Property Geek http://www.propertygeek.net Thu, 25 May 2017 10:44:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Every episode, I interview someone with expertise in a different area of UK property investment - discussing the issues in their field, and teasing out their top tips for investment success. Property Geek clean Property Geek rob@propertygeek.net rob@propertygeek.net (Property Geek) Essential discussion for UK property investors Property Geek http://www.propertygeek.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Final-Logo-JPEG.jpg http://www.propertygeek.net What gets landlords calling for help? An interview with Adrian Thompson from the Guild of Residential Landlords http://www.propertygeek.net/gets-landlords-calling-help-interview-adrian-thompson-guild-residential-landlords/ http://www.propertygeek.net/gets-landlords-calling-help-interview-adrian-thompson-guild-residential-landlords/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 07:00:51 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3880 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) Adrian Thompson from the Guild of Residential Landlords spends much of his time talking to landlords in distress – so who better to tell us what we can do differently to avoid ending up in that […]

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Adrian Thompson from the Guild of Residential Landlords spends much of his time talking to landlords in distress – so who better to tell us what we can do differently to avoid ending up in that position.

In this interview we cover a wide range of topics that landlords should be aware of – and speculate about what the next few years might hold…

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • What issue is the #1 reason for landlords calling the Guild’s helpline
  • The non-obvious deposit protection rules that trip landlords up
  • What effect the Homeless Reduction Bill will have on landlords
  • Why you need to be particularly careful at the moment when serving eviction notices
  • How the nationwide licensing scheme in Wales is working out
  • What Adrian thinks might lie ahead for landlords in England

Check out the Guild of Residential Landlords

Click here to visit the Guild of Residential Landlords

They offer a landlord helpline, every document you could ever need, and a handy tenancy builder among other great services.

My book “How To Be A Landlord” is out now!

How To Be A Landlord is a comprehensive, easy to follow and entertaining guide to everything you need to know about letting and managing a property. For a beginner, it’s the perfect reference manual you’ll refer back to time and time again – and there’s plenty to learn for experienced landlords too.

Click here to buy your copy as a paperback, audiobook and for Kindle

Get your free landlord checklist

My checklist takes you through every step of letting and managing a property, so you’ll never miss an important task. Just print it out and tick off as you go!

Click here to download the checklist

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoyed the show, could you help me out? I’d love it if you could tell a friend about The Property Geek podcast – you can use the buttons below to share it by email, Facebook or Twitter.

You can also leave an honest review on iTunes. Every review helps move the podcast up the rankings for others to find, so you’ll be doing me a big favour.

The post What gets landlords calling for help? An interview with Adrian Thompson from the Guild of Residential Landlords appeared first on Property Geek.

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http://www.propertygeek.net/gets-landlords-calling-help-interview-adrian-thompson-guild-residential-landlords/feed/ 0 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) Adrian Thompson from the Guild of Residential Landlords spends much of his time talking to landlords in distress – so who better to tell us what ... Adrian Thompson from the Guild of Residential Landlords spends much of his time talking to landlords in distress – so who better to tell us what we can do differently to avoid ending up in that position.<br /> <br /> In this interview we cover a wide range of topics that landlords should be aware of – and speculate about what the next few years might hold...<br /> <br /> Listen to this week’s show and learn:<br /> <br /> *What issue is the #1 reason for landlords calling the Guild's helpline<br /> *The non-obvious deposit protection rules that trip landlords up<br /> *What effect the Homeless Reduction Bill will have on landlords<br /> *Why you need to be particularly careful at the moment when serving eviction notices<br /> *How the nationwide licensing scheme in Wales is working out<br /> *What Adrian thinks might lie ahead for landlords in England Property Geek clean 37:32
Building a successful rent-to-rent business – run by staff overseas http://www.propertygeek.net/building-successful-rent-rent-business-run-staff-overseas/ http://www.propertygeek.net/building-successful-rent-rent-business-run-staff-overseas/#respond Wed, 17 May 2017 07:00:14 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3870 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) Petra Romero only moved to the UK a year and a half ago, and she’s already built up a thriving rent-to-rent business. That’s already seriously impressive – but even more interesting is how she’s intentionally designed […]

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(Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.)

Petra Romero only moved to the UK a year and a half ago, and she’s already built up a thriving rent-to-rent business. That’s already seriously impressive – but even more interesting is how she’s intentionally designed her business to be run by overseas assistants, freeing her up to do what she’s best at.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • What attracted Petra to Leeds and to rent-to-rent
  • Where she got the idea of using overseas “virtual assistants”
  • The (many!) parts of Petra’s business that they run for her
  • How her assistants build her business by finding properties and tenants
  • Where she finds them, and the interview process she uses
  • How she trains them and builds the systems for them to follow
  • The technology that underpins her business
  • How Petra structures her day – starting with getting up shockingly early in the morning!

Links mentioned in this episode:

My book “How To Be A Landlord” is out now!

How To Be A Landlord is a comprehensive, easy to follow and entertaining guide to everything you need to know about letting and managing a property. For a beginner, it’s the perfect reference manual you’ll refer back to time and time again – and there’s plenty to learn for experienced landlords too.

Click here to buy your copy as a paperback, audiobook and for Kindle

Get your free landlord checklist

My checklist takes you through every step of letting and managing a property, so you’ll never miss an important task. Just print it out and tick off as you go!

Click here to download the checklist

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoyed the show, could you help me out? I’d love it if you could tell a friend about The Property Geek podcast – you can use the buttons below to share it by email, Facebook or Twitter.

You can also leave an honest review on iTunes. Every review helps move the podcast up the rankings for others to find, so you’ll be doing me a big favour.

The post Building a successful rent-to-rent business – run by staff overseas appeared first on Property Geek.

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http://www.propertygeek.net/building-successful-rent-rent-business-run-staff-overseas/feed/ 0 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) Petra Romero only moved to the UK a year and a half ago, and she’s already built up a thriving rent-to-rent business. Petra Romero only moved to the UK a year and a half ago, and she's already built up a thriving rent-to-rent business. That's already seriously impressive – but even more interesting is how she's intentionally designed her business to be run by overseas assistants, freeing her up to do what she's best at.<br /> <br /> Listen to this week’s show and learn:<br /> <br /> *What attracted Petra to Leeds and to rent-to-rent<br /> *Where she got the idea of using overseas "virtual assistants"<br /> *The (many!) parts of Petra's business that they run for her<br /> *How her assistants build her business by finding properties and tenants<br /> *Where she finds them, and the interview process she uses<br /> *How she trains them and builds the systems for them to follow<br /> *The technology that underpins her business<br /> *How Petra structures her day – starting with getting up shockingly early in the morning!<br /> Property Geek clean 32:40
Managing 21 properties in under 2 hours per week http://www.propertygeek.net/managing-21-properties-2-hours-per-week/ http://www.propertygeek.net/managing-21-properties-2-hours-per-week/#respond Wed, 10 May 2017 07:00:56 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3864 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) Richard and Susie Trow have property management down to a fine art. Thanks to some effective systems and a commitment to quality from the very start, their portfolio of 21 properties in Wrexham takes up less […]

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(Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.)

Richard and Susie Trow have property management down to a fine art. Thanks to some effective systems and a commitment to quality from the very start, their portfolio of 21 properties in Wrexham takes up less than 2 hours per week – freeing up their time to do what really matters to them.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • What led Richard and Susie to start building their portfolio
  • The networks they use to find a steady stream of potential tenants
  • The in-depth approach they take to making sure they avoid bad tenants
  • The “total quality management” approach they use to create a better experience for their tenants, and an easier time for them
  • How they avoid rent arrears – even with tenants on housing benefit
  • The systems they use to keep everything running smoothly with minimal use of their own time
  • The small tweaks that have allowed them to reduce their management time even further

MY BOOK “HOW TO BE A LANDLORD” IS OUT NOW!

How To Be A Landlord is a comprehensive, easy to follow and entertaining guide to everything you need to know about letting and managing a property. For a beginner, it’s the perfect reference manual you’ll refer back to time and time again – and there’s plenty to learn for experienced landlords too.

Click here to buy your copy as a paperback, audiobook and for Kindle

GET YOUR FREE LANDLORD CHECKLIST

My checklist takes you through every step of letting and managing a property, so you’ll never miss an important task. Just print it out and tick off as you go!

Click here to download the checklist

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoyed the show, could you help me out? I’d love it if you could tell a friend about The Property Geek podcast – you can use the buttons below to share it by email, Facebook or Twitter.

You can also leave an honest review on iTunes. Every review helps move the podcast up the rankings for others to find, so you’ll be doing me a big favour.

The post Managing 21 properties in under 2 hours per week appeared first on Property Geek.

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http://www.propertygeek.net/managing-21-properties-2-hours-per-week/feed/ 0 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) Richard and Susie Trow have property management down to a fine art. Thanks to some effective systems and a commitment to quality from the very st... Richard and Susie Trow have property management down to a fine art. Thanks to some effective systems and a commitment to quality from the very start, their portfolio of 21 properties in Wrexham takes up less than 2 hours per week – freeing up their time to do what really matters to them.<br /> <br /> Listen to this week’s show and learn:<br /> <br /> *What led Richard and Susie to start building their portfolio<br /> *The networks they use to find a steady stream of potential tenants<br /> *The in-depth approach they take to making sure they avoid bad tenants<br /> *The "total quality management" approach they use to create a better experience for their tenants, and an easier time for them<br /> *How they avoid rent arrears - even with tenants on housing benefit<br /> *The systems they use to keep everything running smoothly with minimal use of their own time<br /> *The small tweaks that have allowed them to reduce their management time even further Property Geek clean 39:57
How to stay out of trouble as a landlord – with Tessa Shepperson from Landlord Law http://www.propertygeek.net/stay-trouble-landlord-tessa-shepperson-landlord-law/ http://www.propertygeek.net/stay-trouble-landlord-tessa-shepperson-landlord-law/#respond Wed, 03 May 2017 07:00:39 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3857 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) As a landlord, your social status is somewhere between “bankers” and “solicitors” – and you can’t open a newspaper without being told how greedy and unfair you are. A lot of this is due to the […]

The post How to stay out of trouble as a landlord – with Tessa Shepperson from Landlord Law appeared first on Property Geek.

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(Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.)

As a landlord, your social status is somewhere between “bankers” and “solicitors” – and you can’t open a newspaper without being told how greedy and unfair you are.

A lot of this is due to the prevalence of bad landlords. But bad landlords aren’t necessarily bad people: it’s just that they have no idea what the job of being a landlord is all about, and are flouting laws they didn’t know existed.

My guest, Tessa Shepperson, has seen it all when it comes to landlords getting themselves into very hot legal water – and as she explains, the consequences for not doing the job properly are getting more severe…

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • How new local authority penalties and rent repayment orders are about to make it very expensive if you breach your legal responsibilities
  • Where landlords go wrong in terms of finding tenants – and what they should be doing instead
  • The clauses that should go in your tenancy agreement to make sure you have the legal protection you need
  • Where landlords are still messing up the protection of tenants’ deposits
  • The most common mistakes that prevent landlords from evicting troublesome tenants
  • Tessa’s legal perspective on the letting fee ban, and what it might mean for landlords and tenants

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHAT TESSA DOES

MY BOOK “HOW TO BE A LANDLORD” IS OUT NOW!

How To Be A Landlord is a comprehensive, easy to follow and entertaining guide to everything you need to know about letting and managing a property. For a beginner, it’s the perfect reference manual you’ll refer back to time and time again – and there’s plenty to learn for experienced landlords too.

Click here to buy your copy as a paperback, audiobook and for Kindle

GET YOUR FREE LANDLORD CHECKLIST

My checklist takes you through every step of letting and managing a property, so you’ll never miss an important task. Just print it out and tick off as you go!

Click here to download the checklist

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoyed the show, could you help me out? I’d love it if you could tell a friend about The Property Geek podcast – you can use the buttons below to share it by email, Facebook or Twitter.

You can also leave an honest review on iTunes. Every review helps move the podcast up the rankings for others to find, so you’ll be doing me a big favour.

The post How to stay out of trouble as a landlord – with Tessa Shepperson from Landlord Law appeared first on Property Geek.

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http://www.propertygeek.net/stay-trouble-landlord-tessa-shepperson-landlord-law/feed/ 0 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) As a landlord, your social status is somewhere between “bankers” and “solicitors” – and you can’t open a newspaper without being told how greedy ... As a landlord, your social status is somewhere between "bankers" and "solicitors" – and you can't open a newspaper without being told how greedy and unfair you are.<br /> <br /> A lot of this is due to the prevalence of bad landlords. But bad landlords aren't necessarily bad people: it's just that they have no idea what the job of being a landlord is all about, and are flouting laws they didn't know existed.<br /> <br /> My guest, Tessa Shepperson, has seen it all when it comes to landlords getting themselves into very hot legal water – and as she explains, the consequences for not doing the job properly are getting more severe...<br /> <br /> Listen to this week’s show and learn:<br /> <br /> *How new local authority penalties and rent repayment orders are about to make it very expensive if you breach your legal responsibilities<br /> *Where landlords go wrong in terms of finding tenants - and what they should be doing instead<br /> *The clauses that should go in your tenancy agreement to make sure you have the legal protection you need<br /> *Where landlords are still messing up the protection of tenants' deposits<br /> *The most common mistakes that prevent landlords from evicting troublesome tenants<br /> *Tessa's legal perspective on the letting fee ban, and what it might mean for landlords and tenants Property Geek clean 47:39
How To Be A Landlord is out today! http://www.propertygeek.net/how-to-be-a-landlord-is-out-today/ http://www.propertygeek.net/how-to-be-a-landlord-is-out-today/#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:13:41 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3839 Yes – my latest book, How To Be A Landlord, is out today! You can buy it here. Where my previous book The Complete Guide To Property Investment told you exactly how to form a strategy and buy the right property, How To Be A Landlord tells you what to do once you’ve bought it. […]

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Yes – my latest book, How To Be A Landlord, is out today! You can buy it here.

Where my previous book The Complete Guide To Property Investment told you exactly how to form a strategy and buy the right property, How To Be A Landlord tells you what to do once you’ve bought it.

How do you set it up so it’s a safe and desirable rental property? Where do you find tenants, and how do you make sure they’re the right tenants? How do you set the tenancy up so it’s legally compliant? What do you do about maintenance? What about increasing the rent, or asking tenants to leave?

How To Be A Landlord covers all of this – and more. A lot more.

Why I wrote the book

After The Complete Guide To Property Investment, I really thought I had nothing else long-form to say about property.

But then I kept getting emails from people asking questions about the management aspect – and biting my tongue while seeing friends taking a very casual approach to self-management that could land them in big trouble later.

I realised that I couldn’t really blame them – because while all the information is out there, there isn’t a single source that takes you through everything you need to know in a straightforward, step-by-step way. And certainly not in a way that’s actually enjoyable to read.

So I set myself a challenge: write a book that should be handed to someone along with the keys when they buy a property for the first time. And make it so simple and entertaining that they’d actually read it.

Getting help

As the owner of a letting agency, I get to see what happens with hundreds of tenancies each year – so I’ve got a pretty good understanding of what property management is all about.

But I don’t know it all – so I invited contributions from Property Geek readers who are experienced in self-management. I was blown away by what I received: well over 50 people contributed their ideas, many of which were brilliant yet I’d never heard before. Many of those ideas were so smart I pulled them out as individual “pro tips” – and others I weaved into the main text to make it even more comprehensive.

The result is that the book isn’t just suitable for beginners: when I sent out advance copies for feedback, a common comment was “I’ve been a landlord for years, and I didn’t know a lot of this stuff!”

What’s in the book?

The book takes you through the lifecycle of a tenancy, structured in five main sections:

  • Preparing the property to let
  • Finding tenants and referencing them
  • Setting up the tenancy
  • Managing the tenancy
  • Ending the tenancy

There are also three bonus chapters:

  • Finding and working with a letting agent
  • Managing HMOs
  • Lettings and management in Scotland

(The chapter on letting agents is actually one of my favourites. I firmly believe that even if you use an agent, you should still know everything in this book – but choosing the right agent and keeping an eye on them is a massively important topic in its own right.)

And, after you’ve bought the book you get access to a checklist of all the main steps for easy reference, and links to my recommended suppliers for all manner of things like insurance, furniture and eviction support.

Read the book now!

For this week only, the paperback costs just £10 – an incredible bargain, if you ask me, for information that could save you thousands of pounds and hours over the course of your life in property. (And to be fair, when it goes up to £12.99 next week that’s still a pretty decent return.)

You can buy the book on Amazon here – as a paperback and for Kindle.

(The audiobook is coming very soon – I’ll update this post when it’s on sale, and notify you by email if you’re on my mailing list.)

Not sure yet? Read a sample chapter here.

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How To Be A Landlord: Special launch episode http://www.propertygeek.net/landlord-special-launch-episode/ http://www.propertygeek.net/landlord-special-launch-episode/#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:00:58 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3845 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) For years, landlords have been telling me that there’s nowhere they can go to find the information they need about letting and managing property – no accessible source with all the facts clearly laid out in […]

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(Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.)

For years, landlords have been telling me that there’s nowhere they can go to find the information they need about letting and managing property – no accessible source with all the facts clearly laid out in a logical way.

Well, I’ve put that right: my book, How To Be A Landlord, is out today!

In this special launch episode, I:

  • Explain why I felt the book needed to be written
  • Discuss how landlords are more at risk than ever by not knowing how to be a landlord “properly”
  • Describe the five parts of the book and what they cover
  • Read one of my favourite extracts from the book with lots of great tips for dealing with property maintenance
  • Reveal the special bonuses you get for buying the book in the first week
  • And most importantly of all, tell you where you can get it!

Click here to buy your copy as a paperback or for Kindle

(The audiobook is coming very soon – I’ll update this post when it’s on sale, and notify you by email if you’re on my mailing list.)

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoyed the show, could you help me out? I’d love it if you could tell a friend about The Property Geek podcast – you can use the buttons below to share it by email, Facebook or Twitter.

You can also leave an honest review on iTunes. Every review helps move the podcast up the rankings for others to find, so you’ll be doing me a big favour.

The post How To Be A Landlord: Special launch episode appeared first on Property Geek.

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http://www.propertygeek.net/landlord-special-launch-episode/feed/ 0 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) For years, landlords have been telling me that there’s nowhere they can go to find the information they need about letting and managing property ... For years, landlords have been telling me that there's nowhere they can go to find the information they need about letting and managing property – no accessible source with all the facts clearly laid out in a logical way.<br /> <br /> Well, I've put that right: my book, How To Be A Landlord, is out today!<br /> <br /> In this special launch episode, I:<br /> <br /> *Explain why I felt the book needed to be written<br /> *Discuss how landlords are more at risk than ever by not knowing how to be a landlord "properly"<br /> *Describe the five parts of the book and what they cover<br /> *Read one of my favourite extracts from the book with lots of great tips for dealing with property maintenance<br /> *Reveal the special bonuses you get for buying the book in the first week<br /> *And most importantly of all, tell you where you can get it! Property Geek clean 27:15
Using the personal touch to bridge the worlds of self-managing landlord and hands-off investor http://www.propertygeek.net/using-personal-touch-bridge-worlds-self-managing-landlord-hands-off-investor/ http://www.propertygeek.net/using-personal-touch-bridge-worlds-self-managing-landlord-hands-off-investor/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:00:17 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3831 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) Sam Jones had a terrifying experience very early in her self-managing career – but she didn’t let it put her off, and she’s spent 17 years managing a geographically distributed collection of properties. Now though, she’s […]

The post Using the personal touch to bridge the worlds of self-managing landlord and hands-off investor appeared first on Property Geek.

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(Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.)

Sam Jones had a terrifying experience very early in her self-managing career – but she didn’t let it put her off, and she’s spent 17 years managing a geographically distributed collection of properties. Now though, she’s started using an agent for new acquisitions – but she’s not losing the unique ability that made her such a self-managing success.

For Sam, property really is all about the people – and she uses her people skills to straddle the worlds of self-managing landlord and hands-off investors.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • How Sam started young in property…and survived a scary experience that would put most people off for life
  • The approach she’s taken that’s allowed her to manage an HMO remotely for over a decade
  • Why being a “soft touch” has been good for business
  • How her understanding approach turned a potential eviction into a long-term, model tenant
  • Why she decided to start using an agent for her new acquisitions
  • How she makes sure she maintains the personal touch, even when she’s more hands-off
  • The secret to building a strong working relationship with letting agents

MY NEW BOOK IS OUT NEXT WEEK!

My book, How To Be A Landlord, covers everything you could possibly need to know about letting and managing a property – and even if you’ve been doing it for years, I guarantee you’ll still learn plenty.

It comes out on 26 April 2017, and there are some great bonuses if you buy in the first week – so make sure you join my mailing list to learn what they are and be reminded when it comes out.

If you’re listening to this episode once it’s already out, you can pick up a copy as a paperback, for Kindle or on audiobook at propertygeek.net/book

Thanks for listening!

If you enjoyed the show, could you help me out? I’d love it if you could tell a friend about The Property Geek podcast – you can use the buttons below to share it by email, Facebook or Twitter.

You can also leave an honest review on iTunes. Every review helps move the podcast up the rankings for others to find, so you’ll be doing me a big favour.

The post Using the personal touch to bridge the worlds of self-managing landlord and hands-off investor appeared first on Property Geek.

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http://www.propertygeek.net/using-personal-touch-bridge-worlds-self-managing-landlord-hands-off-investor/feed/ 0 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) Sam Jones had a terrifying experience very early in her self-managing career – but she didn’t let it put her off, Sam Jones had a terrifying experience very early in her self-managing career – but she didn't let it put her off, and she's spent 17 years managing a geographically distributed collection of properties. Now though, she's started using an agent for new acquisitions – but she's not losing the unique ability that made her such a self-managing success.<br /> <br /> For Sam, property really is all about the people – and she uses her people skills to straddle the worlds of self-managing landlord and hands-off investors.<br /> <br /> Listen to this week’s show and learn:<br /> <br /> *How Sam started young in property...and survived a scary experience that would put most people off for life<br /> *The approach she's taken that's allowed her to manage an HMO remotely for over a decade<br /> *Why being a "soft touch" has been good for business<br /> *How her understanding approach turned a potential eviction into a long-term, model tenant<br /> *Why she decided to start using an agent for her new acquisitions<br /> *How she makes sure she maintains the personal touch, even when she's more hands-off<br /> *The secret to building a strong working relationship with letting agents<br /> Property Geek clean 35:49
How to raise the money to invest in property http://www.propertygeek.net/raise-money-invest-property/ http://www.propertygeek.net/raise-money-invest-property/#respond Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:44:37 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3827 As suggested by the word “invest”, you need money to buy a property. That should be so obvious there’s no reason to take up valuable space on the internet by writing it. But – probably due to hazy pre-2006 memories and courses that sell the dream more than the reality – there are an amazing […]

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As suggested by the word “invest”, you need money to buy a property.

That should be so obvious there’s no reason to take up valuable space on the internet by writing it. But – probably due to hazy pre-2006 memories and courses that sell the dream more than the reality – there are an amazing number of people who find it an unpleasant shock when I tell them they’ll need access to cash if they want to invest.

(OK: there are ways into property – like rent-to-rent – that involve very little money. But as you’re just controlling the cashflow from an asset rather than owning it, I wouldn’t call it investing as such.)

In my book, the “Complete Guide”, despite calling it “complete” I didn’t cover how to get the money together in the first place – in the same way that a magazine reviewing cars wouldn’t start with an article about how to afford them. But the ability to generate cash is important – especially as remortgaging gets more restricted – so it’s worth having a quick run-through the main ways to build that stash.

Save aggressively

Let’s start with my favourite: saving as much as possible from your income.

Unless you’re wired a bit strangely (like I am), saving isn’t fun – but it’s straightforward, it’s within your control, and it’s predictable. Just track your spending (I use Toshl) so you’re aware of where your money goes, then find ways to reduce it as far as you can.

Look at it this way: every pound you don’t spend on something else is a pound you can invest in property. Actually, if you’re using a 75% mortgage, every pound you don’t spend means you can buy four pounds’ worth of property.

I really do think that consciously spending only in ways that maximise your happiness is a huge win in itself, and I could go off on a big tangent here – but I won’t. Just know that saving up isn’t the glamorous part that’ll make up the bulk of your autobiography once you’ve made your millions, but it’s something that almost everyone has to do if they want to invest.

Borrow against your own home

You might have little in the way of cash, but lots of equity in your own home. Some people in this situation choose to extend their mortgage to release the cash to invest elsewhere.

Is it the right thing to do? Only you can answer that: would you rather be able to start investing earlier, or have the security of paying down your personal mortgage?

If you do decide you want to, there are a few things to consider:

  • Some mortgage providers will be happy for you to borrow more against your house in order to invest in property, others won’t – you’ll need to check with your lender or broker
  • Mortgages on your own home tend to be the cheapest debt you’ll ever have, but it does mean that the property you buy will be effectively 100% mortgaged – so you’ll have to check carefully that you’ll be cashflow positive after repayments
  • Your residential mortgage will be assessed based on your income, so you’ll need to be able to show enough earnings to tap into that equity

Invest with friends/family/strangers

Got friends or family members who like the idea of property investment too? You could pool resources with them and invest together.

If I could make this section flash in bright red text and have a siren going off while you read it, I would: getting money involved in a relationship is a great way to ruin it.

If you do decide to invest with someone you know, make sure you’re 100% aligned in what you want to achieve. Discuss what you want to do, how you’ll do it, everything that could go wrong, and what you’ll do in each of those scenarios. Plan what will happen if someone wants to sell and the other doesn’t – or one person needs their money back unexpectedly. Talk about everything, and get it all down in writing.

You could also invest with strangers – or rather, people you meet specifically for the purpose of doing property deals together. This only really works if you’ve got something other than money to bring to the party – like construction experience, or access to a source of unusually good deals.

Let me break out the warning klaxons again: investing with someone you don’t know well is extremely dangerous, and you should research them to death before committing – as well as getting every last detail of the agreement in writing.

Start a business

If you don’t have equity in your house or wealthy family and friends – and aggressive saving isn’t going to get you there as quickly as you’d like – you’ll need to find ways to make more money.

Starting a business is unlikely to be the “instant gratification” option, because it usually takes a couple of years to really get to grips with any business and start making reliable money. But if you’ve got the time and will to do it alongside your normal job, any profit you make is extra money that can all go towards your property investments.

Doubly-beneficial could be starting a business in property. For example, say you start a property sourcing business – finding discounted property deals and selling them on to other investors for a fee. This is far easier said than done and will involve lots of drive, commitment and time before it starts working, but if it does work it ticks every box: you’re earning money, developing the same skills you’ll need to invest yourself, and building your network at the same time.

There are plenty of other businesses you could start around property too – like construction, inspections, estate agency, letting agency, photography, developing software, project management…your only limit is your imagination.

~ ~

Short of engaging in fraud or heading to the casino, those are all the ways I can think of to raise the cash to invest in property. Have I forgotten any? Let me know!

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How an HMO landlord harnesses his “core competency” to avoid tenant dramas http://www.propertygeek.net/self-manage-hmo/ http://www.propertygeek.net/self-manage-hmo/#respond Wed, 12 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3800 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) My guest this week, Tom Charrier, didn’t intend to have anything to do with managing his properties when he started out – but after one awful experience, he decided to take matters back into his own […]

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(Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.)

My guest this week, Tom Charrier, didn’t intend to have anything to do with managing his properties when he started out – but after one awful experience, he decided to take matters back into his own hands.

Now, he and his wife manage their small portfolio of HMOs themselves – and consider their ability to pick the right tenants and build strong relationships to be the biggest strength in their business.

Listen to this week’s show and hear:

  • The experience that put Tom off from ever working with a letting agent again…
  • …and how he could easily have avoided it
  • The clever marketing Tom does to find his tenants
  • Why Tom finds it so essential to do his own viewings – and the thoroughly bizarre experience that confirmed it!
  • The checklist he uses to make sure things go right, every time
  • The advice Tom would give to someone else who’s planning to self-manage

Links for this weeks episode:

Tom’s blog, Living Space
Tom’s website for his properties, Fat Properties
Jeff Bezos’ biography, The Everything Store

Thanks for listening!

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http://www.propertygeek.net/self-manage-hmo/feed/ 0 (Want to get each episode sent automatically to your phone or iPod? Click here to learn how to subscribe.) My guest this week, Tom Charrier, didn’t intend to have anything to do with managing his properties when he started out – but after one awful exp... My guest this week, Tom Charrier, didn't intend to have anything to do with managing his properties when he started out – but after one awful experience, he decided to take matters back into his own hands.<br /> <br /> Now, he and his wife manage their small portfolio of HMOs themselves – and consider their ability to pick the right tenants and build strong relationships to be the biggest strength in their business.<br /> <br /> Listen to this week’s show and hear:<br /> <br /> *The experience that put Tom off from ever working with a letting agent again...<br /> *...and how he could easily have avoided it<br /> *The clever marketing Tom does to find his tenants<br /> *Why Tom finds it so essential to do his own viewings - and the thoroughly bizarre experience that confirmed it!<br /> *The checklist he uses to make sure things go right, every time<br /> *The advice Tom would give to someone else who's planning to self-manage<br /> <br /> <br /> Property Geek clean 31:27
Mortgages for limited companies: what property investors need to know http://www.propertygeek.net/mortgages-limited-companies-property-investors-need-know/ http://www.propertygeek.net/mortgages-limited-companies-property-investors-need-know/#respond Tue, 11 Apr 2017 14:02:02 +0000 http://www.propertygeek.net/?p=3796 For reasons I’ve covered extensively elsewhere (largely boiling down to “tax”), more and more investors are deciding to buy properties within a company. See: When is it right to buy a property in a limited company Buying property through a company: yes or no? Individual or company: a rule of thumb Many of these investors […]

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For reasons I’ve covered extensively elsewhere (largely boiling down to “tax”), more and more investors are deciding to buy properties within a company.

See:

Many of these investors want to use a mortgage to buy the property – and this is where lots of confusion and misunderstandings kick in. While you’ll need a mortgage broker to take you through the finer points of what’s available, in this article I’ll set out the main “structural” issues that often confuse investors looking into this for the first time…

Trading company v SPV

For our purposes, a “trading company” is one that has a primary activity other than owning property. For example, a manufacturing company might buy the building it operates from, or an IT contractor (who’s set herself up as a limited company) might buy a residential property with cash that’s built up within the business.

An “SPV” is a company that only exists for the purpose of holding a property. For example, I might set up a company called “RobProp Ltd” and have that company buy a house. The company doesn’t conduct any business activity at all – it just holds the property, has rent coming in and expenses going out. The SPV might hold one property, or over time more properties might be bought and held in the same company.

Both a trading company and an SPV are limited companies – and other than this distinction of convenience (which is my own, and isn’t used by HMRC or anyone else), there’s no difference between them. You register the company in exactly the same way in both cases, and there’s nothing special you need to do to make a company an SPV or not.

So it’s not really a “true” distinction, but it is useful for understanding some key points when it comes to limited company mortgages.

How lenders see the difference

If a trading company wants to buy a property with a mortgage, the lender will need to look at the performance of the company. How strong is its balance sheet? What are its outgoings? What projections is it making for the coming years? That’s because if the primary activity of the company suffers (for example, the manufacturing company loses its biggest client) it might be unable to make its mortgage payments – or could even go bust.

For an SPV, none of this matters: all it does is hold the property, so there’s no risk from its primary activity running into difficulties. But there’s another challenge: the company has no financial standing at all, because (if it’s buying its first property) it doesn’t do anything yet.

The role of the directors

In both cases, a lender will normally take a personal guarantee from each company director. This just means that if the company ceases trading or is unable to pay its debts, the lender can pursue the directors personally for the money owing: you can’t just say “oh sorry, the company failed” and expect the debt to be written off.

This is particularly important in the case of an SPV (especially a new one), because the company doesn’t have any ability outside of property to generate cash to pay its obligations. It’s therefore the ability of the directors to pay their debts, rather than the company, that matters to the lender. We’ll come back to this shortly…

How long must the company have been running for?

There’s a common misconception that a company needs to have been trading for a certain number of years in order to get a mortgage.

If a company wanted to get a business loan (for example, a manufacturing company wanted a loan to buy a new machine to increase production), this would be true. But for mortgages for SPVs, this isn’t the case: you could set up an SPV today, and apply for a mortgage tomorrow. (Actually, you could even apply for the mortgage before the company exists at all.)

This is because – again – the company isn’t really relevant here: it’s all about the directors.

So, where this leads us is…

To summarise, for the majority of investors who are thinking about using a limited company to invest through (primarily for the tax advantages), the situation is:

  • Your company doesn’t need to have been trading for any length of time: you can set up a company online now for £20, and use it to apply for a mortgage now.
  • You, as director, are what matters. The lender will want to see that you can meet your obligations – by looking at your job, income, credit history etc – in exactly the same way as they would if you were taking out the mortgage in your own name.
  • You will be asked to give a personal guarantee – meaning that you’re personally on the hook for the company’s debt.

You can think about it as a “pseudo personal” mortgage. The company takes out the mortgage, but the company isn’t actually all that relevant: it’s all about you.

What if I already have a trading company?

Say you’re an IT contractor operating as a limited company. Should you use that company to buy property?

You should take advice from an accountant – which I’m absolutely not – on this point, but in terms of mortgages it’ll be simpler to set up a new company to buy the property (an SPV). It means that the lender won’t have to get to grips with the performance of your existing business, and it maintains a separation in case anything goes wrong in either business.

What about getting the money into this new company to serve as a deposit? Again, I’m not an accountant and this isn’t advice, but investors often find it useful to make an inter-company loan: so the trading company lends the deposit to the new company, to save the director needing to draw the money out personally then put it into the new company.

How does the process of getting a mortgage for an SPV differ from an individual?

Really, not much: because again, it’s a pseudo-personal mortgage anyway. There are a few points you’ll need to consider though:

  • The lender will tend to charge a higher arrangement fee, because they’ve got more paperwork to look at: there’s now you and the company to consider.
  • Your solicitor will generally charge more for the purchase too. They’ll need to check the company’s articles of association and prepare board minutes, which is straightforward but extra work nonetheless.
  • You’ll generally be required to obtain independent legal advice about the personal guarantee you need to give. This means that another solicitor (who isn’t acting for you in the purchase) makes sure you understand what you’re guaranteeing, and watches you sign. For the lender, this means you won’t be able to wriggle out of it later by saying you didn’t understand what you were signing – and for you, it can mean extra expense in paying for this extra appointment with a solicitor.

What is the mortgage market like for limited companies?

It’s improving all the time. Because so many investors are going down this path as a result of the tax incentives, lenders are increasingly offering limited company mortgages so they can win investors’ business.

However, at the moment there isn’t as much of a range – and therefore rates are higher to reflect the lack of competition, and fees are higher due to the extra work involved.

You’ll also need to consider that limited company lending can be particularly limited for more “niche” investments. For example, say there are six lenders in the whole market who will lend against properties that cost less than £50,000. If four of these lenders don’t offer loans to limited companies, you’ve now only got two to choose from.

~ ~

So there you go: you should use a broker to fill in the finer details, but that’s the gist of getting a mortgage for a limited company. It’s a bit more expensive and a bit more complicated, but there’s nothing magically different about it – it’s just a case of weighing up the tax (and other) advantages against the disadvantages, and choosing what works best for you.

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