Welcome To Our Online Letting Agents Division
This site is a part of Homefinders.co.uk, an established estate agents and letting agents with headquarters in Gloucester. The estate agency and letting agency world is changing. Tenants and house buyers stopped going to agents’ high street shops many years ago, instead starting their search for a home online and dealing with agents by telephone. Now landlords and sellers are realising they can save large sums by using online companies. We believe the future is online and consequently we have opened an online letting agents offering a nationwide service. Our services are listed below, and you can read here how Homefinders Online work.
Our Services, Fees And Optional Extras
The property portals have completely taken over from the traditional high street shop which is now used just to house staff. Indeed, agents do not even need a website to advertise property to let or for sale as tenants and buyers do not look at those either – although websites are essential for attracting landlords and sellers.
However Homefinders will arrange viewings for you – helpful if you work during office hours and do not wish to be interrupted. We provide an individual online calendar for you which shows when you are available to conduct viewings. Our booking staff will use that to book appointments. When an appointment has been made you will receive an email with details and, if the appointment is for later that day you also receive a text message. You will have access to the calendar and will be able to block off times when you are not available.
If you prefer to speak to the prospective tenant first we can ask them to call you to arrange an appointment. In this case we will filter enquiries; for example ask whether the prospective tenant is claiming DHSS or has pets.
The charge fo this is £20. Some Lanlords prefer to pay, or we can charge the tenqant.
We arrange for the tenancy agreement to be signed electronically. This has the same legal force as a handwritten signature.
It is now a legal requirement for tenants’ deposits to be held by the DPS or a similar body.
New rules are being introduced that mean that tenants can require the landlord to upgrade the energy efficiency of a property if the EPC rating is F or G. From next year properties with an F or G rating cannot legally be let.
With tenants’ deposits being held by the DPS, if there is a claim for damage you are far more likely to receive money to cover the cost of repair if you have evidence showing ‘before and after’.
We can arrange for an Inventory but this is hardly rocket science and you will probably have the tiime to do this yourself. If not we can arrange for this at a cost of £85.
Don’t foget to give a copy of the inventory to the tenant.
I expect you think the To let board advertises the property to let? NO! As discussed elswhere, tenants search for a home online, not by going to agents’ shops or by looking for boards. The purpose of the To let board is to advertise the agency! Why else would the agent add a ‘Sold’ or ‘Let’ slip to the board? Who needs to know a property has been let? Why not just remove the board? Because the boards are the cheapest form of advertising for the agents. You do not need one.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using Online Letting Agents?
- The obvious one is cost. Online letting agents charge much less than traditional high street based agents who have the expense of the shop and probably the initial and ongoing costs of a franchise – most franchises cost more than £25,000 and the franchisee has to pay about 12-13% of turnover as an ongoing fee.
- Online letting agents do not accompany viewings, nor do we conduct an initial on the spot appraisal. However, it usually takes only one or two viewings before a tenant signs up, so if you can be there you have the opportunity to save a meaningful sum on fees and consequently boost the yield on your investment. Property investment is for the long term and the savings you will make by using an online letting agent will mount up over time. In fact most high street agencies are likely to close in the next few years as their business model is outdated and they will not be able to cope with the competition. Remember high street travel agents?
Average House Prices Rising At Fastest Rate For 11 Years
According to Hometrack data, average house prices across the UK have risen 6.2% in the last year and prices have risen at their fastest rate for 11 years in the last 3 months. As usual there are large regional varations: average prices in Cambridge rose by a whopping 7.3% in the last 3 months, whereas average prices in Aberdeen actually fell by 1.4% – although the latter were heavily influenced by problems in the oil industry.
What Are The Qualifications Needed To Be Labour’s Housing Spokesperson?
Surely everyone has heard of the Law of Supply and Demand? Well, maybe not. Labour’s Housing Spokesperson Tom Copley has called for longer tenancy agreements, caps on annual rent increases, and an end to no fault evictions. Now Mr Copley what effect will that have on the supply of rental properties? Will your plans encourage or discourage people to invest in rental property? And if, as surely everyone but you can see, your plans result in fewer homes available to rent, what happens to rent levels as propective tenants queue outside letting agents’ offices in the hope of renting a home?
Right To Rent Rules
Rumour has it that Right To Rent rules will be implemenetd nationwide in the autumn – even though the trial in the West Midlands poved to be unpopular.
Once the regulation comes into force landlords will be legally obliged to check the immigration staus of prospective tenants ensure that the tenant has a right to live in the UK. Proof of residence is likely to involve taking a copy of the tenant’s passpot, although what sort of check will be sufficient if the tenant does not have a passport is not known – maybe any offical document that includes a photograph (eg a driving licence). More…
Landlords Wounded In Budget
Tax relief on buy-to-let properties will be pegged to the basic rate of income tax from April 2017, although the change will be introduced over a 4 year period. Also changing is the allowance against wear and tear costs: currently set at 10% of the rent, landlords will be able to claim only actual repair costs from April 2016. More…
Best Towns For Buy-To-Let
Research by HSBC shows that Manchester is the best place to invest in a buy-to-let property. Yields here average 7.98%. At least a quarter of all properties in the city are owned by landlords, and Manchester has one of the largest student populations.
Other towns and cities with average yields above 7% are; Kinston upon Hull; Blackpool; Forest Heath; Coventry; Southampton; and Nottingham. Fortest Heath? I didn’t know where that is either, it is in Suffolk north west of Bury St Edmunds. More…