Can you rent directly from a private landlord?

While the majority of residential and commercial lettings are handled by letting agents, many are still managed personally by a private landlord. This can be a different dynamic when compared to renting via a letting agent, and may come with unique advantages and disadvantages. 

Much will depend on the landlord themselves and how they manage their property: for some, it will be a business with a clear process for how this works, not dissimilar to how a letting agency operates. This is particularly the case when a landlord has a portfolio of properties and rents them out as a business venture. 

What Are The Benefits of Renting From a Private Landlord?

  • Possible cheaper rental prices

Although not guaranteed, renting directly may reduce the rent you pay. This is because the landlord is undertaking a range of responsibilities that would be handled by a letting agency and for which they would charge. With fewer charges to pay, the landlord can offer cheaper rents without jeopardising their profits. 

  • Less pressure on your credit score

Renting directly can mean that you may not have to undergo as many credit checks to secure your property. What’s more, if you encounter temporary difficulties in paying your rent, this is less likely to directly impact your credit score, so long as your debts are settled in a mutually agreeable and timely manner. 

  • Flexible deposit arrangements

A landlord may have greater flexibility regarding what they charge, particularly in relation to deposits. This can make renting a property more affordable via a private landlord. 

Advantages of renting from a private landlord

A private landlord can be more flexible than a letting agency as they do not have to answer to anybody else, which allows them to make more personal decisions and can take account of individual circumstances. Tenants may be able to build up a relationship with their landlord over time, and may find it easier to contact their landlord directly and negotiate issues such as repairs or rent holidays during challenging times. Many tenants and landlords find dealing directly with one another to be preferable and more personable. 

Disadvantages of renting from a private landlord

However, renting from a private landlord is far from guaranteed to be a superior service when compared to the abundance of advantages when using a tried and tested professional property agency. Lettings agencies follow a strict set of procedures which give both tenants and landlords a framework through which to manage their relationship. This reduces the risk of both parties falling out or having a personality clash.

There can be an unpredictability to tenant/landlord relationships which can, in worst case scenarios, result in a tenant being evicted. A private landlord may be more particular about who they let their property to within the context of the law. 

Renting from a private landlord can be completed with or without an estate agent

It’s perfectly possible and can be relatively straightforward to rent a property directly from a landlord, and can even reduce initial costs for the tenant. However, when you rent through an letting agent there is a tried and tested procedure which provides certain protections for both parties – for the tenant, the landlord’s ownership of the property is verified, gas and electrical safety is checked, and any selective licenses are verified. For landlords, lettings agencies assist them by ensuring that tenants undergo credit checks, landlord and employment references, objective character references, and have their property regularly inspected by a knowledgeable industry professional.

Renting from a private landlord vs letting agent

Ultimately, there is little difference between renting from a landlord and through a letting agency. Tenancy agreements exist between the property owner and the tenant regardless of how the property has been let. However, a letting agent will have a procedure through which properties are let and managed. This gives tenants someone to call when repairs are required or if there are other problems with the property. 

Can you claim benefits to help with rent when renting privately? 

If you are eligible for Universal Credit, this will include help with your rent. If you pay rent to a private landlord, the amount of Universal Credit housing costs you receive will be worked out by looking at the number of people who live in your rented accommodation.

How Centrick can help you with renting from a private landlord

As well as providing a comprehensive letting agency service, we also market properties on behalf of private landlords. You can search for available rental properties in Solihull, Birmingham and Nottingham areas directly on our website. 

Contact us today to find out more.