)

I agree about 20% lower than agency. It needs to be low enough to leave some room for their counter-offer but high enough to grab their interest. Maybe if it states "Around £XXX pcm".

Edited by Sof

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Personally, I would drop 'would treat your house with the utmost respect.' Although you want to convince them to rent it to you, it's a straight business transaction, and this phrase sounds a bit subservient.

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Fair enough and some agents do charge too much.

snip

Which ones charge too much, and what do you think is a fair price for agents to charge tenants?

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Personally, I would drop 'would treat your house with the utmost respect.' Although you want to convince them to rent it to you, it's a straight business transaction, and this phrase sounds a bit subservient.

Agreed. The shorter and tightr is it, with little filling, the better.

Short, sharp and sweet.

I'd be amazed if there are no takers, and of course the market won't improve for at least 6-10 years but all these 'homeoweners' will all be in denial and us renters should fully exploit that.

Edited by renterbob

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Which ones charge too much, and what do you think is a fair price for agents to charge tenants?

I won't name any EA's and I suppose it may depend on what part of the UK you are in.

When I launched my agency in Swansea I checked all the competition for rates/fees etc and decided from there. I have not put my fees together simply to be competitive or to just under-cut everybody else, but used a business plan to work with the lowest fees to get me by. I am not in this to simply get rich, but to make a living by working for myself.

With regards to sales I never charge more than 1% and after completion I donate part of my commission to the sellers chosen charity. Plus no tie-in period contracts.

For letting I don't have set fees for the landlords. I never charge any registration fees and simply do not tie anybody in to a contract. I am happy to market with as many agents as possible. If I find the right tenant, then I get the job. All my fees and monthly management fees are negotiated on an individual basis depending on what each landlord needs.

Tenants. If it were possible to not charge tenants, then I would not. I have been a tenant many times in the past and never liked having to pay believing that the landlord should be liable if he/she wants to tenant their property.

However, I work for the tenant too. I have seen this argument many times and most people believe that I do not work on behalf of the tenant, but I do. I do not make up charges to justify myself to tenants like arrangement fees etc. I simply charge a fee for the time I put in to finding them a property and if it is a property that I have on my books, then they are charged £50. If I find them a property that is on another agents books or with a private landlord, then there is no fee. I just ask for feedback or referrals/references.

Basically my business is built on feedback and referrals in order to keep advertising down to a minimum to enable me to keep fees/charges down to the lowest I possibly can.

Going back to the letter. I would put your phone number on as well as your e-mail. Not everybody has internet connection and some of those that have do not use e-mail. You need to make sure they can get in contact with you if they are interested.

I would not target the chain free ones unless they are occupied. If they have left the property, then the agent should be the only one going in the property on a regular basis even if they do not have viewings as they should always check out the property to make sure there are no problems. If they pick up your letter, then it will be in the bin.

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Agreed. The shorter and tightr is it, with little filling, the better.

Short, sharp and sweet.

I'd be amazed if there are no takers, and of course the market won't improve for at least 6-10 years but all these 'homeoweners' will all be in denial and us renters should fully exploit that.

Not easy to put a time frame on how long it will be before the market improves. I do believe it will be longer than the 12-18 months mentioned earlier.

Many home owners are in denial for a couple of reasons and the main one being EA's telling them.

I've turned a few sellers away recently because I like to keep a small portfolio and some people will not listen to reason due to having other EA's out for valuations and being told that they will sell their house within 4-6 weeks. I can't get through to many people that there simply are no buyers or very few that are prepared to pay market value or 20% BMV. All the investors I have contact with will not even entertain 20% BMV anymore. They are looking for at least 30% now. I do feel sorry for many home owners whom have just finished their tie-in mortgage periods and have seen in some cases their mortgage repayments double. Many simply can't afford to pay any longer and if they sell for 30% BMV will not have enough to pay off the mortgage owed. Repossessions are increasing at a fast rate on a daily basis.

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Not easy to put a time frame on how long it will be before the market improves. I do believe it will be longer than the 12-18 months mentioned earlier.

Many home owners are in denial for a couple of reasons and the main one being EA's telling them.

I've turned a few sellers away recently because I like to keep a small portfolio and some people will not listen to reason due to having other EA's out for valuations and being told that they will sell their house within 4-6 weeks. I can't get through to many people that there simply are no buyers or very few that are prepared to pay market value or 20% BMV. All the investors I have contact with will not even entertain 20% BMV anymore. They are looking for at least 30% now. I do feel sorry for many home owners whom have just finished their tie-in mortgage periods and have seen in some cases their mortgage repayments double. Many simply can't afford to pay any longer and if they sell for 30% BMV will not have enough to pay off the mortgage owed. Repossessions are increasing at a fast rate on a daily basis.

Many many thanks for your reply. I genuinely think if more agents were like yourself the industry would have an excellent reputation and even old bears like me would be pacified, but I also believe you to be in the tiny minority of good agents. A pity you don't have offices up Yorkshire as I for one would be very keen to see what you have for rent.

Best of luck in this very difficult climate for decent EAs like yourself.

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Many many thanks for your reply. I genuinely think if more agents were like yourself the industry would have an excellent reputation and even old bears like me would be pacified, but I also believe you to be in the tiny minority of good agents. A pity you don't have offices up Yorkshire as I for one would be very keen to see what you have for rent.

Best of luck in this very difficult climate for decent EAs like yourself.

Thanks for that and I know I am in the minority, but I like to be different :lol:

Maybe once the market does recover many EA's will look at things differently and copy those that have come through these bad times. I believe most future EA's will be on-line only though with very few staying in the high street. I started on-line and still am, but I do need to move in to premises due to my expanding business. I will not be going in to the City centre due to many people not wanting to have the hassle of parking and traffic. Hopefully people will prefer to visit me rather than the city centre agents.

There will be a local one to you that is similar to me, but I doubt they will be in large shop premises and more likely to work from home and on-line.

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Vendors might be put off by

gas safety certificate expense

changing their insurance for tenants

telling their mortgage co they are now letting it (mortgage co may not agree)

estate agent saying "oh we can get you much more than that!!!"

estate agent intercepting any letter anyway if a chain-free empty

fear of being scammed by a private person approaching them and no wall of letting agents to protect them

misguided optimism that a buyer is around the corner soon anyway

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I've enquired about renting two houses that are for sale. One agent never got back to me and I didn't bother to chase them. The other agent has been very helpful and the owner is considering renting instead of selling and we're viewing today. A potentially great result as it's just what I'm looking for and there's little danger of anyone else offering to rent it (or buy it for that matter!). :D

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I've enquired about renting two houses that are for sale. One agent never got back to me and I didn't bother to chase them. The other agent has been very helpful and the owner is considering renting instead of selling and we're viewing today. A potentially great result as it's just what I'm looking for and there's little danger of anyone else offering to rent it (or buy it for that matter!). :D

Nice on Sof, let us know how you get on......

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Vendors might be put off by

gas safety certificate expense

changing their insurance for tenants

telling their mortgage co they are now letting it (mortgage co may not agree)

estate agent saying "oh we can get you much more than that!!!"

estate agent intercepting any letter anyway if a chain-free empty

fear of being scammed by a private person approaching them and no wall of letting agents to protect them

misguided optimism that a buyer is around the corner soon anyway

Yes I would agree. There is an awful lot of legal stuff you have to go through to be a landlord now (that's if they do it legally).

I would assume their mortgage would have to become a BTL deal as well, as opposed to a normal one?

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Fair enough and some agents do charge too much.

If the property is empty though you may need to go through the agent.

There are also plenty of websites where private landlords advertise if you are so interested in skipping out the agents, but this is obviously for property on the market for rent rather than for sale.

I'd love to know what websites there are for private landlords not offering crappy house shares but, say, 1 bed flats in Bristol? What are they called?

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Yes I would agree. There is an awful lot of legal stuff you have to go through to be a landlord now (that's if they do it legally).

I would assume their mortgage would have to become a BTL deal as well, as opposed to a normal one?

Nevermind that, if you get it cheap, great.

Later on, if you make a few accidental stains and they want your deposit cash, let them know you know their mortgage is the wrong one.

You'll get all your deposit back.

Keep it up your sleeve.

Goodluck.

Even better, try to get the deposit down too, maybe to a weeks rent.

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Nevermind that, if you get it cheap, great.

Later on, if you make a few accidental stains and they want your deposit cash, let them know you know their mortgage is the wrong one.

You'll get all your deposit back.

Keep it up your sleeve.

Goodluck.

Even better, try to get the deposit down too, maybe to a weeks rent.

Explain how that works Bob, why is an OO mortgage going to protect your deposit if you damage the property over and above fair wear and tear

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I have tried this about a year ago - with no luck.

I went via the selling agents and a copy of the letter to the owner.

What generally happens is the owner gets cold feet when they realise the rent is not going to cover the mortgage. It is amazing how owners think that tenants would be willing to pay rent that will be enough to cover a mortgage. They also suddenly realise there are costs involved, such as agents fees, gas cert, and also when they tell their mortgage provider that adds a 1% premium to their mortgage when renting out. The other big cost that owners never want to cover is painting and decorating to make their house decent to live in. Most owners really just want to sell and after six months on the market want to 'abandon' their house to a tenant like they would if they had sold it to a new owner and they are not interested in either looking after it or paying for repairs and decoration.

The final hurdle is that most owners will simply not commit to more than six months - just in case they get a chance to sell. I have had endless arguments with agents who just do not seem to realise that moving furniture into and out of a big house can cost 3 - 4 months rent. It really is not worth it for 6 months.

I am very lucky at the moment as I have a house that can never be sold by the owner as it is in a charitable trust so I have what is in effect a secure tenancy. I have enetered into a range of negotiations over the years to rent big houses from institutional landlords and to be honest they are very special situations. Renting a house from a normal owner occupier is really a waste of time in my experience.

On the one occasison I did rent from an owner occupier they were just not professional and commited enough to the idea. It turned out quite unwilling partners in the contract and although they assured us they wanted a long term deal they put it on the selling market after a year and eventually sold it a few months after we moved out.

Edited by Wad

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Explain how that works Bob, why is an OO mortgage going to protect your deposit if you damage the property over and above fair wear and tear

I'll no doubt explain it incorrectly...so my learned friends and colleagues on HPC, namely Matt Henson and the other guy with an avatar of a sexy chick who is good using the old sword and shield will help you there.

Top be honest, they can go on a bit much ....

This can be avoided mind you, by not giving a deposit.

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  • 399 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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