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Posted April 10, 2015

Student Renting: Estate Agents or Private Landlords?

As a postgraduate student, if you are looking for a flat or house your options are either going to the estate agent or rent right via a private landlord. Estate agents work on behalf of landlords and often have a large number of properties on their books to cater for all your needs. There are benefits of opting for private landlord over estate agent, but you should also take into consideration the risks that are involved. Here are a few benefits of working either with an estate agent or private landlord.

Benefits of working with Estate Agents Previous Experience If you go for estate agents, one of the key benefits you will find is their previous experience. The agents will have dealt with several rentals in the past, giving them the knowledge on various issues that can arise along the way. This is an aspect that a private landlord may not offer. They are also fully versed with the rights of tenants and are able to offer you advice throughout your tenancy.

Estate Agents are Regulated and Registered Even although not legally binding, most estate agents belong to one or more regulated bodies. This means that they are required to work under some regulations, failing to do so might result to financial compensation to the tenants and further penalties, hence reduces your risk as a tenant.

Estate Agents Know the Legal Procedure If you are new to the postgrad renting game in the UK, this can serve as a huge help to you, especially when you are not aware of the various rules and regulations governing rental apartments, flats or houses. Most experienced estate agents understand the law better compared to the private landlord, meaning agents can ensure that any legal requirement is met by both the student and the landlord.

Estate Agents Can Easily Be Reached Most estate agents have several staff members, office, phone number, email address, and a reliable form of transport to allow you get in touch with them anytime. They can also save your time: instead of spending weeks of trawling through the properties next to the university looking for a suitable a house to rent, they can show you suitable properties that match your needs and budget.

Quick Help Estate agents are always available to deal with any issue or problem that might arise along the way. If you need a workman for something, a private landlord may try and find one and this could take a considerable amount of time. If you rent through estate agents, they are likely to have a list of workmen on their books that can come faster and fix the problem. In addition, good estate agents have expert local knowledge of the area they serve, therefore, invaluable in saving your time and effort in finding the right house within the pressure of a strict time frame.

Benefits of Working with Private Landlords Cheaper Rents Private landlords can sometimes provide cheaper rents compared to renting the same property through an estate agent. The landlords are able to do this because their costs of finding the tenants are reduced, and often pass the saving on the tenant. They may also be more willing to offer a nine, rather than twelve, month contract.

You Deal Directly With the Property Owner Sometimes it is just easier and quicker to understand a situation when you are dealing directly with the private landlord, especially when the bone of contention is very challenging. More significantly, each party is able to get the tone of each other, which is exceptionally useful.

No Additional Fees Estate agents normally charge admission fees, referral fees or credit check fees, and in some cases check in and check out fees. Obviously, if you rent from a private landlord, you won’t pay these charges. This means you will need less capital at the start of your tenancy.

Ultimately, while there are some benefits of renting a property with a private landlord, an estate agency is always more beneficial to you. The agent can give you a piece of mind that you are dealing with experts in the field. In fact, having an estate agent behind your landlord gives you more recourse if something goes wrong.

But wait...a third option?

Fresh Student LivingIf both of these options seem a bit flawed to you, there is a third option. You can rent with a student-specific accomodation provider, such as Fresh. Rather than being in a house, these are much more like university halls, except they are privately run and often of a higher standard. Accomodation providers like these provide on-site management, meaning you don't need to worry about phoning landlords or estate agents if you've got a problem. Plus, they often include bills - which most private renting doesn't!

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