How amateur landlords can strike a good work/life balance

Published: 24/07/2014

With news that the number of amateur, or part time, landlords has reached its highest ever level, Rob Denman looks at how they can efficiently manage their day job and their properties whilst also finding time to relax:

“A work life balance – this is the modern day holy grail. However throw in a rental property with all its potential issues and tenant complaints and those scales tip dramatically. However this is the reality that around 70 per cent of the landlord community are now dealing with.

“The key to achieving any kind of balance is organisation. However this can be easier said than done; even with the very best of intentions, when it comes to letting property, we all know problems can occur out of nowhere. There are however a number of ways we can be prepared – both for events we know are coming as well as situations which may occur.

“By law landlords must have an annual gas safety certificate. Insurance policies also often expire after a year. We know these dates are coming so it makes sense to have alerts leading up to them. I say alerts – plural – as if you only have one alert chances are it won’t have the desired effect. It’s a bit like getting a text; if you don’t respond to it there and then you’ll probably just forget about it!

“Users of Landlord Hero – our free web portal designed specifically to help landlords manage their properties and tenancies – can set reminders and notifications for all their key dates and then sync this to the calendar on their phone or tablet.

“OK the foreseeable is easier to deal with; it’s the unknown that tends to cause the most stress so at the risk of being a glass-half-empty sort of person let’s think about what could go wrong.

“The boiler breaks. An appliance, like the oven/fridge/freezer, stops working. The tenant stops paying the rent. The roof starts leaking. The property is broken into. Neighbours complain about the tenants. Squatters have moved in. There’s a wasps nest. The list can go on…

“While it may appear rather off-putting to think of all the problems that can occur with letting property, by confronting these potential demons means you’re giving yourself a good chance to remedy it with minimal time and effort. Start compiling a little black book of plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, pest control, joiners so should a problem arise you have an immediate solution.

“It’s also a good idea to have a solicitor on that list as there are a number of legal issues that can crop up when letting property. GW LET can help landlords evict tenants, remove squatters and settle tenancy deposit disputes quickly and efficiently, minimising the financial impact they can have.

Landlords should not be afraid to ask for help; the real key to achieving a work life balance is not to try and do everything yourself – you only have one pair of hands after all and they might be already be busy writing a report, teaching a class or delivering a presentation. Instead utilise the strengths of others, be it a tradesman or a solicitor.”

Content correct at the time of publication

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