Life as a Letting Agent

As you may or may not have noticed we haven’t exactly been posting regular content lately. In fact our last blog entry was in June 2018 and despite the odd Facebook post or Tweet, you could be forgiven for thinking that we have shut up shop and run for the hills. We can assure you this is not the case and we are here in the background quietly watching what is going on!

The main reason for our absence is that we have been predominantly spending the past year on ‘Work Experience’ and we have had the pleasure of being allowed to work within a Property Agents learning the ropes and finding out more about how sales and lettings work.

We have been gaining an insight into what life is like on the ‘Other Side’ and we have to say that we have really enjoyed the experience. We have been on numerous viewings and had the pleasure of speaking to hundreds of different tenants. Likewise we have had conversations with Landlords, which has given us a great insight into what Landlords look for in a tenant and how they generally feel about life as a Landlord.

We have been taking notes and feel that now is the time to share with you our thoughts regarding being a Landlord in Wales.

A Typical Landlord

From our ‘Work Experience’ we have discovered that there are no such things as ‘Typical Landlords. Each and every Landlord we met is an individual and therefore when working with Landlords, it is important to know that a ‘One Size, Fits All Approach’ will not work.  We have met serious investors, first time landlords, accidental landlords, portfolio landlords, extremely experienced Landlords and even Landlords that are leaving the industry.

Providing Homes

A common theme for all Landlords is the desire to make sure their investment is working and not costing them more money than they are making, but it is a myth that all Landlords are solely in it for the ‘Money’. There are many Landlords that we met who have the desire to be able to provide affordable housing for individuals that otherwise would not be able to afford to get on the property ladder. There is nothing more frustrating for a Landlord than to hear the statement ‘They are in it for the money’. Naturally they want to ensure that their investment is working, but Landlords are humans too and there is nothing more disheartening than reading the demonic comments that some people make regarding Landlords.

Rent Smart Wales

Rent Smart Wales has been the hot topic over the past two years and is still very much a talked about subject. Every time we meet a Landlord for the first time, we ask them if they are Registered / Licensed with Rent Smart Wales. Likewise there are a great amount of tenants that know about Rent Smart Wales. When asked about how they have heard about it, many Landlords have friends who are Landlords, so it looks like word of mouth is a great way of spreading the information to get more Landlords registered and licensed. (Rent Smart Wales take note!!!!)

Where do Landlords hide?

We always felt that Landlords were a quiet bunch of individuals, who kept away from the limelight and after our work experience, we still feel that this is very much the case. Granted, we have had Landlords walking in and asking for prices on services, but if you were to ask us ‘Where they all hide and how you go about finding them’,  we’d still have to tell you that we are none the wiser. Anyone that offers services to Landlords, simply has to wait until they approach you because sadly there is no quick or fast route to meeting them… Be Patient and they will find you!

What tenants do Landlords prefer?

Over the past year we have been looking at the type of tenants that Landlords prefer and it is safe to say that Landlords are more often than not, guided by what their agency tells them to do. You see it in adverts all the time. ‘Professionals Only. NO DSS. NO PETS’. When we have been talking to Landlords it would appear that many would be happier to accept DSS tenants or tenants with pets if more money was placed on the bond. They often say that it is not their choice, but what they are advised to do. When looking for the perfect tenant, we need to be very careful that we don’t discriminate and alienate certain groups of people, because we have seen first hand the damage a ‘Professional’ can do to a property. Just because they have a good job, doesn’t mean they will look after your rental property…. Be warned and be more open minded!

EPC and Landlords 

The new regulations have now arrived regarding EPC and for the most part, we have not heard this discussed. Most properties these days are over an E rating and your property would have to be in a pretty poor state to have an F or G rating, so at this time it would appear that EPC’s are not affecting Landlords. However that said, any Landlord looking to re-mortgage or buy a new property will have to consider EPC, but we have not had the opportunity to discuss this and therefore it is not the hot topic that perhaps we were led to believe.

 

We hope you have enjoyed reading about our ‘Work Experience’ as much as we have enjoyed doing it. It certainly was an eye opening experience and we are grateful that we have had the opportunity to be on the other side so to speak, as we hope that it can make us better Landlords. As we move forward towards the end of 2018, we are promising to offer more content and we are also offering out our blog to anyone who would like to promote their business to Landlords.

If you’d like to contribute then please email welshlandlords@gmail.com

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