The Telegraph have lifted the lid on the shady practices of letting agents which hurt buy-to-let investors.
They list four tricks used by unscrupulous letting agents to increase the money taken from tenants and landlords.
1) Evicting tenants who challenge high fees
Agents have been known to evict tenants for failing to pay excessive fees for services like amending a tenancy agreement. Meanwhile the landlord is left out of pocket, paying council tax while a property sits empty. Last week saw a story of an agency evicting all four tenants in a London property for refusing to pay a £1,260 fee for changing names on the tenancy agreement.
2) Bungled bills and unexpected fees
The Telegraph highlights how agents have been known to try to increase the agreed commission or add unexpected fees. One landlord described receiving an invoice for 11% of the rent despite having agreed a figure of 9% with the agent. On top of that she reported receiving invoices with confusing charges and incomprehensible calculations.
3) Rejecting ‘perfect tenants’
A referencing firm rejected a potential tenant because they did not meet their salary requirements, according to the the Telegraph. However, closer inspection by the landlord found that the tenant was a higher-rate taxpayer with a track record of paying comparable rent on time. Missing out on good quality tenants can hurt a landlord’s return on their investment.
4) Inflated maintenance charges
There are also stories of agents overcharging for managing a property on behalf of a landlord. For instance, the agent who charge a landlord £260 to replace a toilet seat…
There’s so much that can be done to improve the experience of both landlords and tenants. Rentify is shaking up the system, we offer a transparent pricing plan and great customer service to landlords. The days of such dirty tricks are numbered.
“To Let” by Rob Oxley licensed under Creative Commons