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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Independent Letting Agent in the UK

Aug 24th 2023

There are benefits of using independent lettings agents and national agents. Find out which choice is right for you as a landlord.

Letting out a property as a landlord can be a great way to generate income. However, finding reliable tenants and ensuring your investment is well managed often requires professional help.

That’s where letting agents come in – but should you use an independent local agent or a large national franchise? This blog examines the key pros and cons of independent letting agents for UK landlords.

What is an Independent Letting Agent?

An independent letting agent is a local business that provides services to landlords looking to let out their rental properties.

Unlike large national chains, independent agents are not part of a bigger brand and usually only have one or a few offices in a particular area. Their focus is on providing a personalised service for landlords and tenants within their local property market.

Independents are typically limited to a single geographic region, town or city. For example, Let’s Rent specialise in managing properties within specific areas of Bristol, where our office and team are based.



What is a National Letting Agent?

A national letting agent is part of a large brand with many branches across the UK. Some of the biggest names in the industry like Countrywide, Connells and Foxtons are national agents.

Like independent letting agents, they often assist landlords with finding and managing tenants, property management and maintenance, and property valuations.

national office


Benefits of Using an Independent Estate Agent

There are several benefits for landlords using a local independent agent rather than a major national firm:

Local Market and Tenant Knowledge

Independent letting agents rely on and specialise in their local area. They have an in-depth understanding of the regional rental market, popular locations, average rents and demand from potential tenants.

This helps them match landlords to the most suitable tenants for their property and set competitive yet achievable rents.

Personal Touch

With just one or a handful of branches, independent estate agencies provide a more personal touch where staff build close relationships with landlords and tenants.

Their compact team and hyper-local focus allow them to offer a tailored service addressing each client’s specific needs. You may also find that useful information about the status of your service is shared more effectively within a small team of agents.

Flexibility on Services

Without a larger brand’s constraints, independent letting agents can be more flexible in the services they offer. For example, some independents offer unique incentives like discounts on maintenance services or reduced fees for multiple property listings. They can alter packages to suit individual landlords.

Discover our Range of Services for Bristol Landlords

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Hands-on Property Management

Independents take a practical, hands-on approach to showing rental properties, meeting prospective tenants and assisting with viewings. Their in-depth knowledge of local areas supports their day-to-day property management and ability to resolve issues.

Read one of our case studies on how Let’s Rent provided hands on support for a difficult tenant situation

Drawbacks of Using an Independent Letting Agent

While independents offer many benefits, there are some potential cons for landlords:

Limited Locations

An independent you choose may not have offices in other areas where you own investment properties, meaning you’d need multiple agents if your portfolio expands geographically.

Lack of standardised Procedures

Unlike large national chains, who impose strict standardised procedures across all branches, independent letting agents do not have consistency in how they operate. This may lead to variances in the way they manage properties if you use multiple agents.

Potential Knowledge Gaps

Although most established independents have a good standard of expertise and generally exceed national agents in local knowledge, they may occasionally lack specialist knowledge if your property is facing unusual legal difficulties. Larger firms have a bigger pool of contacts to draw knowledge from.

Consider an Independent for Your Bristol Property

For landlords in Bristol considering their letting agent options, using the services of Let’s Rent makes sense. As an established local estate agency solely focused on Bristol, Let’s Rent provides in-depth knowledge of the city’s rental market. Their focus on personal service gives landlords confidence in:

  • Marketing to Find Suitable Tenants
  • Accompanied Viewings
  • Paperwork and Compliance
  • Ongoing Maintenance
  • Rent Collection
  • Navigating HMO and Student Lettings Legislation

With over a decade of experience letting properties across Bristol, Let’s Rent can look after all aspects of successfully renting out your property. Contact them today to discuss your needs or browse the services they offer to landlords.

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4.93 out of 5
based on 480 reviews
27th March 2024
Judith Cameron said:
Dealing with Adil, Usman and their team is always a pleasure and we're delighted to see Lets Rent grow from strength to strength.
15th January 2024
BRACE duo said:
It was a pleasure to liaise with Usman at Lets Rent and to have my party wall fence secured by your maintenance service. He was quick, polite and efficient in dealing with my request .
29th November 2023
MaryLawrencia Owusu said:
1st March 2023
Abid Hussain said:
Very good Lettings company and polite friendly service on the telephone. I would recommend checking out Let’s Rent before other property agents.
21st February 2023
Jacqueline Graham said:
Re: Usman Ayub – Lets Rent Letting & Management Prior to meeting Usman, the experience in trying to rent property in Bristol for over 6 months was demoralising. A Let's Rent representative (Seb) contacted me by phone to say they'd managed to alter a few appointments for the viewing & I would be me by Usman. He was punctual & informative throughout prior to our entrance to the building. He informed me of the layout, security & access which therefore covered all the H&S criteria in case there was an issue. Once the viewing was over, Usman assured me that he will send over the documents via email for me to complete, which was actioned without delay. Throughout the legal itinerary & required information, he kept me informed which enabled me to clear up some issues the automated system rejected unbeknownst to me. Usman is a valid member of the team and the functionality of this business benefits with him as a valid member.
12th September 2022
Sam Price said:
Seb's been a great help throughout our tenancy with lets rent. He's managed to keep us informed and up to date on our ongoing maintenance during the year. He's very professional and undoubtedly will have a great future career.
7th September 2022
Sue Gunning said:
Brilliant!! Stress free, will go lets rent everytime,very polite and kept us informed off every veiwing and smoothly it all went.
31st August 2022
Michael Maxwell said:
Really genuine and nice employees. They have been great in communicating with all requests promptly and ensuring we get a great service.
31st August 2022
Richard Lewis said:
Thank you for all your efforts over the years! it cannot be understated how important your support has been to making this bearable!
31st August 2022
Tom leng said:
Adil and the team are fantastic. Professional and personable and always available. You couldn't ask for much more, I've recommended to friends and family.