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  • Buy-to-Let

    Upad or Openrent or Local EA

    Hello fellow PT readers

    Firstime landlord here about to let a house and pondering whom to go with out of Upad or Openrent or Local EA.

    The let property is local therefore no distance issues and I have contact details of 3 property maintenance companies if I self manage. I am more inclined to use either Upad or Openrent as my local EAs charge around 10% plus VAT for full management.

    Will either Upad or Openrent be as accessible as the local letting agents or are they automated self-serve platforms? Any pros or cons from anyone who has used Upad/Openrent?

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    Hi BK,

    I respectfully suggest that the decision of which agent and type of agent to use should not be based on price!

    As a landlord, you have legal obligations to provide a safe and compliant home.  The penalties for non-compliance can be very significant.

    Do you think you are fully aware of all the regulations and legislation you have to adhere to?  If not, then a self-managing option is probably not advisable:

    Smart landlord property management options

    Property Management - newcomer perspective

    We have a discussion on this topic you posted about:

    Upad v Openrent

    Upad is the commercial partner of Property Tribes, so if you have got value from your membership here, one way you may choose to show your appreciation is to use the services of our sponsors.

    If you do go down this route, then it would be advisable to also join a landlord association and take some training.

    Our partner association is the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and PT members can enjoy a 25% discount off RLA membership as well.

    The RLA are offering PT members 30% off selected training courses until 30th April 2019.  The code is PROPERTYTRIBES  - Please note it excludes the Rent Smart Wales courses and specific council licensing ones.

    Where is your property located out of interest?

    I hope that helps for starters?

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    Hi Vanessa

    Thanks for your reply. My property is in Wokingham. I can see what you are saying about using an EA given my lack of experience being a landlord.  Any feedback on prices I should look to pay for full management?

    Regards

    PS - I take onboard your references to Upad and RLA.

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    Our lettings partner for a fully managed service is Northwood, who have been in business for over 20 years.

    Fully managed should be charged at 10 - 12%, but feel free to negotiate!

    Northwood have an office in Wokingham:

    Wokingham

    01189 772772

    15-17 Broad Street
    Wokingham
    Berkshire 
    RG40 1AU

    I always recommend first timers start out with a fully managed service and start to learn the ropes.  Later down the line, if appropriate, you can move to a self-managing option, but to start with, it definitely mitigates risk to use the services of a reputable and professional agent.

    ​Hope that helps further?

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    The problem (one of the many I've found) of using a Letting Agent is you will never learn if you leave it to them. If you do want to learn, then the Upad/OpenRent (I'm currently using the latter and it's been great) + member of Landlords Association is the way forward.

    If the Agent stuffs up, it all ultimately falls on you, and as it's local, I would definitely recommend you DIY if you have the time/patience.

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    Sorry, I don't agree Adam.  The agent refers to you many times during the process, so you can get a feel for the amount of work involved etc.

    Reputable agents, like Northwood, are aware of all the latest legislation and compliance requirements, and therefore using one is risk mitigation imho.

    First timer landlord starting out self-managing is akin to diving into the deep end when you've never taken a swimming lesson.  Rogue tenants often actively seek out "direct to landlord" rentals in the hope that they get an inexperienced landlord and can take advantage of them.  They don't like to go through lettings agents because they know they won't pass robust tenant referencing criteria.

    When starting out, we always need to look through the risk "lens" when making decisions, as that will help guide us away from financial loss and hassle imho.

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    After the experiences I've had with 2 large LA's Vanessa, I came to the conclusion that I could not stuff things up any worse than them!

    And I wasn't going to make the same mistake by trusting them a third time.

    Each office is usually a franchise, so standards can vary greatly between each office.

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    Of course.  That is why it is important to undertake due diligence on each individual office/branch, which should include checking out independent review sites:

    How to vet a lettings agent ... 12 questions to ask

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    I think the difference between a landlord with skin in the game and a letting agent is just that.  Managing your own property you care a lot more about voids and legal implications for not meeting compliance, for the letting agent it's just a job, half of the ones I've talked to clearly don't even enjoy their job in the slightest and know little to nothing of the latest requirements for landlord compliance.

    That said, I think it all comes down to the individual landlord in question. Some landlords just aren't going to spend the same amount of time making sure they do things right compared to others, those landlords may well be better off using a reputable letting agent.

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    I agree Adam. I had no experience of letting a property when I inherited my parents home 5 years ago. For the past 2 years I have been challenging the letting agent, the estate agent, the trustees (solicitors) and the accountants, none of which provided me with any advice, but were all in a qualified position to do so.

    I'm not a member of a landlord association, I've yet to find one that I agree with, but I have had to learn to manage the professionals to get anything achieved.

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    Hi blk.


    I've now been using open rent for 1 year after using a local estate agent for many years .

    So far so good and far cheaper than EA.

    Just make sure potential tenants are aware there application with open rent are credit checked and reference checked .

    I had a family apply but failed credit check ! This took a week to appear .So I lost a weeks rent


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