Tag Archives: Property management

Reluctant landlords begin slow exit from private rented sector Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Latest ARLA research also shows regional variation in tenant demand.

The number of reluctant landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) is falling*, according to research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

Over the past three months, ARLA member offices have reported a decrease from 26% to 21% in the proportion of rental property coming onto the market because it cannot be sold. This also represents a sharp drop of 21% on the figure of 42% recorded last year.

As these reluctant landlords stop entering the sector, tenants are still faced with strong competition for rental homes. 52% of ARLA members said there were more tenants than properties available. While this represents an incremental fall on tenant-property ratio from the 54% recorded in the previous quarter, this statistic shows that PRS accommodation remains in high demand.

The South East (excluding London) has the highest proportion of members reporting more tenants than properties (67%), whereas London, surprisingly, has the lowest, with just 17% experiencing this trend.

Despite this competition among tenants for properties, there has been an overall fall in the number struggling to meet rental payments. The current figure of 35% remains high, but represents a fall of 5% from the figure of 40% recorded at the same time in 2012.

Ian Potter of ARLAIan Potter, Managing Director, ARLA, said: “Much has been written recently about the recovery of the residential sales market, and it would appear that these effects are now being felt in the private rented sector. While the departure of ‘accidental landlords’ from the sector will be a good thing for the individuals concerned, there is a real and ongoing worry about the level of rental properly supply across the country.

“With competition for the best properties remaining fierce, landlords and tenants alike can benefit hugely from seeking the advice of an ARLA agent. All ARLA licensed agents must adhere to a strict code of conduct, as well as offering client money protection and redress schemes, which protect all parties if things go wrong.”  

It may not be practical or desirable to manage your own properties for the reasons listed below if ….

  • you are new to being a landlord and fearful of getting things wrong
  • your time is more valuable to you
  • your properties are located inconveniently for you to arrange viewings and meet with tenants as required
  • you prefer to distance yourself from the management of your property portfolio and relationships with tenants.

If any of the above apply to you then a fully managed service might be better suited to your needs. See the letting section of this website or complete the form below for more details of the ARLA agent recommended by Property118. Property Management is available for a little as £14.99 per month + VAT.

How to save money and stay protected

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Building a letting agency business Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management

I sold my first letting agency business in 2006. In just 12 years my wife and I had taken the business from a standing start to managing 1,000 properties.

We have been investing into property for 30 years so property management makes sense to us, we knew what we wanted as landlords so we built our business model on that.

Following a lockout clause we decided to go back into lettings in 2009 and launched the Go Direct Lettings franchise in January 2012.

The business now manages 400 properties.

This time we wanted to do this slightly differently and to create a National brand by helping others to replicate our business model.

We now have five further franchise offices and and plan to grow the network rapidly based our on proven model for success.

We find that people with a passion for property become the most successful letting agents.

If you would like to find out more please complete the form below.

 

Building a letting agency business

Don Holmes – Founder of Go Direct Lettings


Referencing Services for Landlords Latest Articles, Lettings & Management

Referencing services for landlords come in several varieties and with numerous options and price structures. 

You can get anything from a credit check for a fiver through to full referencing which guarantees rent on the due date if your prospective tenants and guarantors are considered to be a good risk.

The larger referencing companies have been around for several decades and are used by literally thousands of letting agents across the UK. They have, therefore, also developed huge databases over the years of bad payers, anti social tenants and tenants who have caused wilful damage to landlords properties.

If you are offered referencing for under £10, chances are that you will get what you pay for which at best could be described as an indicative report only. A company which previously provided lifestyle referencing free of charge now only offer this service when combined with a £4.99 credit check for example.

The advice from Property118 is to pay slightly extra and buy the real thing. If you are heavily reliant on your rental income and could not afford the legal costs associated with evicting a bad tenant we also recommend you to purchase rent guarantee insurance. The entire package is generally available for less than £100 a year. Do check the small print on RGI policies though as your claim might not be valid unless you follow time sensitive claims processes.

As of next month (August 2013), a new service will be launched into the market for complete peace of mind. It is a rent collection product with a difference; in that rent is paid to the landlord on the due date whether it has been collected or not. The company offering the product is new to the market but the scheme is underwritten by FCC Paragon, established in 1996 and regarded by many in the PRS as one of the UK’s most established referencing companies. The legal services for possession are outsourced to Landlord Action.  Rent continues to be paid on the due date until such time as possession is recovered, all at the expense of the underwriters. This scheme will be competitively priced at just 5% of rental income when it is launched towards the end of August 2013. It’s an ideal half way house in terms of pricing between self management and full property management, however, the major benefit is the certainty of cashflow. For more details see LettingAgentsOnline.co.uk Referencing Services for Landlords


Plymouth Student Investment Property Opportunity Latest Articles, Property For Sale

Plymouth Student Investment Property OpportunityThe 5th most popular university location in the UK, Plymouth is home to over 30,000 students and has been identified by Savills as an area which has a significant undersupply of student housing. With a shortfall of almost 20,000 beds, Greenbank Court provides the perfect solution for students seeking a residence in the city.

Built by an experienced student accommodation developer, investors will receive assured yields of 9% for the first two years and can be confident that the property will be expertly let and managed by the highly experienced PRIMO Property Management. Interest in this development is extremely high, so investors are advised to register their interest early to avoid disappointment.

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Choosing the wrong letting agent could cost YOU thousands! Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management

Choosing the wrong letting agent could cost YOU thousands!It’s devastating when you put your trust and faith into a letting agency, you pay them a monthly management fee; and all of a sudden they disappear with rent and the tenant’s deposit.

This week saw Smith & Jones Lettings in Market Deeping made bankrupt without a warning to their clients or time for them to act. Continue reading Choosing the wrong letting agent could cost YOU thousands!


Online Property Management Testimonial by Suzanne Edgecombe Latest Articles

Online Property Management Testimonial by Suzanne EdgecombeBeing a regular reader of Property118 I felt I would like to express my gratitude for this free website by writing a testimonial for the online property management company which Mark Alexander referred me to.

I submitted a “Readers Questions” article and several GOOD Landlords made a big effort to respond and offer me advice. This is the first time I have let out this property so I’m very much a “newbie”.

Having initially used a High Street Letting Agent and had 2 potential tenants drop out at the 11th hour costing me several months of lost income, I went looking for alternative support. I found an online property management company who have inventory clerks based in many Cities in the UK. Unfortunately they don’t have a local agent in the town where my property is yet but that didn’t prevent me from doing business with them. I had always imagined online companies would lack a degree of creativity and flexibility so I was delighted when we quickly found a way round the lack of agent presence and tailored a service for my individual situation.

They advertised the property on all the major property portals for me and I soon had a good supply of tenants to arrange viewings for. I was fortunate in that I was able to elicit the help of a close neighbour, who was happy to conduct the viewings on my behalf.   Having found a lady who liked the property and who I felt would make a good tenant, the referencing was done by the agent. They appointed an independent inventory clerk at their expense and, after discussions and advice regarding the paperwork I required for the tenant handover, I carried out the check-in myself. A copy of the signed rental contract, deposit protection and prescribed information forms from DPS and the inventory had already been sent to the tenant, and all other legal paperwork for the tenant information file is now uploaded on the tenant’s log-in area reducing my workload tremendously. On the handover day I was able to minimise the paperwork to key and other releases plus the equipment instructions file. My new agents will also be managing the rent collection for me.

The office staff were incredibly patient with my copious amounts of questions and the anxiety one feels ‘the first time’ and all that. 🙂  I couldn’t have wished for better support.

And the best bit was the cost!

How much do you think I am pay for this service?

Well, considering that most of the other ARLA lettings I spoke to wanted up-front fees of around £200 +VAT, plus 10% of rent + VAT, I figured that based on the rent I am charging (£895 pcm) the typical cost over the year would be £1,274 for a similar service. I am paying £14.99 pcm plus VAT plus say £50 in petrol and about 5 hours of my time to do the check in. In total, I have calculated that I will save around £1,262.80 over the year which equates to about 82.6% off the market norm.

If you are looking for a cost effective alternative to using a High Street letting agent I strongly recommend the firm Property118 introduced me to. They are knowledgeable, friendly and creative as well as being extremely competitive in terms of price. They are also members of ARLA and The Property Ombudsman so I also know they have client money protection and professional indemnity insurance too. What more could any landlord possibly ask for?

Thanks to Property118 for the excellent introduction. As a result of this I also became a member of The GOOD Landlords Campaign.

Regards

Suzanne Edgecombe

EDITORS NOTE

To contact the firm which Suzanne’s article relates to please complete the contact form below.

How to save money and stay protected

Please complete this form if you would like further information
  • Please enter a number from 1 to 999.


Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords Buy to Let News, Latest Articles

Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlordsI am a non-exec Director of Letting Supermarket, an ARLA member letting agency which we have been recommending to Property118 readers since the end of 2012.

The feedback received from landlords we’ve referred has been superb with savings of 50% or more being reported when compared to other ARLA member letting agents. Continue reading Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords


Why do landlords buy furniture packs? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

Landlords Furniture PacksI’m often asked whether I think it’s a good idea to let properties on a furnished or unfurnished basis. A friend of mine recently said that he was surprised I had not written an article about this and, in particular, about furniture packs.

Unless you buy properties to let as holiday homes, short term lets, student lets or own modern city centre apartments targeting overseas business visitors or short term contractors the thought of letting a property furnished, let alone buying furniture packs, may well be an alien concept to you. Continue reading Why do landlords buy furniture packs?


Newbie property investor seeks advice Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Newbie property investor seeks adviceI am just getting started off in the property game and my ambition it to set up a small portfolio of properties for a steady rental income. I aim to keep this portfolio long term as a pension for my wife and I and something to leave for my children.

I am looking at the low end of the property scale in Liverpool and have been to one auction so far without buying basically just to familiarise myself with this new world to me. I have also visited several potential rental areas around Liverpool and spoke with a few contractors. I’m looking at properties that either have tenants in all ready or that are ready for immediate occupancy. Continue reading Newbie property investor seeks advice


Paying a letting agent for peace of mind, is it worth it ? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Paying letting agent for piece of mindBecause I live abroad I pay a letting agent agent to find tenants and for property management.

I have a property let to 4 tenants. It is an unlicenseable HMO (House in Multiple Occupation). 

In practice, the letting agents do very little property management because I have to fix every thing and send my own people because the agent tries to overcharge for everything.

I think I am paying the management fee just in case the proverbial …. hits the fan and the tenants default or cause major problems etc.
Continue reading Paying a letting agent for peace of mind, is it worth it ?


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