Reader wants to know if she should let with her head or her heart?

by Readers Question

14:31 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Reader wants to know if she should let with her head or her heart?

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Reader wants to know if she should let with her head or her heart?

Hello Property118 readers,

I just wanted to thank everyone who gave advice back in November. I had a query with the letting agent in Cirencetser who wanted to keep/look after the 6 months rent.

About a week later I received the rent. Thank you.

I have a property in Clay Cross NE Derbyshire, it is a 3/4 bedroom semi detached. The tenants recently left and I am looking at the possibility of a HMO/multilet or leasing it to a housing association which provides housing to people with learning disabilities. The latter being close to my heart as I am a Learning Disability nurse.

However one of my 2014 goals is to be more business like and maximise the returns on my small property portfolio.

So I wondered if people know of the Clay Cross area and their thoughts! It is a regeneration area. I was using a letting agent but they went bust and did a runner with the deposit and rent approximately 20 months ago so I became a reluctant landlady (although I quite enjoy it).

I live some distance away (Croydon) so any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thank you

Michellehead or heart


16:19 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

@Industry Observer

"Just go in with eyes wide open".

Thanks for your comments and there is no need to argue because we actually largely agree!

Out of interest, do you ever post on Property Tribes? I don't recall seeing you on there using Industry Observer, although I see you in many other places using that name.

Industry Observer

16:31 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Hi Vanessa

Some people think they see me too often and in too many places.

Set me up on there if you like or tell me where to go (if you do so you'll be doing what a lot of people would like to do!!)

16:33 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago


As much as I would love to help, I can't set you up on Property Tribes. You have to join and verify your own account (which takes about 2 minutes).


Ian Ringrose

16:35 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

I recently saw a presentation by Golden Lane Housing; they provide supported housing for people with learning disabilities and are willing to pay a landlord the going rate, not just the LHA rate for an area. This is on the bases of a lease for 1 or more years, so taking away most of the risk of letting.

I was very impressed and if I ever have an empty property in a nice area that I wish to let long term I will give them a ring to see if they are looking to house someone in the given area.


Industry Observer

16:39 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Two minutes if you know what you are doing with technology. Just ask Mark for my level of expertise in that respect!!

Will have a look but no liability accepted if I crash your site (as I said speak to Mark!!!)

Michelle Prendergast

20:03 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "06/01/2014 - 16:35":

Thanks Ian, this is the Housing Association I was interested in as they are specifically for people with learning disabilities and work closely with Mencap. I spoke with them in December and also emailed them details of the property but have yet to hear anything. I will contact again tomorrow, out of interest where was the presentation and thanks for the link. 🙂

Jeremy Smith

20:14 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Dear Michelle,

I would have thought renting your property out as an HMO would be more problematic than is worth the hassle, since you are 3 hours away.
...Unless you can get professionals in at a slightly reduced rent ,so you keep them for very long lets, but you will still need to sort out repairs and the like.
...If you want to maximise your income in this way, you would be better to use a local agent to look after it, so they can sort out problems, but then this erodes the margin !

My 'feeling' is that whatever you do, being several hours away, you need someone to look after it for you, so the HA seems a good option.

As mentioned by Industry Observer, the HA can reduce the rent by 30%, but if you are careful, as IO says, you need them to be responible for ALL repairs and renovations.
If they are responsible for ALL repairs and renovations, this will save you quite a bit of money and alot of time,
if you had an agent managing it for you they would immediately pass on any repair costs to you, possibly making that months rent 50% reduced !!

In my mind, both head and heart can win here,
head says make the most income, head says HA will take care of all costs and expenses and give a guaranteed rental income (if they do guarantee this )...
head says agent will take 10-12% anyway and charge/pass on repairs anyway,

heart says, it's rented to best effect to people who really need it ....
heart says, it will be repaired and kept renovated to 'adequate' standard for letting.

...But only you can decide.
...Does making an HMO, with letting fees and repairs make you any more money ?

Michelle Prendergast

20:17 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jeremy Smith" at "06/01/2014 - 20:14":

Lots to think about, thank you

Michelle Prendergast

20:24 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Thanks for all the comments, I'm meeting with a couple of local letting agents early next week at my property. Also waiting to talk with "Supermarket lettings" all for further info, terms and conditions, usual stuff. Will knock HMO/multi-let on the head for the time being. (realistically i'm too far away, don't have experience etc). Still a bit hopeful for Golden Lane Housing or very similar organisation for people with learning disabilities to show some interest. Very much appreciate the time taken for all your knowledge and advice. Thanks again, Michelle

Robert Mellors

23:07 PM, 6th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Letting HMOs is very labour intensive, high turnover of residents, high level of wear and tear, etc, so unless you live within about 25 miles then it is probably not worth doing.

A guaranteed rent scheme is certainly worth considering, but check the small print and don't let them rip you off. The Northwood scheme sounds good, but I've no personal experience of it.

From my experience, I've found that most letting agents will blow their own trumpet and promise the earth, but rarely (never) live up to their own hype, so personally I don't use them any more. I've tried a few over the past 16 years so this opinion is not just based on one experience of one agent. But this works for some people.

Leasing to a Housing Association is also worth considering, but bear in mind that they often use them as temporary accommodation for homeless people so the properties can get trashed very quickly, and despite their promises they don't always hand the properties back in good condition, so again if you are doing this then make sure you get your lease agreements written how YOU want them, not how the HA or LA want them.

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