Rayhan Rafiq Omar

Registered with Property118.com
Wednesday 17th July 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 4

Rayhan Rafiq Omar

17:30 PM, 21st October 2013, About 8 years ago

Rayhan Rafiq Omar

15:42 PM, 21st October 2013, About 8 years ago

What is an amateur landlord?

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "21/10/2013 - 15:26":

Mark, we're talking about 'appearing' professional.

Having a profile on a discussion site does not a professional make.

If you take the lazy route, you'll likely look lazy, and unprofessional.

These conversations about the perception of landlords as amateur will gone on as long as prominent landlords, such as yourself, think everything is fine as it is.

You can do better, and should do better.

You wouldn't use a service that didn't have a website, clear contact number and a description of services rendered.

Tenants would see you as more professional if you stopped hiding behind the status quo and started setting a better example. And unfortunately for tenants, you're one of the better landlords.... Read More

Rayhan Rafiq Omar

15:09 PM, 21st October 2013, About 8 years ago

What is an amateur landlord?

First let's start by saying well done to Mark. This is an incredibly active conversation.

Professional, as a term, is given legitimacy by general public recognition.

I'll give you an example:

I became a father last weekend and my wife and child were on the maternity ward. At 2am, the midwife on the ward got a call from a pediatrician asking for our son to be brought down to their department for a lumbar puncture (an LP involved poking a needle between two vertebrae to remove spinal fluid).

They wanted to stick a needle in my son's spine and because they are the professionals expected me to just accept their actions. No explanation of why.

I flat out refused and asked the doctor why they needed to disturb a child who was healthy. After a long discussion, I extracted that a blood test indicated a possibility of inflammation which led to a possibility of infection in my son. So as a precaution for these possibilities, they wanted to conduct an LP to rule out meningitis (infection in the spinal fluid).

The conclusion of this long discussion was me persuading them to do the first blood test again tomorrow, rather than poking a needle in my son's spine. The blood test results were not even communicated to me the next day.

Moral of the story: doctors have titles, certificates, years of specialist education and as a result are given unquestionable status as professionals beyond reproach. It's just a perception, not a reality.

What is also a perception is that landlords and agents do not work for the money they earn. It doesn't matter how much people like Mark campaign and share best practice, the public see nothing different. Even the Tenants' Charter and Mark Prisk's new measures will do nothing toward landlords and agents being perceived as more professional.

So what can you, as a landlord or agent, do to make people feel secure that you are providing a professional service?

Two very clear things:

1. Communicate clearly a standard of service. It must be written in a place that is publicly accessible. Get a website and shove your promises to your customers on there.

Note: If you write bullshit on your site, you'll be seen as such. The usual laughable nonsense about agents being local experts in their area is an in-joke amongst property people that is slowly finding its way to the general public. You don't want to be seen as a joke, so don't make bold claims. Keep it simple. Just state that tenants can expect a professional standard of service and include the important highlights.

2. Use professional tools and processes. Utility companies have call centres and email addresses for customers to contact them. These tools give customers an expectation of service.

Tenants, in the main, think of their landlords as leeches who don't want to fix anything in the property.

As a result, things that the tenants are responsible for don't get reported and are left to fester. Things the landlords are responsible for don't get reported correctly and are costly to diagnose and cure. If I was a landlord, and wanted to be treated with respect as a professional, I would have a clear process for my tenants to use (like FixFlo).

So, Mark, if you want to change perceptions about the professionalism of landlords, don't talk about all the regulations, laws and guidelines that the public have little knowledge or respect for. Instead, set a standard with a clear website that says 'I am a professional landlord, this is what I promise my customers and my current customers can report problems to me using FixFlo'. This way, everyone will think you are a professional, because it is clear to see you are.

Doctors are professionals because the public thinks their training makes them so.
Landlords are not professionals, because the public thinks they take no steps to appear professional.

Appear professional, get a simple website, use FixFlo and set an example for all landlords out there.... Read More

Rayhan Rafiq Omar

12:30 PM, 11th October 2013, About 8 years ago

Return of Tenant's rent?

Surely this should be really straight forward:

1. The deposit is protected (if it isn't, return it ASAP - the consequences aren't worth talking about).
2. Inventory takes place and the tenant is either happy and coughs up or is unhappy and raises a dispute with the deposit protection service.
3. Deposit protection arbitration takes in the facts and rules one way or the other.

These laws exists precisely for this reason: so that there is an objective 3rd party to solve these end-of-tenancy nonsense.... Read More