PHILIP’S BLOG 24/03/2015



The issue of pensions, future income & Buy to Let apartments has become increasingly hot in the property pages of the leading plus local newspapers. The conundrum for all landlords is that of the on-going management of the tenanted property. Do they do it or does their agent do it? It is sometimes a question of practicality depending where the owner lives or how involved they do or don’t want to be. The issues of late night calls regarding broken boilers or just drippy taps are unavoidably part of the BTL package along with the chasing of rents and regular inspections.

Sometimes the decision of whether or not to use an agent beyond the tenant introduction can come down to the level of fees the agents charge & the services they provide . In our case we charge 6% of the rental sum for collecting & forwarding rent plus providing 24 hours of comfort for the tenant, organising and managing contractors ,when needed, plus taking regular inspections. Two recent cases however have been brought to my attention which highlight how busy non property people really ought to use their agents services rather than doing it themselves. Busy lifestyles and hands on property ownership sometimes don’t mix and the recent case of a landlady who accidentally missed two quarterly rents not arriving into her bank account having just accepted the many promises & reassurances from her tenant that the rent was en-route was enough for her Birmingham penthouse. Another case that of a Jewellery Quarter landlord whose tenants (not introduced by us)decided to run a cannabis factory from their apartment, they knowing that if they paid rent on time he was unlikely to inspect. The mess left behind after a midnight flip needed a complete apartment redecoration.

For successful BTL the key I increasingly feel is probably to hand all the responsibility to the agent. We are just installing a new piece of lettings software which once embedded next month is going to streamline our service to such an extent that current landlords we anticipate are going to be shocked by the speed anyone of the lettings team will be able to supply data on every aspects of their tenancies in place & be able to immediately supply statements if sought.

Philip Jackson