Whether you just finished university, met ‘that’ guy/girl to move in with or any other reason you just decided you want to rent, there is always a decision; whether rent from an agency or private landlord. I currently rent from agency only but while looking for apartments I have dealt with many scenarios. I already touched this subject in my previous post Before you rent hints and tips, where I explained the difference in cost but today, I wanted to explain more about the experience of renting via private landlord and agency.
Let’s start with the absolutely no landlord contact and rent via an agency. Most agencies want to have a full control of the tenancy and they won’t allow or share details of the landlord, and only what you will get is a landlord surname and signature when signing a contract. This option is very safe for an agency but also, protect the landlord details in case of vicious people. The downside is that when you wish to for example bring a pet, even if your landlord personally wouldn’t mind, the agency policy won’t allow you. These agencies are the most who charge the highest fees and protecting the landlord details also means’s they protect themselves in case if you wish to speak to the landlord directly with any changes. This renting type will most likely hurt your deposit if you wish to make any changes. I’ve learned the hard way. I have put picture frames up and made good walls when moving out but the agency didn't like the ''shade'' of my repainted walls. They didn't provide me with a quote from contractor either, so I guess they charged me and the landlord at the same time. Agency ‘lost’ my inventory and wouldn’t accept my copy. It was a lost case from the beginning. This agency charged me for everything. Inventory charge, references charge, renewal of tenancy without the option for a rolling contract.
Live in landlord. Probably the worst what I have experienced so far. When we viewed the property, we were told that landlord is occupying one of the room and he soon will move out to live with his girlfriend. In reality, he actually had an imaginary girlfriend and never intended to leave the property. He was nice and sweet at the beginning and what I initially thought it was a curiosity in our culture and food to be specific, it turns out he was all after that food. It was nice at the beginning when he came over to join us for a meal, but after a full month of eating with us ( without contributing) and when he started actually taking our products from sharing a fridge, it started to be very uncomfortable. On top of that, he never cleaned either as he kept saying he was never at home. He cooked (our food ;), watched TV and lived as anyone else in this property but never touched the hoover. It was the worst ever experience and we moved out after few months.
Private landlord. While enjoying my life as a waitress a few years back, I once decided to move out of my ex-boyfriend and rent a room. I found an apartment on a Spareroom website, went to view it, liked and took it. I paid the landlord cash in hand and we scribbled on a piece of paper something what suppose be a contract. Which thinking now it wasn't very smart. I paid the deposit of one month and a one month in advance rent and we agreed on a moving date. I had his phone number, and whenever I needed anything I just gave him a ring. He was quite a nice guy! We didn’t have any problems when we move out and he nicely paid my deposit back without any problems. There was also a hired cleaner, so there were no problems at all with cleaning. Despite it was a tiny room, I do have a positive experience with a private landlord.
Renting from an agency with a contact to a landlord. Here, at first 3 years, we had no details of our landlord. After that period my landlord got in touch via Facebook. He asked if there is anything we need and we asked for a longer rental period and some new items. It was super quickly resolved. Considering, that I have emailed the agency so many times, and they couldn’t resolve anything in past 3 years! I think this is the best option! We both still protected via the agency and contract but when it comes to repairs and small changes, I can do them myself saving the landlord huge agency fees.
Whatever you decide is better for you, whether an agency or private landlord you should always think of content insurance. I am currently working a fresh new piece for you guys and explain this more next week! Ah, don't forget that HomeLet is launching the second edition of their ebook series #LandlordsAdvice that offers advice to local landlords, including useful, insightful and expert information on the effect of #Brexit, the importance of good tenant referencing and using HomeLet's unique rental index data. Landlords insurance from HomeLet is an affordable way for insurance but also offer a tenant content insurance.
What was your experience like?