What does managing your own property involve?
In the most general terms, it’s when you pay an Agency to source, vet and install a tenant in your property, and then to make sure that all the relevant paperwork is legally correct. The tenant moves in, the Agency hands you all the documentation, and you’re up and running! Then you just have to sit back and watch the rent come in, right?
Well…. indeed…. usually!
We deal with some Landlords who do brilliantly with Let Only and some who have really struggled and decided against it. Here are three things you might have a think about before deciding to manage your own property.
- This is not an exhaustive list, but we’ll be doing more posts on this subject. If we can give more information or help right now, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we’ll be pleased to help.
First, you have to be available 24/7, and yes, that means all year. Tenants expect this. If something goes wrong, they are not going to get it fixed themselves – you are – and tenants will not wait until you come back from your holidays to get the repair seen to. So, fast response time is vital. Paradoxically, you need to stop and think about all maintenance requests. Do they really need the work done, did they cause the damage (in which case, should they pay?) or is it just them being a little fussy? You have a business to run and often a mortgage to cover, so if you think it’s too much, stand your ground.
- Did you know that, at Swift Letting, we can ‘babysit’ your rented property while you are away on holiday or unable to look after your property for a while? Take all the calls, arrange any maintenance if needed and generally make sure everything flows smoothly. Email Lucy on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you more information.
Second, you are now The Chief Rent Collector. This is where Landlords can get a bit nervous, but, in fact, most tenants will always pay their rent because they want to live in a settled environment. Make sure they set up a Standing Order on the same day every month (at Swift Letting, all our rents come in on the 1st of the month) and you should be fine. If it’s not in on the due date, hit the phone! Late rent can be challenging to pull it back unless you are on it right away. Get a relationship going with your tenant – find out why the rent is late, is there anything you can do to help, but remember this is a business transaction and you must be firm about it.
Third, always bear in mind that it’s a business arrangement. You are providing a Service – hopefully, a lovely property to live in and, in return, their side of the transaction is to pay you rent and look after your property. Be pleasant to your tenants. A tenant who dislikes their landlord or vice versa can be a stressful situation to handle, but equally, you’re not their best friend. They will have to leave at some point when you want the property back, and it gets hard when it’s personal.
Written by Anne Sellar, August 2019