In this two-minute read, we look at why landlords who self-manage their buy-to-lets can never really put their feet up at Christmas.
Picture this: It’s 4pm on Christmas Day, and you’ve just snuggled down on the sofa to watch a bit of telly. Your belly is full, and your lids are heavy after a Mistletoe Margarita or two (or three, but who’s counting?). Then your phone rings. It’s your tenant – and there’s a problem.
A pipe has burst in the flat that they rent from you and there is water everywhere. You need to get a plumber on it straight away, and you need to make sure the electricity is off, or someone could get electrocuted. The tenant, who has a small child, is panicked and upset. You have no choice but to spring into action (and sober up) – and write-off the rest of Christmas.
What frustrates you most, as you to and fro with tradespeople and the tenant over the next few days, is that your flat is in good nick. When it comes to maintenance, you do all the right things.
But no matter how diligent you are as a landlord, you can never guarantee that something won’t go wrong at the worst possible time.
There are things you can do to minimise the risks, but luck also plays a part.
Ahhh, nobody told me that as a landlord I’d be on call 24 hours a day, every day.
There is a way to avoid all this hassle and stress – let us here at IMS manage your property for you. That way, when the pipe bursts on Christmas Day, you get to stay on the couch (result!), and we deal with everything for you.
You do, of course, pay for this service and some landlords baulk at that. They prefer to save themselves a little bit of cash and bear all the responsibility themselves. Often, they treat the role of landlord as a full-time job, so they can manage all the paperwork, meet all the legal regs, and deal with tenants and tradespeople.
But unless you got into the private rental sector because you wanted a second career in property management, you might ask if it’s worth doing everything yourself.
It’s one thing to arrange routine maintenance when you’re having a quiet week at work, or to take a day off to meet tenants at the start of a tenancy, but what happens when your diary is packed?
If you need to travel for work or want to go away on holiday, who’s holding the fort for you? If you’re engulfed in a major crisis at the office, and there’s an emergency at your property, how will you cope?
Just because it’s Christmas, New Year, or the Champions League Final, doesn’t mean a boiler can’t pack it in, or a tenant can’t get caught in a messy midnight dispute with a neighbour.
We acknowledge that these are worst-case scenarios; most tenancies run fairly smoothly with only the odd hiccup. But as a landlord, you need to be prepared for the unexpected.
If you’d like to learn more about the property management service we offer here at IMS, please get in touch.
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