Letting property

Dave W

Registered User
Jul 3, 2005
Over in another thread, Michael has kindly offered to provide me with all the forms and info on how to handle letting my Mum's house directly. (Michael, I will PM you soon but I've been so busy since you posted, I haven't had a moment).

My concern is taking on responsibility for managing the property if/whehn anything goes wrong (nothing to say it will except s*d's luck, and I seem to have had a lot of that recently, so proceeding on the basis of safety first ...).

Does anyone have experience of doing this through an agency. I know that I'll lose some of the income to their handling fee, but I feel the need for back-up here (I'm too far away to dash to the house and sort out problems, and don't have access to the car if my partner's not around).

I have an EPA for legal side (although not registered as yet - no-one has yet asked for it to be, so I've saved the time and expense), and will be looking only for six-month lets (if Mum goes downhill and we need to find a nursing rather than residential home, we'll need to have tenants out within a year and sell to make sure the money if there).

Experience, words of wisdom and tips, questions and points all welcomed.

Many thanks,


Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
Ronda Spain
Dave hi again,

My sister uses agents - and it suited her for a while... There are two problems I think. The first is the cost,,, but that depends on your pocket and how much time you have to do the nitty gritty yourself.
The more important problem is no matter how many references, credit checks you do sometimes the tenant will turn out to be a bad one. The agents will just wash their hands of the problem and hand you and it over to a solicitor who will charge large amounts of money.

something I did not mention - to let a property successfully you have to make it look really good... Clean and sparkling. It means getting all of your mums personal possessions out of the house. Cleaning it from top to toe. Putting in new mattresses perhaps on the beds with covers. the carpets need possibly professional cleaning and it should not look like an 'older' persons home... Making the place look as modern and smart as possible. You do not need bed linen, kitchen utensils, telly, kettle or anything like that. The washing machine must be in good working order likewise the fridge.. You will need a landlords certificate for the central heating and gas appliances from a Corgi person. All this applies if you use an agent or not... Treat agents like 2nd hand car dealers.. Not too much trust - believe half they tell you and get several quotes... The little agent working out of a small office is probably a much better bet than a big high street estate - letting agent. The big agencies are pretty disreputable - been some expose' TV shows about their behaviour - Foxtons were featured....

It is a lot of work just getting the place presentable.... As I said you can just let the rental roll over after the first 6 months and still be able to get the tenants out if they won't leave amicably!!

Hope I have not put you off - It is an excellent way to make a good return on capital but does require bursts of extreme energy.



Registered User
Feb 6, 2006
Hi Dave

We did let our own flat in London for several years during the bad old days of negative equity. We used an agent because of distance which cost us 15% of the monthly rental income for the full management service. We opted for this because of distance. There was also a tenant finding and credit checking only service available for a one-off charge.

To be honest looking back it was money for old rope most of the time. I found we were by far more picky than the letting agent when it came to checking references. Also the one really bad tenancy we had just had to run it's course and we got them out using the standard procedures. Alll the documents for the 6 month tenancy agreements are really straightforward as long as you stick to that. The only gripe I had was the amazing number of maintenance issues that arise and the astronomical cost of having these dealt with. It used to wind me up every month as I knew the damage/breakages had been done by careless tenants and we had to pick up the tab. If you were able to handle this sort of thing yourself it would be a saving.

Good luck!

Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
Ronda Spain
The only gripe I had was the amazing number of maintenance issues that arise and the astronomical cost of having these dealt with.
Ouch! Don't talk about it - the boiler in one flat in Hammersmith has just given up the ghost - 2 quotes big difference but the gap is narrowing - upwards as we talk.
The boiler in Peckham has just done the same - half the price of the other - almost a gift!

That's going to put a damper on my summer!!!!

but they only amount to roughly what agents would charge so they sort of are for free. I think.. No I don't think....boo hoo!!!

Monique is not phased by this - the properties belong to her father who died 20 years ago and he is very experienced in this sort of problem... He must be getting a little help from the angels I reckon! Wish I was!



Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Hi Dave

I rent my mum's bungalow out on her behalf - very close to the area where you live actually. I do have registered POA which helps I think. I live 150 miles away and would not consider doing it myself as it would just be too much hassle. The agent is a small "one man band" and I have to say, although it costs, he has been great, as within 2 weeks of the tenant moving in, there was a pin hole leak in one of the pipes in the loft and the kichen ceiling ended up on the floor!

It was a total nightmare and took a bit of sorting out but I did very little really - he dealt with the insurers, found a builder, calmed the tenant etc etc. Having said that I have paid him very handsomely on top of the monthly fee but I think he earned it. However, I could not have dealt with it myself.

It is a pain getting the house clean and I would advise you to rent it out unfurnished as there are so many rules and regulations regarding fire retardent materials etc etc. I did not have a problem with the cleaning - too many years of being an army wife and cleaning quarters like my life depended on it - I knew it would come in useful one day!!

If there is anything else you want to know PM me and I can tell you what I know. As far as maintenance etc goes, we have a service agreement with British Gas and a plumbing insurance thing with Anglian water, both of which I have used with very little hassle and cost. One thing you must watch is the insurance but I am sure you know that.

I feel that the bungalow is a good investment in itself for mum and by renting it out it is working for her too. The easy thing would be to sell it, and if it came to it I would, but at present she is lucky that she does not need that equity released. So, hopefully, it is gaining in value for her future.

Hope this helps

Kind regards


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