Renters and landlords would both prefer to cut out estate agents

Michael Lloyd

February 14, 2018

About 87% of landlords said they would be happier renting directly to their tenants, rather than via a traditional letting agent.

HomeRenter, an online lettings platform connecting private landlords and tenants directly, found nearly nine out of 10 landlords (88%) landlords reported being happy with letting out their properties.

James Kent, a landlord from Surrey, said: “I initially went through the lettings team of the nearest high street agent before being introduced to an online renting platform.

“My partner and I felt the high-street fees weren’t aligned to the service on offer, especially as we were prepared to go down more of a do-it-yourself approach to managing our properties.”

“The main benefit of using an online renting platform is cost saving. There are other benefits too such as streamlining the admin and getting a better idea of exactly who is renting your property from you.

“It’s important to meet tenants in person to round out the referencing process and to establish a rapport which helps ensure a successful tenancy.”

Frustrations included high fees and poor service provided by letting agencies (52%), bad tenants (50%), managing repairs and maintenance. And 42% blamed new tax rules, 37% regulations and 33% general admin headaches.

The draft Tenant Fees Bill will see letting fees for tenants being banned in the UK, but some expect the quality of service from agents to go down with their profits.

The prospect of landlords self-managing their properties and avoiding paying higher rates to letting agents appears a more attractive prospect.

Seven in 10 (70% of) tenants would prefer to rent directly from a landlord, however less than half (45%) of tenants reported being happy renting.

The reasons making people most unhappy about renting are unreasonable letting admin fees (42%) and having to chase for repairs and maintenance (41%),

Some 36% said having to pay security deposits and 33% reported the poor service experienced from letting agents (33%).

Catherine Connolly, a tenant from South West London, said: “For me, the biggest advantage of using an online renting platform has been not having to pay anything extra when I moved in.

“Speaking directly with my landlord to organise the lease took less than a week. Dealing directly with a landlord has saved me time, money and hassle.

“When I have dealt with estate agents in the past, I often found I had to wait for a couple of days to hear back.”

When looking at how to improve transparency and accountability in the rental market, both tenants (81%) and landlords (88%) expressed a desire to be able to rate and review their counterpart on an Airbnb/TripAdvisor style platform.

Will Handley, chief executive of HomeRenter, said: “There is a clear dissatisfaction from both landlords and tenants towards traditional estate agents.

“The majority from both groups feel the service provided is not up to scratch and would rather cut out the middle man and connect privately with their landlord.”

“HomeRenter’s mission is to deliver a fairer, happy renting experience for both parties. Connecting private landlords and tenants via an online platform removes the need for a conventional agent. Saving both parties time, money and hassle.”

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