Property118 Ltd understands that your privacy is important to you and that you care about how your personal data is used and shared online. We respect and value the privacy of everyone who visits this website, www.property118.com
(“Our Site”) and will only collect and use personal data in ways that are described here, and in a manner that is consistent with Our obligations and your rights under the law.
- Definitions and Interpretation
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- Information About Us
- Our Site is owned and operated by Property118 Ltd, a limited company registered in England under company number 10295964, whose registered address is 1st Floor, Woburn House, 84 St Benedicts Street, Norwich, NR2 4AB.
- Our VAT number is 990 0332 34.
- Our Data Protection Officer is Neil Patterson, and can be contacted by email at email@example.com, by telephone on 01603 489118, or by post at 1st Floor, Woburn House, 84 St Benedicts Street, Norwich, NR2 4AB.
- What Does This Policy Cover?
- Your Rights
- As a data subject, you have the following rights under the GDPR, which this Policy and Our use of personal data have been designed to uphold:
- The right to be informed about Our collection and use of personal data;
- The right of access to the personal data We hold about you (see section 12);
- The right to rectification if any personal data We hold about you is inaccurate or incomplete (please contact Us using the details in section 14);
- The right to be forgotten – i.e. the right to ask Us to delete any personal data We hold about you (We only hold your personal data for a limited time, as explained in section 6 but if you would like Us to delete it sooner, please contact Us using the details in section 14);
- The right to restrict (i.e. prevent) the processing of your personal data;
- The right to data portability (obtaining a copy of your personal data to re-use with another service or organisation);
- The right to object to Us using your personal data for particular purposes; and
- If you have any cause for complaint about Our use of your personal data, please contact Us using the details provided in section 14 and We will do Our best to solve the problem for you. If We are unable to help, you also have the right to lodge a complaint with the UK’s supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office.
- For further information about your rights, please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
- What Data Do We Collect?
- Date of birth;
- Address and post code;
- Business/company name and trading status;
- Number of properties owned;
- Accountants details;
- Contact information such as email addresses and telephone numbers;
- Proof of residence and ID;
- Financial information such as income and tax status;
- Landlords insurance renewal dates;
- Property Portfolio details such as value and mortgage outstanding;
- How Do We Use Your Data?
- All personal data is processed and stored securely, for no longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected. We will comply with Our obligations and safeguard your rights under the GDPR at all times. For more details on security see section 7, below.
- Our use of your personal data will always have a lawful basis, either because it is necessary for our performance of a contract with you, because you have consented to our use of your personal data (e.g. by subscribing to emails), or because it is in our legitimate interests. Specifically, we may use your data for the following purposes:
- Providing and managing your access to Our Site;
- Supplying our products and or services to you (please note that We require your personal data in order to enter into a contract with you);
- Personalising and tailoring our products and or services for you;
- Replying to emails from you;
- Supplying you with emails that you have opted into (you may unsubscribe or opt-out at any time by the unsubscribe link at the bottom of all emails;
- Analysing your use of our site and gathering feedback to enable us to continually improve our site and your user experience;
- Provide information to our partner service and product suppliers at your request.
- With your permission and/or where permitted by law, We may also use your data for marketing purposes which may include contacting you by email and or telephone with information, news and offers on our products and or We will not, however, send you any unsolicited marketing or spam and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that We fully protect your rights and comply with Our obligations under the GDPR and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
- You have the right to withdraw your consent to us using your personal data at any time, and to request that we delete it.
- We do not keep your personal data for any longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected. Data will therefore be retained for the following periods (or its retention will be determined on the following bases):
- Member profile information is collected with your consent and can be amended or deleted at any time by you;
- Anti-Money Laundering information and tax consultancy records are to be kept as required by law for up to seven years.
- How and Where Do We Store Your Data?
- We only keep your personal data for as long as We need to in order to use it as described above in section 6, and/or for as long as We have your permission to keep it.
- Some or all of your data may be stored outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to Us. If we do store data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the UK and under the GDPR
- Data security is very important to Us, and to protect your data We have taken suitable measures to safeguard and secure data collected through Our Site.
- Do We Share Your Data?
- We may share your data with other partner companies in for the purpose of supplying products or services you have requested.
- We may sometimes contract with third parties to supply products and services to you on Our behalf. Where any of your data is required for such a purpose, We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data will be handled safely, securely, and in accordance with your rights, Our obligations, and the obligations of the third party under the law.
- We may compile statistics about the use of Our Site including data on traffic, usage patterns, user numbers, sales, and other information. All such data will be anonymised and will not include any personally identifying data, or any anonymised data that can be combined with other data and used to identify you. We may from time to time share such data with third parties such as prospective investors, affiliates, partners, and advertisers. Data will only be shared and used within the bounds of the law.
- In certain circumstances, We may be legally required to share certain data held by Us, which may include your personal data, for example, where We are involved in legal proceedings, where We are complying with legal requirements, a court order, or a governmental authority.
- What Happens If Our Business Changes Hands?
- How Can You Control Your Data?
- In addition to your rights under the GDPR, set out in section 4, we aim to give you strong controls on Our use of your data for direct marketing purposes including the ability to opt-out of receiving emails from Us which you may do by unsubscribing using the links provided in Our emails.
- Your Right to Withhold Information
- You may access certain areas of Our Site without providing any data at all. However, to use all features and functions available on Our Site you may be required to submit or allow for the collection of certain data.
- How Can You Access Your Data?
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- Contacting Us
10:53 AM, 12th July 2016, About 7 years ago
Drew - have you considered not using an agency and sourcing your own tenants? Agents will never take the same degree of care as you will when it comes to choosing tenants. For them, the loss arising from a dud tenant is small; to you it is huge. So your incentive to find a suitable and low risk tenant is much greater than theirs. I had a multi-occupancy property in a Norfolk town which I sold last year. I always got my tenants direct by advertising on Gumtree and Spareroom. com. By careful weeding out of likely non-payers, I was able to achieve an arrears level over my 10 years of ownership of only about 5%. I generally found that the tenants most likely to get into difficulty were the very young people i.e. 19 -22. The best payers were in their late 20's/early 30's and it then dropped amongst anyone over 45. All sounds very ageist I know, but the correlation between age and tenant reliability was remarkable.
Another possible option is to see if a local housing association or the local authority in your area will offer a guaranteed rent scheme. Basically, they take over your property for 3 or 5 years and pay you rent directly and then they source tenants themselves from the local authority waiting list. I did it once on a flat in London and it worked well, but the flat was in need of some serious refurbishment at the end of the tenancy. If you're lucky and the local authority put a nice family in there who treat the place like home and stay for several years, it could work well. Of course the rent will be lower, but you will always get paid as your lease is with the local authority.
As regards auctions, I did consider that for my Norfolk property but in the end was able to sell it through an agency. The auction company will encourage you to set a low reserve price on it which can be scary. The fees can also be high. But if you are very lucky, you might get a good price if several bidders are competing on it. Look at auction companies recent results and see if they have sold anything recently which looks a bit like your houses and how much they got for it. If other similar stuff has been proven to sell at auction for a decent price, it may be worth a shout. Having said that, post- Brexit, people will probably want bigger discounts, so selling up is perhaps a last resort.
12:47 PM, 12th July 2016, About 7 years ago
Drew – is the economy tanking? There's a lot of talk, but little sign yet of falls in house prices. But perhaps Doncaster has specific local problems and confidence has been hit hard by the Brexit vote.
I would be inclined to take on self-management as Simon suggests – it will save you money and bring you to a closer understanding of your tenants. Arguably if your salaried income has fallen, then having letting agents is a luxury you can no longer afford. If your letting agent is that relatively rare species, a genuine specialist in HMOs, then have a frank talk with them about the quality of their recent supply of tenants and how they propose to improve this, otherwise they are at risk of losing your business.
Alternatively you could switch one house to self-management and use Gumtree and Spareroom, and perhaps Accommodation for Students, to see how that works out, whilst keeping the other two houses with the agents.
Also, have you considered taking out rental insurance (Rentguard etc)? Provided the tenants pass a credit check when they are first chosen, you can insure yourself against loss of rent and have some protection against these sudden fluctuations in your net rental income.
13:13 PM, 12th July 2016, About 7 years ago
I'd agree with the other comments on here about taking back control of your properties. Many letting agents simply don't understand the HMO market and what those people want. Ive had plenty of bad experiences of HMO's like yourself and have learned the hard way as many of us do.
South Yorkshire also seems to bring its own set of problems (I've had these as well!)
There are plenty of portals specifically set up for room shares. Ive found these to be great - Easy Room Mate being the best for me. GumTree is also very good.
Are your room sharers working or DSS?
There are plenty of advantages and disadvantages to leasing your property to an agent or other, i'd be careful here but i do have some contacts who do this kind of thing and i also work with a number of charities and LA's that also lease entire homes.
If you want to message me directly then please feel free. If not then i really hope things work out for you
13:39 PM, 12th July 2016, About 7 years ago
HMO Man – what do you like specifically about Easyroommate? I've never tried it as I've always had success with Spareroom and occasional use of noticeboards at the local university or major employers and hospitals. Rightmove was hopeless: people seemed incapable of reading the advert and kept ringing me thinking I was offering an ultra-cheap one-bed flat! Gumtree has in my experience a much higher proportion of flakes compared with Spareroom: they don't come to appointments, they're actually on ultra-part-time work and benefits despite claiming they are "professional", they make silly offers on the rent and want to move in their pet Doberman, and so on.
I agree the vast majority of letting agents don't understand HMOs, and many refuse to take on houseshares because the work involved is too small for the returns.
13:57 PM, 12th July 2016, About 7 years ago
Easy Room Mate £199 - advertise as many HMO's as you like and easy response to all queries.
Good search and marketing functions. Pretty simple to use overall and much cheaper than Spare Room.
Also for DSS sharers (if you have any) try DSS Move
14:10 PM, 12th July 2016, About 7 years ago
In the first instance before doing anything rash or final, what I would try is to start 'managing' your managing agent.
Keep in very close contact with your current agent. Set them guidelines on the type of tenant you will accept and insist that they pass the tenants application/information to you along with a verbal description of the tenants position and their impressions, then you okay, or kibosh letting to the tenant. If they sound like they will be trouble tell them don't even bother reference checking them, just say no!
Consider a slight rent reduction to attract more applicants, it is better to earn slightly less over the course of the year and maintain high occupancy as you will end up better off overall.
Insist on a reference checked guarantor for low income, housing benefit or under 25 year old tenants.
Meet the applicants at the agents and carry out visits to the property periodically and speak with the tenants you see when you're there (you don't have to do a full inspection, just look around the common areas and be seen), this will give tenants an opportunity to let you know of any problem tenants. Often times good tenants will simply move on rather than complain (particularly in HMOs). One nuisance tenant can empty a building in no time (ie dealing drugs).
You will need to consider the demographic of tenant you can reasonably expect in your area and the price bracket, but try and get the best you can in that demographic.
Doing all the above will give you a chance to
a) learn the ropes and see whether you feel confident to go it alone
b) give you a good feel for where any problems may lie (is it with the managing agents, or the property, or the tenant selection?) and how to fix them.
c) compromise on full management on your own (when you may not have the time), yet keeping yourself an active participant in the management of your properties.
if you find this works for you, you could use your agent (as we do) on an introduction only basis and manage the tenancies thereafter yourself. As long as you give clear guidance on the type of tenants you will accept. We have negotiated a very good rate with the agent we use.
You need to actively be involved in the management of your own business. An agent will never give the same amount of care and attention to the details as you will yourself. After all it's your livelihood.
7:36 AM, 13th July 2016, About 7 years ago
Sounds like you got a touch of the Brexit Blues . I had it for 48hrs as well but well on the mend now. We are in for a bumpy ride but you got into property investment for a reason and in 20 years those reasons will become clear when your properties have all doubled in value and due to rents rising your positive cash flow will be looking very healthy . So hang on in there and deal with this short term blip
I would be inclined to take your first option -
Do nothing but get in the face of your letting agents and let them know you are in pain.
They don`t want to lose you so its down to them to up their game. As Kate says - manage your managing agent
Ensure your file is at the top of their in tray.
Others have suggested self management . You didn't put self managing down as an option so I`m guessing you don`t really want that and have already ruled that out . I self manage my own portfolio but undestand its not for everyone. My clients want me to manage because they dont want to. They have thought these things through already. I could go on a plumbing course and save myself money but i can earn more elsewhere and i don`t want to spend my time rummaging around the back of a smelly sink to save me £50. Its just not for me. But I agree it is an option
The answer will come from you ultimately so maybe do what i do and talk out aloud to yourself in the mirror and answer yourself back. Its amazing what spills out of your brain sometimes when you do this . Express your hopes and fears, explore the pros and cons verbally using expletives if you like to relieve the stress built up. Make sure the house is empty though as others erm may not understand. I do it when facing big decisions and it often helps me to clarify what i really want sometimes in life
16:28 PM, 13th July 2016, About 7 years ago
Reply to the comment left by "Simon Williams" at "12/07/2016 - 10:53":
Hi Simon, thanks for the reply. I don't have time to source my own tenants, unfortunately. Your suggestion about the local housing associations sounds interesting though, so I'll have a look into that. At the very least, I should find out whether it's an option or not and then I can make a proper decision about it.
16:34 PM, 13th July 2016, About 7 years ago
Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "12/07/2016 - 12:47":
Tony, yes, you're right about the economy not strictly tanking. It's not like things are going bad right now, but property prices in South Yorks haven't really gone anywhere for several years, and there's a huge population of EU workers who form a large part of the tenants in the area, so it's just not a particularly attractive area to be a landlord in.
Before I say "I haven't the time" to be a landlord, do you have any estimate in how much time would be needed to let and support the properties without an agency? There are 11 rooms over three properties, all in the central Doncaster area, and I'm about an hour's drive away. My gut feeling is I'd rather get out of the landlord business than take on direct letting myself, but I shouldn't be making decisions based on gut feelings!
16:38 PM, 13th July 2016, About 7 years ago
Reply to the comment left by "HMO Man" at "12/07/2016 - 13:13":
Hi Adrian, thanks for your reply. The tenants are workers, not DSS. I've asked the same in response to Tony, above, but do you have an estimate in how much time would be required to do direct letting? 11 rooms over three properties in central Doncaster.
If I do decide to go down the route of housing associations or similar, I'll get in touch.