Newbie to Self-Management

Newbie to Self-Management

8:17 AM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago 12

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Apologies, I’m sure that this gets discussed a lot, but, is there anywhere online or book based that can give me an idiots guid to mangement in terms of tenants in my properties? Newbie to Self-Management

I have decided to drop the management aspect of the letting agency and wish to not fall foul of any dos and donts in terms of notices needed, inspection periods, tenant expectations etc.



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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

8:20 AM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Darren

Take a look at this >>>

It was written by my brother, with a bit of help from me, and explains how we do things 🙂

Tessa Shepperson

8:45 AM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago

David Lawrenson's book is really good, probably the best - you can read about it here

I have also done a book for landlords as well as my 'short guide' which is based on the series I did for Property 118

My website service Landlord Law is written specifically to help landlords manage their properties on their own.

Joe Pearson

8:58 AM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tessa Shepperson" at "06/08/2014 - 08:45":

Hi Darren,
I have been a Landlod for many years and also decided to DIY the management and also the lettings.. Margins are not huge in this business and after a few catastrophic experiences with some letting agents, I concluded that monkeys would be more qualified and less gready..

I joined the NLA (National Landlods Association) and this has been a fantastic tool for me to help me in my business. First of all, they have a very well organised on-line library. I also recently got myself accredited as a Landlord by learning on-line everything a Landlord needs to know and passing the little exams on-line. I sadly also had to evict a tenant and they helped me and guided me on how to fill the forms and when to send them.. So no need to lose even more koney with lawyers when u have already lost a few months of rents..
I am myself with the NLA, but I am sure some other Landlords Associations such as the RLA play similar roles and are as helpful.


Neil Woodhead

9:07 AM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago

Darren Please visit our web site (see our member profile by clicking the link above) to get further details of our self managing service for Private Landlords or contact me direct for further information

Chris Amis

9:45 AM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago

I have done it myself for years - not got locked up yet.

I would recommend getting one of the landlord emergency policies, that will give your tenants a 24 hr emergency number to get out a plumber, electrician etc., and as a bonus they may even fix the problem at not cost of money or time to you.

Otherwise it is a case of getting certificates and insurances into a diary.

Letting agents in my limited experience are not to be trusted with these things, are unlikely to notice missed rent payments and cannot take the legal responsibility from you anyway.

14:45 PM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago

As an agent may I stick my head above the parapet here?

I agree that some landlords can self-manage very well and some agents can do a lousy job. However, if something goes wrong a good, professional, well-qualified agent is worth his or her weight in gold.

We manage many hundreds of tenancies and have been trading for eleven years, so we've seen it all. Statistically problem tenancies are a very small minority for my company. However, as we've dealt with many thousands of them the law of averages mean we've seen the lot and we've dealt with it.

We've had fires and floods, drugs raids and brothels.

We once found a tenant dead in his bed (police reckoned the poor chap had been there about ten days).

We've helped landlords successfully defend themselves against spurious personal injury claims and gained possession from problem tenants either through managing them out or, where necessary through the courts.

We've also picked up the pieces when landlords have done it themselves and got themselves in a deep hole one way or another.

I've offered landlords sound advice on what properties to buy and how best to maximise their income.

I could go on for hours.

You may well need none of these services and you may do an excellent job of self-managing. But the story isn't completely one-sided.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

15:25 PM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve From Leicester" at "06/08/2014 - 14:45":

Very well said Steve, I agree completely.

I really cannot understand why a landlord with just a few properties would bother to self manage. Self management it is a pointless exercise without economies of scale and a passion for the nitty gritty in terms of Landlord and Tenant law. You only have to read the questions posted here on a daily basis to see how many self-managers get themselves into bother due to inexperience or naivety.

Thank you for posting from the agents perspective, this thread was getting far to biased and your comments have added balance and restored some common sense.

Tessa Shepperson

15:37 PM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago

Letting agents can be fantastic and a good one is worth its weight in gold, but unfortunatly many are not and I know some landlords have had dreadful experiences.

Self management is possible if you have somewhere to get help when issues arise. This can be one of the Landlord Associations, a membership site like my Landlord Law service or maybe one of the forums such as Propety Tribes or this site.

The important thing is knowing when you need help and making sure you get it before you do something stupid! So I strongly recommend that you read one or more books on the subject and maybe do some training.

I think all the landlord associations offer this, you can also get training via the accreditation organisations such as the London Landlord Accreditation scheme .

Our Easy Law Training company has workshops and an annual conference (or rather two next year, one in Wales) as well as an online law course for landlords here

Be aware that this is a complex area of law so seek advice before things get difficult rather than afterwards.

The most important thing I suppose is taking care over your choice of tenant and ALWAYS doing proper referencing.

Rowena Turner

22:52 PM, 6th August 2014, About 10 years ago

I now have two properties which I manage myself and have found the Residential Landlords Association very helpful. They offer some basic online courses which got me started, and also have a helpdesk which ha approved useful. They also have downloadable documents.


8:19 AM, 7th August 2014, About 10 years ago

Thanks for the comments, both pro and anti management. To clarify my situation, I am looking at the management fee and simply wondering what it is for? As I see it, it covers for two things, the first being the paperwork and admin items and the second to act as intermediate between tenant, landlord and trades for repairs etc. It is the second aspect which i have issue with in that this is dealt with in the whole by myself from either organising the trades, completing the repairs myself, speaking direct to tenant etc.

So, I am therefore not begrudging that the first aspect of the management that the agent does warrants a fee, simply that this fee should take into account that the agent is not completing the second part and therefore should be charging less in fees for this property than a property where the landlord does nothing.

Out of interest what are typical management fees, locally they seem to be 8% - 12% +vat, is this normal?


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