The implications of employing someone to help with the buy to let business

The implications of employing someone to help with the buy to let business

12:39 PM, 13th February 2015, About 9 years ago 14

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Just wondering about what the legal implications would be of employing someone for, say 20 hours a week – I’m thinking it would be best if they had self-employed status?

I’m not sure exactly what I would want them to do yet as the work is often ad hoc. It could include conducting viewings and issuing tenancy agreements (after properly inducting them into this and using the agreements I currently use from the Guild of Residential Landlords) and also filling in inventories.

Actually, it could also include doing 3-monthly inspections (something covered in my thread about the cannabis farmers nearly burning one of our houses down)

NB. there is new Welsh legislation coming in which would mean this person had to be accredited to do any of this kind of work so I would need to look into what was needed for this also.

As there is generally not enough of this kind of work to fill 20 hours a week, I would probably want someone very flexible who could also paint, clean, fix a few things.
Does anyone employ anyone in this kind of way?
Or maybe I just need someone to do the ‘letting agent’ type of stuff for 10 hours a week, as we already have people who paint and fix things.

I’m also not saying I definitely want to employ someone permanently; it’s just one of those thoughts that occurs to me now and then. It could free me and my partner up to do more of the investment and development stuff; working smarter not harder (which is one of my mantras).


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Mandy Thomson

13:29 PM, 13th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Hi Ros

Have you approached small letting agents, including online only start ups, in your area? Even if they don't advertise it, they may well be happy to do the odd ad hoc job for you, without the commitment of a management contract. Someone starting out with their own letting agency business and not yet making much money might be very grateful for a little extra income.

This is a really interesting question, as I think you might have highlighted a possible gap in the market as there must be a lot of landlords who don't want to sign up to management contracts, or even full introduction services, but would still like assistance for a few tasks.

Sandra Savage-Fisher

14:04 PM, 13th February 2015, About 9 years ago

If they are employed by you there is a lot of legislation involved so you would be best checking out about payroll, pension law, employers liability insurance, health and safety etc.

Self Employed is an idea but you have to be careful of IR35. The person must be usually be allowed to choose their own work hours, provide their own equipment etc., so worth looking into.

Check if there is someone doing admin work from home as their own business. They may be happy to take on your work. They are often marketed as a PA service. These type of companies are often flexible in their approach.

Hope that helps

Fed Up Landlord

15:00 PM, 13th February 2015, About 9 years ago

It's not that onerous a job. Put them on "Zero Hours" contract......everybody else does it including big retail stores. Register with HMRC Gateway and get your access code and use the HMRC payroll system which is downloaded free. Get employers liability insurance. Do a bog standard risk assessment template downloaded free off internet. Don't worry
too much about pensions and national insurance etc. Nat Ins code is provided by HMRC and it works out the wages. Do it monthly. It's easier. Remember you will have to pay them holiday pay in the ratio of one hour for every 8 worked. And pay them at least minimum wage commensurate with their age otherwise you break the law. Make sure that with your employers liability you will need public liability and if you are providing a service to tenants in terms of referencing and tenancy agreements then professional indemnity is a good idea. For two employees across three different trades (Lettings, Cleaning and Repairs) it costs me about £500 a year.

Colin Dartnell

15:22 PM, 13th February 2015, About 9 years ago

I'm not sure that you might be giving yourself more work with the legalities of employing someone. Can you not find a good maintenance man to call on for the painting etc jobs, who only comes when needed. Then use a good agent for the rest, one that doesn't charge for every time they sneeze.

Dr Rosalind Beck

16:24 PM, 13th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Thanks for all your input so far. I really don't want to have an actual employee - I couldn't be doing with all that extra red tape. And as I said, we do have people we call on to paint and do repairs. It's the viewings, inspections etc. which I think I need more help with and that can be quite seasonal. We can very busy end of June, beginning of July and also the beginning of September, and then just any time can suddenly be busy when you get a few voids at the same time. I think Mandy's idea of the small start-up lettings agency desperate for a bit of work sounds interesting. I never thought they would be interested in ad hoc work, but maybe I was wrong. What I don't want though is stupid fees of £80 for filling in an inventory... Any more ideas welcome.

Mandy Thomson

16:51 PM, 13th February 2015, About 9 years ago

It might be worth putting a post up on (a fairly new social media platform that allows people to raise local issues and ask for help at a local level), asking for anyone with good experience in the lettings industry and preferably a qualified letting agent or even an accredited landlord who would be willing to do ad hoc work for you.

Fed Up Landlord

17:23 PM, 13th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Rosalind £80 for a good inventory is cheap considering what evidence the DPS require if you try and recover dilapidations.

Dr Rosalind Beck

18:01 PM, 13th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Thanks Mandy. I'll look into it.
Gary - you might think it's cheap but I think you could train a monkey to do it. Just running down the list - tick, good condition, tick, good condition. It takes me about 20 minutes and it's good enough for the DPS.

Jonathan Clarke

3:15 AM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

Yes i would try to get them to go the self employed route. Too complicated otherwise. I self manage but use a variety of property managers , letting agents and support workers to spread the load on an ad hoc basis. No one is financially tied in with each other and it works well allowing freedom and flexibility for all involved.

It means i have back ups at busy times but not paying out when nothing is going on. So strength in depth. Same with maintenance. Not all my eggs in one basket.

I run a fledgling pay as you go set up so people can dip in and dip out as they please. If I have a slack day i can do stuff myself if i want to or just farm it out if I`m busy or just feeling lazy . The flexibility is great and saves me about 20K a year against if I was to have my portfolio fully managed. It also most importantly allows me to remain at the helm which if you are a control freak like me is a must !

user_ 1346

8:24 AM, 14th February 2015, About 9 years ago

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