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

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

    Does the average BTL landlord do a ton of DIY? I have a disability which means that most DIY is simply impractical, meaning I will likely never pickup DIY skills, except the ones that involve no hand strength or dexterity (lol). Thanks

    I am a landlord and have zero DIY skills.

    There's a substantial difference between doing something for yourself and doing something for a tenant.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


      Not sure what your last point is. I can't do DIY for myself, which means I won't be able to do it for a (prospective) tenant either.


        My point was that, even if someone has DIY skills, they probably shouldn't be doing work on a tenanted property.
        Personal liability is an issue.

        The cost of tradespeople is allowable against income for tax purposes, so the work is essentially discounted by HMRC if you're a taxpayer.

        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


          For me it's not about the cost. I do simple DIY tasks because of trust issues. I know I won't bodge it. Simple things like replacing taps and my special.subject laminate flooring. I'm. good at both.
          I'm.not good at wall.paper.
          If, the cost wouldn't be an issue. Yes it reduces the profit. But you'll have a better property.


            If you are a landlord, you get an agent to administer the property, who get qualified tradesmen to maintain the property. Clear the gutters, unlock drains ( leaves and grit ), fix the central heating, lubricate all door hinges and locks, get replacement keys when tenants lose them every 6 months, visit to see the problems the tenants have notified them of, and advise you of the costs if over a certain amount, write all the letters etc, etc, etc

            I would never consider a buy to let with the overpriced current house prices.

            It's not a very good business plan to spend £ 100,000 and have only one customer for 12 months / 5 years.

            I started with £ 300 working from my back bedroom and within 12 months had 2600 customers, all with one employee, - me. If one did not pay, I survived with 2599 customers. Bloody hard work though.
            Sold to competitors after 7 years, who wanted me off the internet as I undercut them substantially, and was better than them as well.
            ( Got a free mention in the U.S.A.. Washington post, which upset the U.S.A.. companies as well as here in the U.K.)
            Made a lot of money selling business, and only 2 people did not pay their bill. ( Pocket money )

            You cant survive if first 2 tenants don't pay, and you cant pay your mortgage for 5 months each time

            But I digress - - -

            Spend your £ 100,000 on a GOOD business proposal.
            Remember, your income ( after overheads ) has to be a guaranteed 125 % of your mortgage payments, or you wont get a mortgage.

            B.T.L. Not worth it at the moment


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


                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.




                  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.


                    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


                      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...


                        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.


                          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.


                            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.


                              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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