Letting agents - what are they playing at?

After keeping an eye on rents in Dublin city for over a year, myself and the missus are looking in earnest. I had two appointments yesterday and after I finished the first one, I got a call from the other saying that the place was taken in the morning. Fair enough I say, plenty of fish in the sea.

It was with surprise that I checked daft this morning to find that not only is it still up on daft, it was also renewed. Fair enough I say, they must be holding off until the lease is signed and first rent paid.
Even more surprising, I enquired about a place last Friday to be told that it went that morning. It’s been renewed every day since (even over the weekend) and the price dropped this morning so it’s clearly still available.

I sent ten emails last Friday. Three of them got responses.

What is going on here? Are letting agents a fifth column trying to implode the rental market? Are they just plain incompetant and incapable of responding to enquiries in a professional manner?
The only thing I can think of is that many of the ones I have spoken to seem averse to evening viewings, which I find difficult to get my head around. Professional people are your ideal tenants but because they have jobs, they can’t be taking time off work to view every place within their price range so surely letting agents would be setting their schedules to suit people with jobs and who may have to travel.

Any ideas?

I’ve seen the same phenomenon noted on boards.ie.

The only thing I can think of is they’re trying to set the market level for rents (3 apartments in the same block are going for X) and trying to grab as many prospective tenants as possible (oh that property just let but would you be interested in…).

Edit: boards thread boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055541571

That’s a fair point and I think this guy might be onto something.

Seems an odd one because they are making people believe there are more apartments out there and they will then be more aggressive with their negotiating.

Yea its odd at the moment in the business of looking myself and see some properties have dropped a lot and now are holding at till unrealistic prices for some time all the while remaining unlet.

I think letting agents vs dealign directly with landlords you may see a difference in response or understanding of reality. Lettings agents are middlemen and in turn want their slice. I really don’t see why they should not cut their margins like everyone else but this is probably what is gong on they dont’ want to bug as they have “costs” :unamused:. They should go back to their clients and say look the market is not moving at this level instead of false hope and costing the landlord 6+ months in void periods. Its the Kind of thing Mr A talked about 2 years ago it seems the rental market was and still is at least 12 months behind the sales market.

My tactic now is to not waste anyones time and indicate I’ll be offering X (below the asking price) if you are interested I will view then.

If more people did this then it might get things moving as LA’s get the message.

Here’s my prediction by end of may Jun you’re going to see carnage in the rental market and total capitulation. If supply doesn’t rocket again I’d be very surprised this event while being a normal seasonal factor will only por petrol on a wound well rubbed with salt. Surely by end of 09 there will be a lot of property owners with 12+ consecutive voids.

I guess the other possibility is they could at some point pull all their “fake” properties to create the appearance of a reduction in supply. That would require a bunch of them working together though and wouldn’t work in any event (save for a few silly media headlines).

FYI
My fiancee rang them up to see if it was available and they said no, it was gone.

For the laugh, I emailed separately to say that I noticed the price drop this morning and asked was it still available to view to be told “no it wasn’t”. What’s the betting that this apartment to let doesn’t actually exist?

It’s annoying because it now seems that there is only one apartment available in the complex we had earmarked instead of five. What a waste of our time!

I remember last year a guy in work was renting the place and he was really worried the place was still being advertised after he’d signed the lease (but before he’d moved in). I never checked but it’s possible that property is still being advertised for whatever reason.

Yes we literally cannot do anything properly in this country.

Is it worth letting Daft know? Quick email kind of thing detailing daft id and that it is no longer available.

I have emailed daft to let them know and will pm Ronan Lyons will the shortcode too.

I have been renting since last March 08 and when Feb this year came I told the letting agent three times over two weeks that I would stay another year if the rent was reduced by x… Each time I asked them had they mentioned this to the landlord and they said they had… Eventually (smelling a rat) I handed them some mail which had arrived for the landlord, and also put a note in a stamped envelope with the landlords name on it (and my address) and low and behold I got a call from the landlord who had not been informed about my proposal… I got the reduction. I can only suppose that the letting agents are trying to keep the rents up to gain more commission… :confused:

As a tenant you are legally entitled to know the address of the landlord regardless of your agreement being set up by an agent or agency. The agent can not refuse to give it to you and it must be stated in the lease. If they do they are breaking the law.

You can always write a letter to communicate whatever you wish.

market manipulation

if they are working inter agency then the Competition Auth (for what its worth) should be informed.

JAIL

Quick heads up. Daft have responded and removed the bogus ad.
Kudos to them for a fast response.

MODS Listen. We need a speedy smiley …well…speedily.

They can try to fix prices, but it’ll never work. If there were 100 properties in an area, you’d need agreement by at least 90% of them to even make an attempt at keeping prices up. Judging from the collapse in rents, I don’t think such activity is happening (successfully) anywhere.

I think it’s possible that maybe letting agencies are simply not taking down adverts in order to make their businesses look busier than what they are. No one wants to do business with anyone sitting on their hands.

I dont think that they are doing this with there hands! :mrgreen:

Edit. Not Glee. Just a Joke.

This is actually a real phenomenon, places are advertised as “suitable for professionals” or such like by letting agents that insist on a 9-5 weekday viewing. I’d be very surprised that such incompetents even see the contradiction.

I’m beginning to think that the only people who can find “suitable” accommodation in Dublin are “2/3 Professionals”. :confused:

This is exactly what’s happening. Lowe put a sign up on our block (blocking my for sale sign :imp: ) and they have nothing for let in the building. A guy I know put a DAFT ad up himself a few weeks ago and nearly the same day, they put their sign up. Talk about littering! I’ve asked them 3 times to take it down and they haven’t - yet.

The Irony.

Im a professional Banker Im a professional Hedge Fund Manager
Im a professional Mortage Broker Im a professional Treasury Specialist
Im a professional Loan Officer Im a professional Builder
Im a professional Chippy Im a professional Electrician]
Im a professional Brickie Im a professional Plumber
Im a professional Taxi Driver Im a professional Estate agent

I could go on.