So, a couple of months ago, we shared an article to our Facebook page from Landlord News, which explained that a staggering 87% of landlords would prefer to let directly to tenants, rather than through traditional letting agents following a survey by HomeRenter. The findings are quite interesting, with the following high on the list of complaints:
- High fees and poor service (52%)
- Bad Tenants (50%)
- Managing Repairs and Maintenance (42%)
- New Tax Rules and Regulations (37%)
- General Admin Headaches (33%)
Now there’s not much we can do about new tax rules and regulations with the exception of keeping you informed, but the other four are very much something we can help with, in fact these are same complaints we had when we decided to set up Haboth Lettings. For too long we thought that landlords were paying over the odds for the service they were getting so not only are our fees some of the lowest around (7.5%) we reduce them further for portfolios of 5 or more, we also don’t load the difference on finders fees which for fully managed properties is just £149.99. Everything else really just comes down to good old fashioned customer service, making sure we select the right people in the first place and staying on top of issues. It seems simple right? But all too often we get landlords saying they manage the properties themselves because the service from their agent was poor. Our Managing Director and Founder, Sean Peters, has 15 years experience of dealing with demanding blue chip companies who demand the highest levels of service and communication. That approach to customer service is at the very foundation of what we do at Haboth. We use specialist providers such as KKC Facilities Management for maintenance and Let HQ for tenant checks who can deal with a reference far quicker and cheaper than we can, so we can minimise your admin headaches and keep costs down.
There were similar frustrations from the other side of the letting relationship with tenants airing their frustrations too, 70% saying they’d prefer to deal with landlords directly. The main complaints here being:
- Unreasonable Fees (42%):
- Having to chase for repairs and maintenance (41%)
- Paying security deposits (36%)
- Poor service (33%)
This has an element of deja vu about it doesn’t it? Would it surprise you to know that some agents charge the same fees to tenants AND landlords. We thought this was scandalous. As we are an online agent with no high street stores and associated overheads, we are able to keep our costs to a minimum so we don’t charge tenants fees at all, just a £25 application fee to cover the cost of checks, and we are close to eliminating this too, making us truly a fee free agent. The rest, again, is just making sure we look after our customers.
One comment that was made by a particular landlord was they didn’t feel the fees were aligned to the service they were getting and preferred to take a “do it yourself approach”. This was also something we felt was missing in the lettings market. There are parts of the process you would be comfortable doing yourself but typically there are two options (Let Only and Fully Managed) and two fees, so if you are only looking at Let Only, regardless of how much you require your agent to do, the fee is the same. Not here, we build a bespoke solution just for you staring at £84.99, just part of the flexible service we offer.
All the findings and comments really struck a chord with us here at Haboth as they were the exact same complaints we had as landlords and were exactly why we set up Haboth in the first place. So if you are reading this and finding yourself nodding along to the findings above, please get in touch on 0333 012 4895 and hopefully our fresh approach to lettings will restore your faith in letting agents.