Looking for contributors to this Blog

Looking for contributors to this Blog

21:07 PM, 3rd January 2011, About 11 years ago 8

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PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM MARK ALEXANDER

If you have a good property story to tell we may want to share it.

How did you get into property and when?  What have the results been for you?

Horror stories of tenants from Hell always make an interesting read.  What have you learned from yours?

Have you completed any property deals in the last 18 months that you are particularly proud of and would like to share?

I’m also particularly intersted in articles from people who own and make a good return from HMO’s, holiday lets, LHA tenants and  student lets as these are areas that I personally have very little experience of.

My own experience is financially based and my property dealings are via auctions, refurbs and professional tenants.

Note that I am not currently a fan of and will not promote No Money Down Financing or Lease Options on this Blog, neither will I promote anybody who has anything to do with these services.

Headlines from this Blog are emailed to over 100,000 subscribers every week.  If you have a property related service that can be backed up with positive testimonials we may also want to share that with our readers.

Please email any articles that you feel are worthy of publication to mra@themoneycentre.net



Comments

by

8:40 AM, 6th January 2011, About 11 years ago

hi
we are landlords who live abroad & own several properties & certainly try to give our tenants best as poss& TREAT AS CUSTOMERS! as most landlords will either do this themselves , or have good homecare cover for emergency breakdowns/ repairs etc - i would like to relay some recent actual experiences we have had that have cost us dearly due to the lack of care & poroffessionalism of the providers of such insured emergency cover .....i believe this is an integral part of service to our tenants & they also as a result of the providers lack of service suffered gravely especially over this last 3/4 WEEKS WINTER FREEZE.
would you allow such opportunity to publish such experience & for us as landlords to actually name such shocking service providers ......this is indeed an area of service that needs some form of either min standards of service guaranteed , & not what seems to be idol, unkept policy promises which we pay for & i would gues most of us landlords probably dont receive! - these service provider cos should be named & shamed , & those that provide great service will then benefit as they would certainly gain a large majority of landlords as their customers & also jack up the quality of workmanship,engineers & customer service etiquete.....tenants would be safer & have a better service from us ....& landlords wont losse rentals which has happened to us!
i look forward to comments on this serious issue as it affects literally every home & certainly landlord at some point ....boiler breakdown , burst pipes , gas leaks etc etc - i trust that you as blog administartor would see a way clear to perhaps bring this issue to the fore as it must cost millions a year to us all!
d

by

9:37 AM, 6th January 2011, About 11 years ago

Hi Derek

I would certainly be willing to consider such an article but would need to run it past our lawyers prior to publication. As you may be aware, Blog owners are responsible for defemation, even from third parties, if said defamation appears on their site. What I don't want to get us into is a big legal scrap. This really sounds like something for TV programs like Watchdog or Rip Off Britian to get their teeth into. They have far more money to pay lawyers than we do.

Regards

Mark

by

13:19 PM, 7th January 2011, About 11 years ago

Hi Mark
Derek Ray's story highlights a serious problem for all absent landlords and one which very few new landlords appreciate or are prepared for. Perhaps a dedicated blog and advice would be welcome.
By absent I mean landlords who rely on a manager and, by definition, see renting as an investement. The growth in "Buy to Let" as an investment vehicle has led to an explosion of managing agents and service companies to deal with the day to day problems which occur.
As a landlord for most of the last 30+ years and full time since 1992 I have always managed my own properties and tenants and see management as vital to the success of my business. (Yes it is a business and an investment BUT the investment relies on the business).
A common complaint when I interview prospective tenants and a reason for moving is poor management which leads to unhappy tenants, a high turnover and lost income. I suspect that many absent landlords would be envious of my low turnover and very high occupancy rates.
Too may agents and service companies are very good at taking their cut but have little vested interest in the landlord or tenant.
You can call me cynical if you like but as a landlord and an active member of my local landlords association for many years I have heard too many stories from such landlords as well as tenants.
In the last few weeks I have dealt with a leaky boiler, a faulty boiler, a tenant who forgot how to operate his boilers timer, a new tenant, arrange a fire risk assessment, cleaning issues, faulty hall lights timer, painting, a tap washer, electrical inspection and the usual rent collections. The cost to me was one gas engineeer visit to change a heat exchanger and a few minor expenses. THE COST TO AN ABSENT LANDLORD would have been substantial.
ALL my tenants queries were dealt with within 24 hours - could any absent landlord say the same ?
My point is simple - unhappy tenants cost money. Management is the key to a long term successful property letting business - management of both the tenant and the property.
Too many agents and service companies promise a lot and do not deliver !
happy new year and if you cannot manage yourself - manage the managers.
Tony

by

13:26 PM, 7th January 2011, About 11 years ago

Excellent comments Tony and I agree that good contacts can make all the difference. Without stealing my own thunder I am working on something that will help to address this problem. Watch this space!

by

15:11 PM, 7th January 2011, About 11 years ago

Hello Mark,

I own and run a small portfolio of town centre properties for the professional tenant, I thought it would be interesting to have an article that shows the Landlord and the agent's perspective, along the lines of "My perfect Letting agent would be" and list the five requirements from my, the Landlord's perspective and then for one of my agents to write the same but what they would view as their top list for dealing with Landlords.

Happy to draft an article if you think it of interest?

Other ideas:
* Top ten maintenance issues.
* My five worst tenant experiences and five best!
* What makes a property appealing and easy to let?

Just some ideas! Kind regards,

by

15:15 PM, 7th January 2011, About 11 years ago

Tony is right but it is only scalable to a point. I micro manage my portfolio but am at the limit of how many more properties I could continue to run at the service I strive to offer! If the number of properties is too high then employees would have to be taken on and then the role would be more management and systems based. This in itself is no bad thing but would move me further from my customers.

by

17:56 PM, 7th January 2011, About 11 years ago

Hi Jenna

All great ideas. Looking forward to receiving your first article. My email address is mra@themoneycentre.com

Regards

Mark

by

21:21 PM, 7th January 2011, About 11 years ago

The full details of my property investment experience can be found on my blog

This can be summarised as:
I first entered the property market in 2006 by buying my own home for cash. I found it so easy to buy property that I wanted to buy some more investment properties. My wife refused to sign a waver for re-mortgage purposes so I borrowed £4000 to buy an off-plan apartment in Feb 2007. I received the keys in August but couldn't find a tenant late September. She has been there ever since. At the same time as I received the keys, the Credit Crunch occurred. So I Iaid low for around 18 months.

In February 2009, I borrowed 25K to buy another house, renovate it, and let it out. I completed on it in May and the refurb took 6 months and in November let it out for 560pcm. That tenant stayed for 8 months and left. I got another tenant within 3 days for which I paid £10 Council Tax. The new tenant initially took a 6 month AST at 575pcm for which he paid the full amount upfront. And now, he wants a 5-year contract for which he'll pay monthly by standing order. I did warn him that this contract will no longer be AST as it's a long-term contract and he didn't seem to mind. I even included provision to raise rent by 5% each year and rounding it to the nearest £5.

Having run out of money, I persuaded my wife to sign the waiver and remortgaged my main residence for 75K @3.75% variable, which I used to repay the debt I incurred since I bought the 3 properties and buy 2 more properties in 2010. They took 6 months each to refurb and spent quite a lot on refurb: a 3bed house with drive cost me only 59K but spent 8K on refurbishment and let it out for 475pcm yielding 8.2%; and a 2-bed costing me 51K plus 12K refurb - it had a damp problem. It rents for 495pcm but I only receive 447 after management costs have been taken.

I couldn't understand how a 2-bed house with no drive can rent for more than a 3-bed house WITH a drive. But when you look at it in more detail, you'll find that the 3-bed is in a poor area and the tenant is DSS. The 2-bed is in a posh area and the tenant is a professional one. In fact, he works for Floors2Go and he purchased the flooring for me and gave ME the benefit of the 12% discount.

My insurance broker told me that the insurer wants to surcharge me for the last property as it's been empty for over 6 months. I told the broker that I've got a tenant lined up for the 23rd December 2010 - 18 days late. I haven't received a demand for the surcharge yet. I'm hoping that the insurer will waive it - it's only 18 days over the limit for god's sake.

Full details on the trials and tribulations are on my property blog.


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