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Thousands of landlords are ditching letting agents to go it alone

With landlords’ purse strings being tightened by tax changes and a mortgage squeeze, a growing number of buy-to-let investors are choosing to ditch letting agents to find or manage properties, and are instead going it alone, new research shows.

A new survey of 2,000 landlords nationwide suggests that almost 600,000 landlords, or 64% of those polled, would consider using private websites to find a tenant in order to avoid paying what can sometimes prove to be costly letting agent fees.

Some 37% of landlords questioned said that they do not feel that the UK rental market is fit for purpose, with this tally rising to 50% in London, which is unsurprising given that almost a quarter - 23% - of respondents claim to have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds through void periods because instructed letting agents had failed to secure them new tenants.


“Today’s research presents a number of concerning insights into the difficulties faced by the Britain’s vital landlord community. It is obvious that landlords up and down the country feel let down by the current property letting system,” said Fareed Nabir, founder and CEO of LetBritain, which commissioned the research.

Previous LetBritain research found that two fifths (40%) of UK renters – 7.21 million people – find the marketplace to be “ruthless and unethical”, with agents allowing gazumping and non-existent “phantom properties” to become far too commonplace across the rental market.

“Clearly a faster, more affordable and transparent system is required to support the market of 2017 for both landlords and tenants,” Nabir added. 

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  • Mark Wilson

    I read an article last week concluding the opposite, that Landlords are using agent's services more?

  • Bill Wood

    LandlordToday itself sometimes posts contradictory reports in the same email! But this is normal in every field (especially politics). If you ask 3 experts of their opinion, you will get 4 different answers!
    But to get back to this article, I used to use a leting agent, but I found I could do the job better myself. It takes a while to learn how to do things, which tenant to accept, where to advertise, etc. but I think most serious landlords can do this. Letting agents are essential if you are abroard, or you have properties a long way away, but I feel there are too many of them for them all to survive.

  • Colin Lillicrap

    I wonder how many landlords are aware of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) coming into effect 1 April 2018 that will only add to their problems. From 1 April 2018 landlords of non-domestic private rented properties may not grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if their property has an EPC rating of F or G. We can advise on improvement measures to improve the rating to the minimum requirement of band E or better.

  • Andrew McCausland

    I run a lettings agency and can say that most of my landlords could have a good go at managing the properties themselves - if they had the time.

    The time to keep up to date with all the legislation and legislative changes, the time to produce the adverts, filter the enquiries, conduct the viewings, complete the reference checks and then the lettings paperwork and inventory. Then the time to answer the stream of questions from tenants and manage the day to day problems involved in managing any investment property. The time and patience to respond to broken boilers and lost keys at 10pm, deal with the police after a break in, and even the ambulance service and coroner after the death of a tenant in an HMO (happened to us 2 months ago).

    The problem for my landlords is that they do not have the time to do all this, the ever increasing amount of work required to keep within the law, and that is why they outsource the work to us.

    I am sure that some landlords will take on the burden of self management as the sector becomes less profitable for some. However, a good letting agent will save landlords money in both the short and long term, releasing the property owner to carry out their normal job - the job that created the cash to enable them to buy an investment property in the first place.

  • Colin Lillicrap

    You emphasis the need to keep up to date with the legislation but I am hearing nothing from landlords or letting agents about the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) coming into effect on 1 April 2018. What advice are you giving to your landlords?

  • icon

    The house agency house4everybody offers a service of renting and renovation for apartments and houses. we take the house to rent and we put the money of the rent into your acount. you have no conection with the renters and at the end of every period of rent we give you the house the same we took it. more information call 07407208939 TOM


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