Landlords and tenants caught by double dip charging
New research published by Direct Line for Business has identified letting agents that are ‘double dipping,’ charging tenants and landlords for the same service.
- Evidence of letting agents charging landlords and tenants for the same service
- Landlords charged 11%1 commission on average for securing tenants for a property
- Mobile Landlord App launching soon to help landlords manage their property portfolios
New research published by Direct Line for Business (‘DL4B’) has identified letting agents that are ‘double dipping,’ charging tenants and landlords for the same service. The research found both landlords and tenants being charged for services such as checking references or alterations to contract extension agreements, even when revisions to the contract amounted to just a change of a date.
The research revealed how a South London letting agent charged a landlord £670 for a simple contract extension, which only necessitated a change of date, while the tenant was charged £90 for the same action.
The research also highlighted the variance in fees landlords pay when they rent out their property through an agent. While on average landlords are charged 11% of the revenue they receive on a monthly basis if they rent out their property through a letting agent, the research found a range from as low as 5% to a high of 17%.
When calculating the yield they hope to generate, landlords should consider the range of additional charges involved in renting out a property. The research revealed 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: “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% of their annual rental income for a property. Letting through an agent can take the hassle out of the rental process and provide additional legal protection in the event of an incident, and our research shows it pays to shop around for the best value as charges and services can vary significantly from one agent to another.”
To help landlords keep track of charges paid, ongoing expenses and to assist in calculating the yield on their portfolio, Direct Line for Business (DL4B) has launched a new landlord app, Mobile Landlord. This app enables landlords to manage up to five properties on the go through a single online, mobile portal. The Mobile Landlord is free to download and available on both iOS and Android.
For more information on DL4B landlord insurance, please click here.
Or to find out more about the Mobile Landlord app, please go here.
Notes to editors
1Research conducted online by DL4B amongst 72 lettings agents specialising in the leasing of residential property 1st - 15th May 2014
Direct Line for Business
Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or online.
Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Direct Line for Business and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.