14 December 2012

Tenants, Estate Agents, and LandLords

In my view, estate agents should be best avoided. They charge tenants for admin costs, inventory costs, credit checking costs, and whatever else including as far as lying and covering up stuff to get a fast deal. As a tenant one is best to approach the landlord directly. Estate agents care very little about tenants and more about landlords. They are more interested in tenants at time of transaction after which they literally cannot be bothered unless it involves a landlord having a dispute such as with late rent. And, even then they would rather create more problems then mediate because in fact it means a potentially new opportunity to get a new tenant transaction. Most landlords are generally fine with late rent payments as far as they are aware that one is always paying their rent with diligence. However, the more you learn about a landlord before signing an agreement the better. Tenants are often caught out by either bad landlords, bad estate agents, or both. You may find one of the typical encounters where rent is expected to be paid on time and yet perhaps, contracts or inventory checking has been delayed almost by months. If one has not received a signed copy of tenancy agreement or even an inventory report by move in date then delay the next rent payment by all means until it is received. I am often surprised how little tenants rights there are in UK compared to landlords. If one looks at any tenancy agreement the tenant requirements are multiple pages long usually compared to a half page landlord requirements.  Tenants also need to be able to do background checks on landlords as well. It seems like every one wants tenant personal details at times a bit too much and yet they all seem to protect the rights of the landlord. Especially, if a tenant undergoes a credit check through an estate agency and they use a third party it may be deemed on the tenant to pay the costs as well as the risk of getting incorrect links against their profile. Credit checks are not very reliable sources of information. They do not work in real-time nor do they provide fully up-to-date and accurate information. It seems like tenants have a lot to lose than a landlord in many respects. Also, it is in best interest of tenants to be informed about the asking rental price as well as the valuation price so they are able to better assess whether the actual rent is worth the price. At same time, when tenants start to spend a lot of rent perhaps they may also ponder at the option of getting a mortgage instead, or even part buying. It seems as a long term living as a tenant is not a very viable option for many and soon people will almost always decide to get a place of their own. Living under the roof owned by someone else is always a very limited and restricted form of accommodation. Another factor, is when one does decide to move out the agents are always around trying to do their viewings and all of a sudden the accommodation not only becomes frustrating but it ends up feeling like a display gallery. There really are very few rights for tenants or even for their invasion of privacy. The best option really is having your own place.