‘The secret to successful property investing is to look after your tenants:’

Landlords are being forced to rein back on rent increases and risking fines if they don’t follow rules. Alister Arundell of SMARTMOVE says “keeping tenants happy is the key to success.”

Landlords told to shop around after dirty tricks and wide variations in costs of letting agents are revealed.

  • Some agents charge both landlord and tenant for same service
  • One letting agent charged landlord £670 for simple contract extension

Landlords have been warned to check the terms they get from their letting agent after research showed the difference between the cheapest and most expensive agents can be equivalent to more than 10 per cent of rental returns.

Tricks including double-charging tenants and landlords for the same service and charging hundreds of pounds for contracts where only the date had changes were also revealed in the research by insurer Direct Line for Business.

On average, the fees landlords pay when they let through an agent are 11 per cent. However, this can be as high as 17 per cent.

The cost of a letting agent completing an inventory on a property ranged from £65 to £300, property visits from £20 to £100 and the charges for managing a checkout from £30 to £125.


Other charges landlords often encounter include paying for the cost of running credit checks on prospective tenants, reviewing references and checking tenants into a property.

Jasvinder Gakhal, at Direct Line for Business, said: ‘While most letting agents are transparent and fair, a minority are doing an injustice to the majority through “double dipping” activities.

‘That aside, it is important landlords consider all the costs they will face when estimating the yield for a property.  

‘Taking into account agents’ fees, taxes and unbudgeted costs such as emergency property repairs, landlords can easily pay out expenses of 25 per cent of their annual rental income for a property.’

Landlords warned that they may be required to check the immigration status of tenants or face 3000 pound fine.

  • New rules set out in Immigration Bill from October Research shows 40% of landlords perform no checks on tenants Eight per cent of tenants have committed crime at rented home.

Landlords may be forced to check the immigration status of prospective tenants before allowing them to rent a property from next year or face a potential hefty fine, under rules in the new Immigration Bill.

The Government says it will enforce the stricter rules on one location in the UK in two months’ time to check a tenant’s right to be in the country – the location of which is yet to be announced. These rules could then be rolled out across the country.

Those who fail to check a new tenant’s immigration status could face a fine of up to £3,000 if the slip-up means they have someone in their property who is in the country illegally.

SMARTMOVE are ahead of the game and will handle any required checks for their Landlords. All legislation is adhered to making your life as a SMARTMOVE Landlord completely Stress Free.


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