Private Landlord or Letting Agent

Tenancy Fees

Private landlords will may charge you a small amount or nothing in the way of tenancy set up costs. Letting agents fees will vary but most, will charge you administration fees. These may be presented differently but usually cover referencing fees, legal/tenancy agreement fees and inventory/check in or check out fees.

It is worth confirming fees with landlords and letting agents before you view their properties.

Managing Agents

Private landlords who advertise their own properties will most likely be managing your tenancy themselves so it is the landlord you will be dealing with should any problems arise during your tenancy. Letting agents deal with both "Let Only" properties (where the landlord manages the tenancy) and "Managed" properties (where the letting or managing agent manages the tenancy).

All landlords and managing agents are different so it is not clear cut enough to say one is better than the other but it is worth clarifying who you will be dealing with during your tenancy and seeing whether you trust them to do a good job. Obviously, a professional managing agent who belongs to an official regulatory body gives you the best chance of recourse should anything go wrong.

Peace of mind

Anyone can advertise a property to let and there are some scam artists out there ready to take your money and run. A letting agent should have verified the identity of the landlord and their legal right to let the property. In many cases, they will know the landlord from having dealt with them before or will have managed the property for some time. Ask letting agents how well they know the landlord or how they have vetted them when you are viewing the property.

With private landlords, try and get as much information about them you can.

  • Ask for a landline number - a work number is good as it is easy to check that it is real and that the landlord works where he/she says he/she does.
  • Get their address and check the electoral role at for free
  • Check that the landlord owns the property to let by downloading the Title Register of the property for £2 at Land Register Online