The Reality TV Show Glossary Of Lettings
On a cold winter’s evening, as we snuggle up on the sofa to watch an evening’s worth of television, you can’t help but notice the UK currently seems to be overwhelmed by Reality Television Shows. For your mild amusement, here is our glossary of these, as they pertain to the lettings industry:
Apprentice – The
Usually a commission hungry junior estate agent (often male with pointy shoes, tight shirt/thin tie and spikey hair) who will tell Buy To Let purchasers that a property they have on their books for sale, will make a wonderful rental investment. Always take this sort of spiel with a pinch of salt and tell them, “You’re Fired” until you’ve consulted with a lettings specialist.
Bake off – The Great British
If Marie Antoinette were alive today, given the proliferation of all things Baking throughout British Life, surely her new catch phrase would be ‘Let Them Watch Cake’? In lettings this is an analogy for the number of cake tins and the like, we see dropped on ceramic hobs by tenants resulting in damage to the hob. If tenants carry insurance for accidental damage to their landlord’s effects, this isn’t a problem but, if not, then either a bill could be looming or a deduction from the security deposit.
This one’s a catch-all for the (ever increasing) amount of legislation surrounding the industry and affecting all landlords, tenants and agents alike. One of the latest, currently being trialled in the West Midlands, is the ‘Right To Rent’ law which puts the onus on landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants with £3,000 fines if you get it wrong.
Britain’s Got Talent
Is the amazing range of tenants we see, the vast majority of whom are decent honest people who work hard in good jobs and simply want a nice, safe home to live in. But, there’s a small minority out there who fall short of this and this is why all landlords should use an agent with access to a top notch Referencing System. Tenants sometimes see the referencing process as being overly rigorous and invasive, however, if you’re open with the information you provide, it really shouldn’t be onerous for you, at all.
Dancing On Ice
This is what it can feel like sometimes as a landlord; “Have I bought the right property? Are my tenants going to keep paying the rent? Am I conforming to all of the lettings legislation? And so on.” Use an award winning agent like Martin & Co and you’ll get your own Torvill & Dean to make sure you don’t fall through the ice.
Dating In The Dark
Becoming a landlord with a Buy To Let property purchased in a town/city remote to your own home location either ‘Off-Plan’ or through an ‘Investment Club’ Alternatively, a tenant who rents a property from afar without seeing it or getting someone you trust implicitly to view on your behalf.
In both cases – Avoid like the plague.
Refers to agents who don’t actually do anything, they just sit there watching others. They’re the ones who don’t undertake proper tenant referencing, whose documentation is weak, whose property management skills are lacking, are not bonded or members of a regulatory body. And, like those participants on Gogglebox, they’re very well paid for doing nothing.
If you’re a landlord with an agent like this, switch over to ‘I’m a Celebrity (and) Get me out of here’, quick.
Homes Under The Hammer
The only one here that does what it says on the tin – properties bought at auction. As tempting as these can appear, price-wise, they often come with challenges and should only be contemplated by someone with the skills or resources to resolve those quickly and cost effectively. Tenant Void periods are the killer for landlords and if you buy a property at auction which needs a lot of doing up, then you may not have rent flowing for some time. This needs to be factored into your budget.
I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here
All landlords who utilise the services of a letting agent should have their custom valued by their agent and be provided with a high value for money standard of service. If you’re not and/or they’re trying to make you swallow all sorts of nasty bugs, get yourself out of their jungle soonest.
For tenants, while you’re the client of your landlord, your landlord’s agent should nonetheless treat you fairly and with respect. Also by law, they should publish up front all fees/charges they propose to charge you in connection with your tenancy. How many agents’ websites, for example, continue to flout this?
Sewing Bee – The Great British
This one’s too obvious; make sure you don’t get Stitched-Up by your agent. There’s no barrier to entry to becoming a letting agent and, unfortunately, there are all too many rogues in the industry. Never a week goes by without some agent running off with their clients’ money. It’s very easy to check the bona fides of an agent.
Strictly Come Dancing
Amazingly, there are 71 agents listed on Rightmove as offering lettings, within a 5 mile radius of Norwich. Some of those are outwardly very glamorous, have their hair and make-up done to a T and their sequinned costumes look gorgeous. But, can they dance? Or are they a Bruce Forsyth look-alike (past their best?). You need to be a harsh judge and if they only get a ‘Seven’ or below, send them home.
The Only Way is Essex – ‘TOWIE’
This requires no further explanation, save to say for Martin & Co, Norwich our TOWIE means, The Only Way Is Ethics.
In reality, the Lettings industry seems to have been built on jargon and if you would like a hand understanding it all, give us a call at Martin & Co in Norwich on 01603 766860 Alternatively, take a look at our Jargon Buster HERE
Martin & Co Norwich