If you are a tenant looking for a property then there is a good chance you will end up dealing direct with the landlord, instead of an agent.
Many landlords do use letting agents, but research by the Government and deposit scheme TDS indicates that between half and three quarters of rented properties in the UK are managed by the people who own them, and not agents.
Which is good. Because another survey also revealed that most tenants prefer the personal touch and would like to meet their landlord before they move in.
And a significant number would prefer the landlord managed the property direct, rather than an agent.
But why? Here are the six main reasons.
1. Landlords are more flexible
Strike up a good relationship with a landlord and they will be more inclined to go the extra mile, such as when a mattress needs replacing or a shower curtain upgrading. Agents are driven by the bottom line and it can feel as if they want to do as little as possible for their money. Landlords on the other hand have a personal investment in the property.
2. It’s quicker
An agent is just that – someone between you and the landlord. By cutting them out, communicating with landlords about problems and renewals, for example, is going to be quicker.
3. You get better terms
Agents tend to use standard rental contracts, but if you’re dealing with a landlord direct it’s much easier to get better terms – such as a smaller deposit, longer or shorter contract length and concessions on pets or smoking.
4. The landlord knows the property
For most agents, the home you rent is just one of hundreds they look after. Most landlords, who have just a handful of them, understand the quirks of your property in detail.
5. More compassion
If you get into financial or personal trouble then a landlord with whom you have a trusting and professional relationship is more likely to give you some leeway while you sort yourself out.
6. Landlords are faster
Research shows that many landlords live near to the property they rent out, so if something does go wrong then it doesn’t take long for them to scoot round and fix your leaking tap or broken lock. And they are also more likely to do these errands out of office hours too – something few agents will do.