Secret Agent

By Vedrickas, Ginetta | The Independent (London, England), November 2, 2001 | Go to article overview
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Secret Agent


Vedrickas, Ginetta, The Independent (London, England)


Name: Adam Winfield

Age: 31

Works for: Nightingale, Balham SW12.

Who are your punters?

They are young professionals, aged between 25 and 45, working in town and the surrounding areas. We don't get many large family houses as our company has a young profile so we don't have many families on our books. It's generally sharers.

Taken on anything interesting lately?

Having said that, I've just taken on a lovely five-bedroomed house in Bennerley Road, Battersea. It's been beautifully renovated and has wooden floors, a stone floor in the kitchen and a decked garden. It's a low-maintenance house for someone who hates housework and is on for pounds 750 per week.

What do you like in a property?

Personally I go for character, which I prefer to new build, even though it's a lot more high maintenance.

Top tip for tenants:

Before renting, check on the letting company's admin fees. Often people forget about our fee and they don't have the money on the day they turn up to move in. Or they expect to be able to pay by cheque or visa but no one takes cheques any more: you must pay by cleared funds.

Describe your worst ever viewing:

The worst ones are when you turn up to a flat to do a viewing and just by speaking to someone for a few seconds you know that there is no way they are going to like it. Renting is very expensive and there is a dramatic difference between something on for pounds 300 compared with one at pounds 200. People expect to live in a palace but they can't afford it. It makes me think, "God, I'm wasting my time."

Who would your landlords like as tenants?

Everybody likes a tenant who's friendly, quiet and clean. I'm also a landlord and as long as I don't hear from them and the rent comes in, then that's great.

Who are they more likely to get?

After your agent has vetted and referenced them, hopefully they are likely to get a professional, hassle-free tenant. Sometimes when you let to tenants they've got a great job and are earning a good salary so they sign the lease and move in - and you then find 50 others have moved in as well.

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