14:21 PM, 7th October 2011, About 13 years ago 1
In May of this year, Property118.com published my article entitled “How to get your property portfolio off death row”. I explained how having realised how vulnerable I was to base rate increases, I took action to dramatically improve the returns on my portfolio.
Well let me start by saying, it works! My maintenance costs are getting lower every month as the tenant-buyers are responsible for this aspect. At NPG we manage both standard lets and Rent to Buy properties for other landlords too. One of them was on a train looking out of the window and noticed that a Rent to Buy tenant had just added a conservatory to a house – and so added £10,000 to its value.
I’ve realised that when it comes to increasing my net returns, it’s a series of small and constant improvements that matter. It would be much more dramatic to say I’ve done one thing and it made a difference, but other than my Rent to Buy strategy, that’s really not how it is.
For example, when letting empty properties all viewings are offered at weekends as that is when most people want to view, as a result the properties get tenanted quicker. I’ve realised that when doing a credit check it states how often the applicant has moved in the last few years. Preference is given to those who move less frequently as they’re likely to stay longer, particularly if they’re aged over 30.
I also realised that it’s important to be able to ascertain what repairs an outgoing tenant is responsible for – and should pay for – over and above fair wear and tear. So now when a new tenant moves in, a video recording is made on an iPhone, stating any known defects, and the tenant is also recorded agreeing that this is accurate. This can then be referred to when they leave.
My tenants have been required to have a home-owning guarantor for some time now, but often they were there as a fall back in case arrears became serious. However, Guarantors are now advised of any rent issues from the start, which they prefer, as often they can nip any problems in the bud by speaking to the tenant themselves. They also like the fact that they won’t get a big shock later on if the problem has escalated.
There are lots more, in fact myself and my colleagues at NPG have just produced a free Report, based on our experience, “99 Tips and Tricks to Maximise Your Rents”. If you would like a free copy of “99 Tips and Tricks to Maximise Your rents” or further information regarding our services, please click on the logo below.