Monday, 22 December 2008

Why use a property management service?

Why use property management services is a question all landlords should ask themselves before they begin to rent their property. Surely we can do it all ourselves we ask but is it all that easy? Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s as easy as that. I'll explain.

Being a Landlord can be done part-time or full-time but no matter how much time you are able to dedicate to it, it is definitely a business us as landlords need to take seriously. For a start, everyday that property is left empty, it means we are losing money. Businesses should not be losing money. As well as losing on potential income, landlords also lose out on paying council tax and utilities as it is transferred back into his/her name. Surely, it’s better to drop your rental income rather than leave the property empty for weeks on end. Empty properties are an expensive business.Next, you need to find the tenant.

Finding a tenant can be easy (if you’re lucky) or difficult (depending on how competitive your rental value is). Most likely as a landlord, you will be looking to save as money as possible so you would be either using a free ads website like gumtree or some sort of tenant find service like Whenever I used free website adverts, I found the people that answered my advert were either not-interested, timewasters or very difficult to convince even though my property was in immaculate condition and cheap in comparison to other properties in the area. Tenant find services are good and it’s a good source for finding the right tenant but both these choices still leave the landlord with the stress of selecting their tenant and managing them. With finding tenants, a good property management company like will use different portals that landlords do not have in their arsenal to find a selection of tenants appropriate for the accommodation available.

Agencies also credit check the potential tenants. Independent landlords usually miss out this step at their peril as they try to minimise their costs. If as a landlord, you do not follow these procedures to protect your interests, it could become very expensive later on. Good property management companies will definitely follow the right procedures to make sure the tenants moving into your property can afford the rent and will look after your property. As an independent landlord, the tenant will move in and could make many phone calls regarding a range of issues like “can we put a shelf up”, “the neighbours are a nuisance” and hopefully not “the boiler is not working” a landlord’s nightmare sentence. Again, a good agency will handle these phone calls and only pass on the relevant information required for the landlord. Agencies can also sort out your issues like adding selves or fixing boilers with no hassle to the landlord. It would just be invoiced on the next rent due.

If you have not done your homework with your tenant, or you just get some back luck, then you might get a tenant that is malicious or maybe just cannot afford to pay their rent. This is when the experts really pay for themselves. They will continue to chase the rent until it is paid. If it’s still not paid, it starts to become a legal issue where the expertise of a good agent can advise on what steps to take next in order to recover your rent or evict your bad tenant.

To conclude, this business is very difficult, especially if you are a part-time landlord. If you do not mind the in-and-outs of property management, then by all means choose to do it yourself as you will definitely save yourself some money (but I do not recommend you skipping stages of the process like tenant vetting as this could prove costly later). If you are a part-time landlord, maybe you have another job or just do not have the time to be handling tenant grievances, I would fully suggest you use an agency like Eden josh to handle your rental affairs and have some peace of mind knowing that your property is looked after, your rental income is coming in and you will get your property back safe and sound.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Why should I use a tenant find service?

Landlords need tenants to pay for their mortgage.
Landlords need tenants in their property as soon as possible so that their property is not left empty.

The tenant and landlord relationship is often fraught with difficulty, especially where property damage, deposits and rents are concerned. Finding a tenant is not difficult, but finding the right tenant is an entirely different matter. Traditional advertising in local newspapers and classified advertisements can produce a horde of enquiries, but this can be expensive and not always successful as well as many landlords being subjected to fraud and timewasters.

Lettings agencies for landlords can be expensive and they are probably best for landlords that are not “hands on” with their tenants. The lettings market is massive in the UK and there is no doubt that agencies are useful as well as profitable but there are many landlords that feel they need to control the type of tenants that reside in their property. It’s only been recently that tenant credit checking has been made available to landlords. If becoming a landlord a business, then it must be treated this way, therefore investment into finding the right tenants and vetting them to making sure they are appropriate for your property is extremely necessary.

There are many places where you can post tenant listings. Most of the free property listing services can be risky and may attract the wrong type of tenant. Others allow you to post for free, but you need to pay tens of pounds in subscription fees to receive any enquiry.

Therefore, there is no doubt that there is a market for tenant find services. They start from £30 up to £100 depending on what companies you use and what type of services they offer. E.g. offers the landlord a link to property portals including Rightmove and PropertyFinder in order for landlords to advertise and market their property.
There are tips in which landlords can use tenant find services in order to find their tenants as quickly as possible:
  • Look at agency and other landlords' advertisements and make your description of your property similar or better. You still need to grab the attention of the tenant once your property pictures have been examined.
  • Make your rent competitive in comparison to other landlords marketing in your area. Take into account the location, size and quality of the accommodation.
  • Check classified adverts and Identify which editions of a daily newspaper are popular with those searching for let property.
  • Use the three best assets of the dwelling in the first sentence of your advert.
    Plan ahead. Be available to answer calls once the advert is published. Avoid using an answer-machine as some callers will not leave a message.
  • Be prepared. When calls are expected, have a pen ready, a notepad, calendar or diary for viewing appointments, and a list of suitable questions. Double-check that you have written down the enquirer's name, address and contact number accurately.
  • Be prepared. It is guaranteed the tenant has done his/her homework on the area e.g. council tax, utility bills and they will want to know this information immediately on the viewing.
  • Don’t forget: You must sell your property to the tenant once viewings commence. Discuss the great features of your property and make the viewing a pleasurable experience. There is no doubt the tenant is looking for a reasonable landlord who can communicate well as they are looking for somebody to do business with as well as a nice accommodation. If they don’t like you, they will not like your property so sell yourself as well as the property.

To conclude, there is a market for landlords that want to use agencies. There is also a market for landlords that do business badly because they do not want to invest money in finding the right tenants. Our advice is to use a tenant find service, which allows you to pick the people that will look after your bricks and mortar as your own judgement is always the best. - Main Site - Landlords page - Tenants page - Other landlord services - Business oppotunities with utilities warehouse - Good article on tenant find - Links Page 1 - Links Page 2 - Free downloads for landlords - London lettings agents