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My first intentional property investment part 4 – “My first Property Management Checklist“
In the last instalment of the story of my first intentional property investment I promised to share with you the first property management check list I put together, it wasn’t perfect but it was a lot better than nothing. If you want to catch up on the other stories in this series please see my Landlords Log.
OK, here goes with my first property management checklist:-
- Make sure your carpet colour choice will go with any colour of sofa
- Arrange block viewings, it saves time and creates demand
- Take copies of all documents that tenants show you (bank statements, payslips etc.)
- Take proof of identity (passport and driving licence)
- Ask tenants for references and follow them up by telephone to make sure they are real
- Get tenants to complete an application form
- Make a detailed inventory of the property and get the tenants to sign it
The application form revolutionised the management procedures of my property investment career. It’s amazing the hoops that people will jump through when you have something they want. Nobody likes filling in forms though, I knew that from mortgage broking, so I followed the same process and visited them in their homes to complete the forms for them. This gave me the added advantage of seeing how people live too. On the application form I obtained National Insurance number, details of relatives to contact in the event of an emergency, employers and previous employers details, previous landlords details and a whole lot more. I knew with this amount of information it would be far easier to track people down if ever they did a midnight flit on me.
So after arranging for the walls to be re-pained in magnolia I advertised the property again. I now had 11 properties and the management fees were starting to rack up so I needed to be able to systemise this and save the 12% rent I was paying to the letting agent. Getting that right would be equal to another months rent, pure profit and without having to buy another property so it was well worth doing.
I re-advertised the property and was approached by a family who had been placed at the local university at the expense of a middle eastern air-force. I completed all the paperwork on my check list and even got the air force to guarantee the rent. There were no missed payment this time but four months in I got a phone call from the tenant, “something is wrong with my roof Mr Mark” he said. When I walked through the door I could have died, the green carpets had all gone grey, so had the walls. What on earth could have caused that. There was also a terrible smell of damp and something else but what was it. He lead me through to the kitchen to show me the roof (he meant ceiling). I looked up and there was the bathroom. apparently his family had only ever used a wet room in the past. His children had been filling the bath, standing outside the bath and pouring water over themselves to wash. Mine was a normal bathroom, I’d not heard of a wet room at the time and he’d not seen a bathroom like mine!
I also worked out where all the grey had come from. The cooker had not been used, instead the family had been cooking on paraffin stoves which they’d sat on the kitchen worktops. Fortunately the experience didn’t cost me any money as the air- force eventually paid for the damages, the tenant moved out after six months and I never heard any more of him or his family. I didn’t need the grief this caused though and I’d learned yet another two lessons, numbers 8 and 9 on my property management check list:-
8. Always show tenants how to use everything in the house at the same time as completing the check-in and the inventory
9. Ask for guarantors
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OTHERS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES
YOU ARE HERE >>> Part four – My first property management checklist
Part five – Buy to Let Maintenance Budgets
Part six – Do landlords have to provide lawnmowers?
Part eight – Vintage 2003
BONUS ARTICLE >>> My relationship with Leathes Prior Solicitors and Property118
Part ten – Online Letting Agents Review
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