Do letting agents add value?

sams1

Registered User
Messages
16
I have a property for rent in Dublin. I have rented out a couple of properties over the years but it is becoming more hassle than it seems worth. Given the lockdown I'm not getting much follow through on my daft advert (a number of inquiries but no-one of interest who is ready to sign).

A letting agent has been hounding me to give them the property. I have never used a letting agent before but to be honest I'm getting tired of all the hassle with tenants.

For those who have used a letting agent do they take on the hassle or are they just a third wheel who I'll be paying while still dealing with the hassle?

Is there any likelihood that a letting agent has a better chance of finding a decent tenant in the current climate than I do myself via Daft?

I live close to the property and I have a list of local tradespeople so that is not one my hassles. I'm just thinking it may be easier if there is an intermediary between me and the tenant as they tend to get too comfortable with me...

Are letting agents worth their fees?
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
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1,308
It depends on the agent. For me the major benefit is dealing with repairs and maintenance. They have tradesmen that take their calls as they get repeat business and always get paid.

Agents will also make sure that rent increase notices are legally watertight, although those are probably a thing of the past!

They won't really help when it comes to the big stuff: non-payment of rent, major repairs, notice periods, etc.

The big cost is the agent's fee itself - 8% +VAT eats a lot into your rental profits though.
 

Gordon Gekko

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4,136
I find mine very useful. I don’t have to deal with tenants. Repairs are dealt with cheaply and efficiently. And statutory stuff such as the PRTB and the timing of rent increases is monitored. And the fees are tax deductible so their real cost is less than half of their headline cost. I think that it’s commonsense to outsource things like this.
 

Leper

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1,136
Years ago we bought a holiday home which needed much renovation. We used it for week-end breaks and summer holidays. It was so isolated that even we on one occasion lost our way to the house. We used to let it out ourselves and the everyday hassle of dealing with some tenants got to be too much of a hassle. We even wished we never bought the place, but having spent so much on renovation (fixing roof, replacing flat roof over kitchen, rewiring, renewing waste pipes, installing central heating, furniture, advertising, cutting grass, painting and repainting etc). Eventually, we gave the property to an estate agent who did all the negotiating, collecting money etc for us. It cost and our profits were down. Was it worth it? - Yes. Our profits were less, but silently the house made some money for us. We eventually sold the house. Do I miss it? - No.
 

elcato

Moderator
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3,385
If you live close and have the relevant tradesmen at hand it is easier but you also get the phone calls and the sorting out of the matter which in itself is underated. Agents usually have a person on hand and have no problem taking the calls. If you feel you can't be distance youeself from the tenants then I'd outsource it. As Gordon pointed out their fee is tax deductible. Negotiate the price though.
 

Saavy99

Frequent Poster
Messages
390
They won't really help when it comes to the big stuff: non-payment of rent, major repairs, notice periods, etc.

The big cost is the agent's fee itself - 8% +VAT eats a lot into your rental profits though.
If they can't take on the big stuff, they are a waste of time and money
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
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1,308
If they can't take on the big stuff, they are a waste of time and money
If you can't take on the big stuff then sell up and buy some Prize Bonds:)

Legally or practically there is nothing a letting agent can do that you can't yourself. It's a question of whether you feel the cost is worth the saving in your time and stress. For me it is.
 

Gordon Gekko

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4,136
A good pal of mine got a tenant through an agency last year. The guy ticked every box imaginable; I’d have gone for him myself. And then he just went rogue. It can be just bad luck.

The law is an ass unfortunately; bad tenants and bad landlords should both be hammered.
 

Vanessa

Frequent Poster
Messages
239
If a tenant wants to turn bad no agent in the world can help. I'm just grateful that I got out of the business. After 30 years of good experiences ( down to good tenant selection) a rushed job landed me with a beaut.
I put the pressure on and got rid of her and then decided to quit the game.
Just got out before Covid.
 

robert 200

Frequent Poster
Messages
196
I have been using the same letting agent for 15 years and luckily we never had a problem. I say luckily because if you had taken in as tenants pilots ,
hotel managers , gym managers , pub managers or other similar professionals you could be out of business because of Covid.
Letting agents are now going to be worth their salt to acquire tenants who can actually pay their rent !!!!!!!!
 

Saavy99

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390
. I say luckily because if you had taken in as tenants pilots ,
hotel managers , gym managers , pub managers or other similar professionals you could be out of business because of Covid.
I'm sure most of the above professionals are home owners themselves.
 

deeobrien

Frequent Poster
Messages
56
I use an agent to manage my previous PPR that I now rent. I went with an agent who only deals with rentals, and doesn't sell properties. Heard good reports from both landlords and tenants of the company over the years. I had two reasons for going with an agent (let and manage). Firstly the agent was in a better position (I felt) to select a tenant who could hopefully pay the rent and not trash the place (not a guarantee I know). Rental properties were scare when I was looking for tenants so there was a high level of interest. Secondly I didn't want to be getting calls at all hours saying the washing machine was broken etc.

For me its worked out well. They have handled all repairs etc. Also when the covid crisis hit there was a buffer between me and tenant. (tenant was in the service industry - all sorted now). I'm paying 8.5% + VAT (let and manage) but to me its worth it. It's deducted before tax so its only costing me about half of that.

I have online access to all the documents relating to repairs, rent remittances etc so everything is one place.
 

terrontress

Frequent Poster
Messages
138
I have a great agent who has found multiple tenants for me, acts as a first port of call for any of their issues, does an annual property inspection and deals with rent increases, and will sort out trustworthy tradesmen when anything goes wrong.

I just pay him a one-off for each new tenant and each rent negotiation / inspection.

I live outside of Ireland so I would be lost without him.
 

Longford

Registered User
Messages
15
Pay agent to do it, it will save so much hassle. The paperwork is now a nightmare to do, so I let the agent deal with all that hassle.
 
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