Is it worth becoming a BTL landlord if you have no DIY skills?

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  • Hudson01
    replied
    Originally posted by Flashback1966 View Post
    LordLand78,


    I may be stereotyping, but if you move to a cheaper area, you may find a greater level of anti-social behaviour or other issues.
    I work in an '' industry '' whereby i dealt with the ne'er-do-well's on a regular basis and i can assure you, you are not stereotyping at all !!!

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  • Berlingogirl
    replied
    I don't think I would have become a landlord if I didn't have DIY skills. I don't have great big skills, but I can decorate, lay laminate flooring and carpet (reasonably well), wield a saw and a hammer (sometimes at the same time ), tile, and put flat pack furniture together. And I went on a plumbing course (level 2) but prefer to let somebody with more experience do any plumbing. I gave up teaching to concentrate on building my BTL business so at first I needed all my skills as there was only one wage coming in and three mouths to feed.

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  • Flashback1966
    replied
    LordLand78,

    No you don't need to have DIY, skills however it does help if you can do certain things. You will always have to rely on third party helpers, builders etc... and labour cost is not cheap. If the tenants have rearranged the furniture and turned the living room into a bedroom, can you change it back?. Who will you call on to help? Will the agent think is part of their job role?

    Secondly, if there was offsetting of your rental income against the rent you will be paying, then that would be something else in your favour. I suggest you write to HMRC and MP for a change in tax rules. Let say the tenant is not paying rent, but you have are incurring accommodation costs, so you are loosing money. If you could offset your accommodation cost, then the tax man is sharing your pain (and sacrificing some as you are downsizing).

    Would I get into the BTL? There are too many regulations and more on the way. There are too many risks. You may find problems trying to get your property back (depends on what comes in). We also have a shortage of good tenants. All you need is one bad egg, for thing to make your investment pointless. You will need to be financially resistant when things go wrong.

    I may be stereotyping, but if you move to a cheaper area, you may find a greater level of anti-social behaviour or other issues.

    In my opinion, you may be better off taking on a lodger or renting our your spare room on AirBnB, you will have more control. Yes, you have to share your living space, but it is also tax free.



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  • Flashback1966
    replied
    Originally posted by JamesHopeful View Post

    I have all my properties fully managed by an excellent and reasonably-priced letting agent, so these situations don't arise. Again, lettings management is another part of the job which can very easily be outsourced (and indeed, with my value of time being taken properly into account, I'd argue it's cheaper that way).....
    For me it is n't an issue about money, but my properties are my biggest investment, so it is important to be involved hands on. I use agents for some and for others I self-manage.

    There is an interesting line in the book "Only the paranoid survive" by Andrew Grove (former CEO of Intel), who said he found that the CEOs of companies were often generally the last person to know what was going on. I guess it is the same with Landlords, who might or might not know what is going on, when they are shielded by the letting agent. When neighbours have complaints, they don't know who the landlord is or how to reach them. If a tenant is unhappy with the letting agency or a property issue or quality of repairs, they may struggle to find contact details of the landlord. Lines of communication are broken. Even if an agency is great today, but staff do leave and the service can change.

    In your case it may be working for you....

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  • JamesHopeful
    replied
    Flashback1966,

    I have all my properties fully managed by an excellent and reasonably-priced letting agent, so these situations don't arise. Again, lettings management is another part of the job which can very easily be outsourced (and indeed, with my value of time being taken properly into account, I'd argue it's cheaper that way), and my letting agent does it far better than I would as they have relationships with a lot of tried and tested tradesmen (I think they get things at better prices than I would) and have a lot more knowledge about how to deal efficaciously with day-to-day issues.

    I am aware that these things might be different for different people's situations. If you're a retired person with one or two properties and plenty of time on your hands, you might put your value of time at a lower level which might mean it makes more sense to do these things yourself.

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  • Logical.Lean
    replied
    JamesHopeful,

    I'm very aware of the price / value of my time.
    Sometimes cash flow is the issue.

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  • Flashback1966
    replied
    Originally posted by JamesHopeful View Post
    I find landlords doing any DIY at all on their rental properties. To my mind it shows a failure to take into account value of time.
    If you need to change the lock, would you really waste your time waiting around for a locksmith to turn up, rather then do it yourself?

    If a neighbour complains of a water leak, I can quickly open the bath panel and have a look. By the time the plumber turns up, he already knows what needs fixing and I know already have an expectation in my head about what is a fair price for the work.


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  • JamesHopeful
    replied
    This may be a slightly controversial opinion, but I am always surprised when I find landlords doing any DIY at all on their rental properties. To my mind it shows a failure to take into account value of time. Given that the time which I put into my rental business is essentially fixed, it's much more valuable for me to use the hours I can allocate to it to manage my business in a much more strategic way rather than doing minor repairs which I could very easily pay someone else to do.

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  • Hudson01
    replied
    agree with a lot of what has been said, i am useless at DIY and i have a number of properties (flats included) and i simply get trades people i trust, my properties are let out all the time with very few voids and if there is one its only a max of a month, that's because there are no bodge jobs. It can work but you simply have to do your sums, a good landlord knows his or her limitations and factors in those limitations on the business plan, it can be done.

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  • ram
    replied
    Are you fully conversant with ALL the rules and regulations, laws, deposit protection, eviction procedures, and such overlooked things such as, it's not your house any more as you have assigned it over to a tenant. You cant just call unannounced ( best not to ), nor wander round unannounced, as it's now for their exclusive use and quiet enjoyment from busy body landlords ( not that you would ever be one )

    1 hour away ? mine are 14 hours away, but I still visit occasionally.

    First venture -- then use an agent. No ifs, ands or buts.

    Leave a comment:


  • LordLand78
    replied
    I already own a house outright and am planning on letting it out for £1000-£1200pcm, and using the income to pay cheaper pcm rent elsewhere. According to my research and calculations, after fees (say 15%) for full management, taxes, and unforeseen expenses (say £2-3k a year), I should have a yearly profit of least £6k, which would be a nice income supplement. However I am still a newbie and may be completely wrong. I am currently researching just how much I can manage without an agent, and I think I might be able to do without full management, but I'm pretty sure I can't ever rely on myself to be a tradesman/decorator.

    One slight annoyance is that where I want to rent is about an hour's drive away from the house...

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  • Raiden328i
    replied
    Simple things like fitting some flooring or painting etc most people with common sense can do. When I lived at home and also when I first got married I did no DIY at all. But most small jobs I can, I watch it on youtube if in doubt and if i'm not confident or its too difficult then i'll pay someone. Only thing I will say it is sometimes worth just paying someone who can do a better finish with certain jobs. But it does help I only live next door so its easy for me to look at a job

    Leave a comment:


  • scot22
    replied
    I have spent my paid employment life in education , still a school governor. Whatever situation I was in the values and principles stayed the same. This is something you bring.
    To OP
    Don't take on potential stress if you can get a better return elsewhere.
    We are living in a period of uncertainty. Is something worth a gamble?Obviously, this is a personal decision.

    Leave a comment:


  • ram
    replied
    Originally posted by scot22 View Post
    Never knew your experience before. It explains the authority behind your posts which are always worth acting on.
    Many thanks.
    For the avoidance of doubt, as solicitors say, and for new members,
    I DO have what you may call B.T.L. ( Buy to let ) houses, but in another country.

    Last one I paid £ 4000 for detached 2 story ( bedrooms in roof ), YES, £ 4000 ( no zeros missing ) spent £ 30,000 replacing everything, re-roofed, windows, all wiring, all plumbing, boiler bathroom, small external leaks etc ( thieves had been in and stole the lot ).
    And is let out, of course.

    Returns are lower, but investment is lower. Some tenants don't pay, but get sued. But could sell next year for nearly double my outlay. And that IS a good return on investment.
    BUT you have to visit, to get know the areas, do a LOT of digging, lot of forums reading, read the projected anticipation of up and coming areas before the prices go up.

    Florida WAS a good investment ( holiday rental homes, thousands of foreclosures [ repossesions ] ) but that market has dwindled now, so don't bother.

    But my trips overseas ( 10 days holiday as well - as much as you can holiday in winter for cut price rock bottom air fares ) is also included in my costs- so on a winner there !

    Yes, U.S.A it is but the agents are useless, i'm on my third one, who is the best of the worst ( they are all semi-good ).
    I even had to get an extra paragraph inserted ( ohhh, we'll have to get our Lawyers [ solicitors ] on that one ) because all landlords have to pay ALL eviction costs.
    I'm the only one with that agent that does not have to pay the costs, as tenant signs he pays all costs to evict them.

    ​​​​​​​it's a poor do when I have to tell another country what they have to put in their lease so as to safeguare their client, the landlord ( they dont call it. an a.s.t ; but a lease ).

    Thanks for your comments, but thought i had better put the record straight about my thoughts on U.K. B.T.L's :
    I may be against U.K. B.T.L's ( especially flats where other leaseholders get the problems of sub-tenants,) but not the kind of - sort of B.T.L.i dabble in, in U.S.A.




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  • scot22
    replied
    Never knew your experience before. It explains the authority behind your posts which are always worth acting on.

    Leave a comment:

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