Renting a property

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
17 replies 2.1K views
SandLakeSandLake Forumite
519 Posts
Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
I am thinking of renting out a property and wanted to know any hints or tips to avoid any pitfalls, anything specific to NI?



  • redpedredped Forumite
    670 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    Assuming you haven't rented out before, I'd recommend using a letting agent to do so - they (should) know all the pitfalls, have the correct documents, etc. There are a lot of people on MSE who thought they could handle the renting themselves, only to find they don't know the legalities of it all.

    We let out a house, and the agent takes 10% each month. On the flip side, they found a tenant very quickly, have a list of tradesmen who can come out at short notice, do regular checks on the house (to make sure it hasn't been turned into a drugs factory), etc. Most importantly, they have the knowledge of how to deal with problem tenants, and if need be take them to court to have them evicted.

    Some LAs are good, some aren't - our was recommended to us, so chat with friends/work colleagues to see if they know of a good LA. Check out ARLA - they'll have a list of agents in your area, which should help boost the chances of getting a good agent.

    Whereabouts is your rental house? Someone may be able to recommend a good agent.
  • Wish I had known about this forum when we first rented out our house!

    Letting agent who came highly recommended let our house to his son who was the tenant from hell - not one day went past without a phone call about something (he dirtied the carpets with his boots and phoned me up to see if I would pay to have them cleaned on one occasion) and only one month paid his rent on time. Our current tenant is fantastic though.

    I would definitely only use a well established agent, we currently have had dealings with BTW Cairns and I cannot recommend them highly enough, we had loads of problems which they acted really quickly to sort out and were very professional through the whole thing
    DJWW - cos we won't let it!
  • SandLakeSandLake Forumite
    519 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Thanks for the replies, the house is in Antrim, really not sure which agent to go with
  • thetopethetope Forumite
    896 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    I would suggest calling a number of agents and arranging "interviews" to get a feel for the agents in your area - they would come to the house anyway to appraise it and give you a suggested rental value. You can get some idea of how competent they are by their behaviour when they visit, how they answer your questions etc. Have a drive around the area and take a note of which agents are displaying "let by" signs.

    I did this when i first needed to rent out my house and one agent in particular was head and shoulders above the rest in terms of politeness, organisation and helpfulness. Things like advising on annual gas safety checks by a certified engineer - no they are not completely essential you can of course let your house without one. But it is the correct thing to do and may save you an expensive lawsuit if you end up giving your tenants carbon monoxide poisoning because you didn't get the gas fire checked. I appreciated the fact that my agent did not appear to want to cut any corners and felt that their attention to detail would help in filtering out potential bad tenants.

    In the end i was so impressed i opted for a managed let even though I still live locally - yes it's 10% of the fees but they deal with *everything* and if any minor works need done they have been able to organise them much more quickly and cheaply than I could have.

    Unfortunately my agent doesn't operate in antrim I don't think! But i do think it's important to choose an agent that appears to respect your requirements and will look after your best interests.
  • SandLakeSandLake Forumite
    519 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have started that process already, am meeting with one agent on Monday and awaiting a callback from another right now. Antrim has a busy rental market so I am sure they will all be similiar.

  • I am thinking of renting my property too, Larne Area, would be my first time too, hints & tips appreciated.
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  • SandLakeSandLake Forumite
    519 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    From what I have heard so far it is 7% of the annual rent as a 'finders fee' and then 10% of the monthly rental to manage it.

    I am torn, both figures seem a bit steep to me but at the same time they effectively remove me from any responsibility. I would say that landlords insurance is approx 2.5% of the monthly fee and if that goes pear shaped the insurer is liable for a lot of money. If the agent has 'found' the right tenant then the 10% is money for next to nothing! The amounts might be right for the services separately but if you go for both then maybe 7% and 5% would be more realistic.

    I live in hope.
  • ballyblackballyblack Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Do a deal with the agent, say for one year. If the tenant proves to be very good you will not need the agent anymore
  • 7% for a ' finders fee ' ?....let's say the property rents for £500 a month....then that's £420 for ' finding someone'. Someone that has already approached the agent to say they are interested in renting a property , the agent takes details on an index card thing and files it. Flicks thru whenever to ' find someone' easy £420 if you ask me.
    10% to 'manage it ' that's another £50. Manage something that in all honesty you can do yourself. They only pick up the phone to call a tradesman , something that you could do yourself from a local phone book/directory etc.
    The gas certificate check is once a year and often the tradesmen can recommend other trades etc.
    Checking the property should be done by yourself. After all it is your property that you are concerned about.
    If the property is in good order to start off with then it makes life a tad easier.Decorate it to a decent rental standard as poor workmanship will be noticed.

    I've got a BTL and wouldn't waste my time on letting agents, some of whom are about much use as a polystyrene anchor.
    Read up on the forums as much as you can about lettings , have a look at the Arla site (as someone said above) , join up with Landlord zone.

    It's not a walk in the park but as long as you are 2 steps ahead of everything , it makes life somewhat easier. Keep all receipts and paperwork in order. When you find a good tenant do your best to keep them. A bottle of (non expensive) champers , chocs or flowers etc for their moving in day can work wonders !

    Good luck.
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