Are buy to let landlords managing more of their own properties?

removing tenants
Dec 04 2016

Are buy to let landlords managing more of their own properties?

We have started to notice a small trend in the increase in private landlords that are now choosing to manage their own properties rather than use a letting agent. With so many companies now offer bespoke services such as tenant eviction, reference checks many are now taking the decision not to use a letting agency.

Have the so called rip off agencies spoilt it for those that offer a genuine service to landlords?

Should the ban on letting agency fees come into force drive more private landlords to consider going it alone and saving the agency fee? Unless letting agencies improve efficiencies the only way to recover that fee is to target either the tenant via rent or the landlord via increased management fees.

Are we going to see a major shift in profits and services offered by letting agents? If a private landlord decides to manage their own property will this give them a competitive advantage over a landlord who is using an agency who wants to charge more rent to cover the lost fees? Alternatively they can charge the same rent and have the increased profit to themselves.

It will be interesting to see if the landlord once again is painted as the villain should the ban become reality.

Will it just result in further increased rental rises regardless?

Some property experts claim that the ban will help rationalize the letting industry helping to remove the rogue agents from the industry?

At present numerous landlords are still paying substantial letting and management fees, which are supposed to cover elements that some agents are then charging the tenant for.

If the landlord has to check with the tenant about double charging, why bother with the letting agent in the first place?

With social media helping to keep the buy to let landlord abreast of changes and competition driving down maintenance costs it is easy to see why some landlords are reverting to self management. Of course you will always get those landlords that are happy to pay for good service and have the convenience of a letting agency.


When we have spoken to landlords about moving back to self-managed properties, most cite that it is difficult to find a good letting agent, who takes all the worry of sorting any problems for you off your hands. Surely this is a fantastic USP for the right letting agent?

Many of the landlords we speak to end up receiving phone calls from unhappy tenants complaining not about the property but about the agency.

Happy tenants are the key to buy-to-let success, as unless you are in a hot property area such as London where places rent instantly, it’s vital to avoid rental voids. Even one month of your property sitting unlet but your mortgage and other bills needing paying, proves expensive.

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  • Tim Spring

    !) Your Q. about agents – I have had to sack three for letting me down badly. One even admitted they didn’t check out the inventory so when I lost my furniture they said it ‘must have been taken by myself’ (even though I didn’t have the key) and failed to pay compensation. I then found a tenant direct on Gumtree and I charged a lower rent but she has been there for six years ‘cos I look after her so I am saved a lot of costs.
    2) Agents tend to charge ‘up to the limit’ their local area sustains – e.g. Finders Keepers in Oxford charges 15% + vat, but they also spitefully add costs onto jobs like instructing tradesmen. Why do they get way with it? Because others do too so it becomes ‘the norm’ and landlords accept it when their resistance gives way.
    3) The biggest gain in property is Management Services. They can, and do, charge a good whack for their work and ‘management Charges’ always creep up even in areas where rents are held down in a depressed market. Many have acquired big contracts from developers and gain massive portfolios and thus can charge extras even to those who pay by in advance by instalments under S/O….another convenient racket.
    The overriding view is that landlords bear the entire edifice of the property renting industry by supporting all the range of professionals, most of whom earn a damn good income – yet they stand there to be hit every time legislation is made and taxes are levied into the mix. So when I, as a landlord, throw in the towel and finally manage to slide out I shall have contributed a hell of a lot to my tenants over the years by providing them with a decent home at reasonable cost but lost a hell of a lot of money to the system procedures that is quite beyond my reach to get a return back.
    We don’t even get a pat on the back for all our trouble and care.

    22nd December 2016 at 12:32 pm
  • We offer see poor landlords and poor tenants
    Landlords who won’t spend in maintenance are the Ones who always try to get Lettings Agents fees knocked down
    Expecting 5% to give them a good service
    Well it won’t happen
    If you want to use my experience and tap into my knowledge put your hand in your pocket
    If you think you know it all and want to get away with just collecting rent and not paying out then jog on !!

    25th February 2017 at 1:27 pm

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