POSTED 16 July 2018 Lettings

Renting via Private Landlord or Letting Agent - Which is Better?

It can be a difficult to decide whether to rent through a private landlord or a letting agent so here we look at the pros and cons of both options, to help you decide which is best for you.

Advantages of using a letting agent

Experience
Experienced letting agents often have a deeper understanding of property law compared to the private landlord, therefore are more likely to ensure all legal requirements are met by both the landlord and the tenant.

Contact
Letting agents have an office, multiple members of staff, and their main responsibility is to look after their clients and ensure the happiness and satisfaction for both the landlord and tenant.

Hard work

When general maintenance is required or something needs fixing, the letting agent is responsible for contacting the landlord. This takes the pressure of the tenant and means you won’t be the annoying one leaving twenty missed calls on the landlords phone!

Advantages of using a private landlord

No additional fees
No administration fees or renewal fees, dealing directly with the landlord is the cheaper option. Sites such as OpenRent provide this option and allow you to deal directly with the landlord.

Meet the landlord
By meeting the landlord before you sign on the dotted line, you can decide if they’re your cup of tea or not. If you’re looking for a laid back landlord with minimal contact, or a landlord who likes to be involved regularly with the property and its tenants, by meeting them you have a greater chance of getting what you need.

Build a relationship

The opportunity to develop a relationship with the landlord can be beneficial to the tenant. If you have a good relationship with the landlord they may be more helpful and go the extra mile when you need something doing or changing at the property.

They may also be more accommodating when extending your tenancy agreement to your desired duration for example.

Disadvantages of using a letting agent

Expense
The main drawback when using a letting agent is the additional expense. Fees vary from agent to agent but there is usually an application fee and a tenancy renewal fee.

Slower communication
When a tenant needs to contact the landlord often an urgent response is required and having a middle man (the letting agent) does add another step in the communication process.

Disadvantages of using a private landlord

Law
Often landlords are not fully educated with landlord law, they can neglect their legal responsibilities and go about things in their own way. This leaves room for potential problems to arise between the tenant and the landlord. 

Communication problems
Landlords aren’t always available and able to sort problem ms immediately as they often have full time jobs or other business commitments.

Hopefully you have gained an insight into the positives and negatives of using a letting agent or private land lord, and can now make the right decision for you. If you would like to see what properties we have available to rent, please have a look at our property search section.