Cullen Property Blog

Tenant Find Only – What You Need To Know

In this piece we discuss tenant find only services and why it may not provide as much value now as it did before the new private residential tenancy agreements (PRT) with specialist insight from our in-house lettings expert, Mhairi-Clare Galletta (or MC for short!).

Mhairi-Clare Galletta (MC), New Business Executive

Before 2017, it was a different scenario for the landlord. You could commission an agency to professionally source ideal tenants for your property and then continue to manage it yourself as the tenant would be committed to a fixed-term contract.

You can, in theory, still commission some agencies for tenant find only services, but is it worth it?
With the new indefinite length of private residential tenancy agreements, there is absolutely no way to forecast how long a tenant should choose to stay in your property and whether or not the tenants that you have sourced will exercise their 28 days’ notice to leave shortly after signing their contract - which is specifically challenging for HMO owners. Furthermore, with tightening regulations there may be a lot more to property management than you may think.

If we did provide this service, we believe we would not be transparent about this fact and want to express the benefits of using a full management service instead!

Of this, Mhairi-Clare has to say-

I talk to a lot of landlords considering letting out their property and many of these landlords talk of their struggle to keep up with the ever-changing legislation within the private rental sector. With the new PRT legislation, we believe providing a tenant find only service to landlords would be in vain, and we want to be fully transparent about this fact. When considering tenant find only services, a typical landlord may say:

‘As a local landlord, this is exactly what I need. I am happy to attend to any maintenance and I want to ensure that I keep an eye on my own property by conducting my own inspections. Given that I live nearby I can look after everything else easily without spending money on management fees’

This is a typical statement I hear from local landlords and on the face of it makes sense. I completely understand that some landlords want to be involved in the management of the property - especially those with an emotional stake and have lived in it themselves.

Carrying out the viewing, completing referencing and drawing up the lease is something that they can see a reason for having a professional agency conduct and complete on their behalf, but everything else pertaining to the ongoing management of the property is sometimes perceived to be a non-essential service.

Being a landlord in 2020 holds many responsibilities and there is a strict code of conduct that needs to be adhered to. Despite popular opinion, there is simply a lot more to it than ensuring repairs are attended to.

As a landlord you must meet a number of newly introduced obligations and unfortunately for some, not being aware of these does not excuse responsibility and excuse liability.

I recently read an article where a £7,500 fine was charged to a representative of a landlord for not correctly handling a tenant’s deposit and managing the property without the required credentials. The reason given for not handling the deposit correctly was simply that they were not aware of the strict guidelines that pertain to deposit handling and property management. Said person went on to mention that they were not even the landlord and were assisting a relative as a favour. This further incriminated the person as they admitted to “carrying out the work of a letting agent” which is against the code of conduct and is a criminal offence, liable on conviction to a fine of up to £50,000, up to 6 months imprisonment or both!

In short, property management is a full-time job. In the days of indefinite tenancies and tightening regulations surrounding best practice, it is important to have a reliable letting agency with trained staff by your side to manage your property and ensure occupancy throughout the year by forecasting leaving dates, liaising with tenants and replacing vacating tenants with the right people, for the right price and at the right time.

With our full management approach, we take the strain and ensure that your property is fully compliant so you have nothing to worry about. We operate a no let, no fee service whereby a management fee is only charged on receipt of rent when your property is successfully let – so essentially if for some reason we can’t let your property, not a single penny will be charged for managing it!

So if you’re considering tenant find only services on the basis that it is no strings attached, please consider whether or not you need those strings to safeguard you and your property - you may find that it could be worth considering.

Do you want to find out the rental value of your property? Click here to use our free and instant rental valuation tool to find out more or speak to me for some friendly expert advice and so I can find out more about your situation as a landlord.

0131 221 1818