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30th April 2021

What does let agreed mean

When you are trawling through property listing sites looking for somewhere to live, you might have noticed the term ‘Let agreed’ beside a number of properties featured. It may seem illogical that an estate agent or landlord would still be advertising a property when it is no longer on the rental market and has a tenant potentially about to move in.

However, when a property is categorised as let agreed, it doesn’t mean that it is currently being rented, but is a notifier that it most likely will be, very soon.

Let Agreed

What is a straightforward definition of ‘let agreed’?

If a property has a ‘let agreed’ status, it means that the landlord or estate agent has, in principal, accepted an offer from a potential tenant. However, before the deal can be completed, the keys handed over and the tenants moved in, the landlord or estate agent will carry out a number of checks. They will perform a credit check and immigration check on the tenant, and will also contact their references, such as previous landlords.

Unfortunately, if you see a property categorised as ‘let agreed’, it is very likely you won’t be able to rent it unless something falls through with the potential tenant’s offer. So don’t set your heart on it, as at this stage it is most likely the offer will be fully accepted and the new tenants moved in.

However, there is a glimmer of hope, as nothing as been permanently agreed on the property yet. So if you see the perfect property and don’t mind waiting and a low chance of success, consider contacting the estate agent and letting them know you are very interested in the property.

If you do this and something happens to make the current offer fail, you will be the first in line as the next option for the landlord or estate agent. Making an estate agent aware of exactly what you are looking for will also help them guide you towards other suitable properties.

Be warned though, the most likely outcome is the offer on a ‘let agreed’ property will be accepted and you will not be able to rent it. The letting agent may not even be interested in allowing you to view the property, depending on how certain they are on the deal being successful.

What is the difference between a property that is ‘let’ and one which is ‘let agreed’?

A ‘let agreed’ property means there is a written agreement in place between the prospective tenant and the landlord, but both sides have not yet signed the final rental agreement. It is possible something will happen to mean the agreements will not be fulfilled, and the deal will fall through.

If a property is ‘let’, it has progressed beyond the ‘let agreed’ stage, and everything has been agreed, finalised and signed. The rental agreement is fully resolved and if the tenant has not already moved into the property, then they will be very soon.

There are a variety of different types of agreements regarding tenancies that can exist between a tenant and a landlord. The overwhelming majority of tenancy agreements in the private rental sector of the property market are assured shorthold tenancy agreement, known as ASTs. An AST is a standardised, incredibly common form of agreement recognised by UK housing law. The AST agreement guarantees the rights of the tenant to rent and enjoy their home for the length of the agreed contract, and the rights of the landlord to resume possession of the property once the contract has ended. Beyond this, the exact rights and agreements can vary over time and has been impacted by changes in the ideals of the government and the political parties that operate it.

Are there any differences between letting and renting a property, or are they the same thing?

In colloquial usage, renting and letting are interchangeable terms that mean exactly that same thing, that a tenant is paying a landlord to live in a property. Using one or the other should not have any meaningful consequence, but if you want to be exactly correct, a tenant rents a property from a landlord, and a landlord lets their property to the tenant. So this would make it incorrect for a landlord to say they are renting a property, rather than letting a property, but the vast majority of people will comprehend either term.

What does it mean to lease a property?

Another term that frequently crops up when renting, letting and tenancy is being discussed, is the word lease or leasing. This usually refers to a contract that covers a longer period of time than would be covered by the term renting or letting.

Put simply, a lease is a long term agreement, whereas renting is a short term agreement. But a lease is still a form of renting.

A lease is more likely to be applied to a building that is for a commercial agreement than  personal accommodation, and would usually be covered by a Lease Deed rather than a Rental Agreement. However, keep in mind that the line between the two is murky, as a lease is still a form of rental agreement.

Why are properties advertised as ‘let agreed’ when they are not actually going to be available for rent?

It can be a roller coaster of emotion looking through property listings, as your heart soars seeing the perfect home, then it sinks again when you notice the ‘let agreed’ note. It might make you angry that the property market taunts you with options that are not actually still on the market,

However, there are a few good reasons why estate agents and property listing websites continue to list properties as ‘let agreed’.  Here are three key reasons they might do this, even if it infuriates you:

1) Despite the property now being off the market and a prospective tenant in place with an offer ready to be signed on, it is not a guarantee that the rental agreement will be made final. It is unlikely at this late stage, but the deal could still fail for an unforeseen reasons. By listing the property as ‘let agreed’, it leaves the door open for other prospective tenants who might be interested to get in touch.

2) Displaying properties that are categorised as ‘let agreed’ can be beneficial for prospective tenants and any other parties interested in local rental markets, as it gives an indication of how the market is currently behaving. If you are monitoring properties in an area that you are looking to move to and you notice a large amount of properties that get listed and then quickly become ‘let agreed’, you will know the market is moving hurriedly before you try and enter it.

3) People tend to save properties on property listing sites so they can look at them later. It is still useful information to them if the property remains posted, but as ‘let agreed’, rather than just deleting it and leaving them to wonder what happened to it. They may decide to notify the estate agent of their interest in the property despite this.

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