Managing Property frrom Abroad - Any Advice

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    Managing Property frrom Abroad - Any Advice

    Hi Guys

    Hoping someone could help me brainstorm this issue.

    After being abroad for 3 years, I am now on my second letting agent who 'manages' my properties for me. The first was not very good for various reasons, and this second agent is not much better.

    I am now thinking of managing these myself from the Middle East. Its not really what I want to do, but I don't think I have much choice, if I want these properties run properly. I am trying to think, and overcome, every eventuality but would appreciate any input on things Ive missed, or on things that you think are simply not feasible.

    (As an aside, I managed them quite ably in my opinion for 7 years prior to leaving the UK 3 years ago. My tenants stayed with me for at least a min 2 years, yet now they often seem to leave after 6 months. I also mostly had good relationships with tenants. The only people I have back in the UK is my mum and dad and they are too old now to get involved with this, so it really is down to me).

    Going through the tenancy as methodically as I can from start to finish.

    1) Use a letting agent to do a tenant find, deal with the deposit, lodge it to my dps account, give the prescribed information, right to rent, and accompanying gas certs etc do the check in and check out, and inventory. They will hold keys between tenancies, should they agree to do so.
    2) Use the same letting agent to do 6 monthly inspections again should they agree to do so.
    3) I have a good gas safe engineer still, but unfortunately my electrician and handyman have since retired. However I thought I could ask my gas safe engineer if he could recommend anyone before taking the leap. I also have contacted the local council. They have redirected me to their trading standards scheme of approved contractors, so may be I could contact someone from there .My properties are on the Wirral. If anyone happens to know of any good tradesmen, could I be cheeky and ask you to PM me. I know public recommends are not allowed.
    4) I will have to set up a phone line so that I can call the UK cheaply from my mobile, and that tenants can call/text me at the normal UK rate. I think this is possible from my research. Obviously emails are not an issue.
    5)Join a landlords association.
    6) Sending letters, s 21 etc is a bit of an issue as I have no post here, and fedex etc is extortionate.However I am thinking of perhaps using a virtual assistant on an ad hoc basis (I didn't need to send that many letters when I managed the properties myself generally). I write the letters, it would just be a case of the VA printing off, putting in an envelope,sticking a stamp on the envelope and popping them in the post.
    7) n5b I can do online anyhow. Mmm if the tenant disputes my claim, might be tricky. But I guess in such instances I would have to get a solicitor involved.
    8) Deposit disputes I can, and do, deal with from here.
    9) I do all my own book keeping and accounts so that side of things is not an issue. I also have an exemption to not pay tax at source from HMRC as I do my own annual self-assessment.

    Is that everything covered? Obviously will have to find contractors, VA, letting agent who are prepared to work with me onthe basis I have mentioned above before I even contemplate leaving my current agent, which will not be easy to source.

    Thanks for any assistance with this, I'm thinking a pair of fresh eyes/brain (!) will really help.

    #2
    You need an address in England and Wales (assuming that's where the rental property is) where notices can be served.
    You also need to give the tenant your residential address. If there's no postal service you may be breaking new legal ground!

    Using an agent for tenant find only is very risky (in my view). They are incentivised to find a live body who can sign an agreement and walk away. The shorter your tenancies, the better off they are. This leaves their incentives out of line with yours, which is never good.
    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).

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your kind reply jpkeates and making the effort to respond, really appreciate it!

      Yes I thought about the address, and some of the letting agents who have done a tenant find for me in the past have allowed me to use their address for service, so thought all was good there. BUT i had no idea regarding giving a residential address, I don't think my last 2 managing agents gave my residential that either! Do you know why you have to give a residential address as well?

      I take your point totally about the tenant find, and understand the best solution would be to get a good LA to manage the properties and I thought I had both times....believe me, I vetted them, took references, etc.I feel most LA's have good intentions initially but then employ too few knowledgeable staff to look after too many properties. There should be a rule, similar to that with children's nursery's, whereby each member of staff can only look after a certain number of properties lol

      Comment


        #4
        The reason you have to give the tenant your address (residence or business address if you are one) is one of the Landlord and Tenant acts.
        If you don't the tenant isn't obliged to pay the rent they owe (although they still owe it).
        It's not well enforced as you can imagine, most tenants have the agent's address!

        I use a local agent, not a huge claim and do OK, but they manage a number of properties for mr, so we're in touch a lot.

        You might be better off paying a professional "property manager" rather than a letting agent, if your property is in a big city.
        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).

        Comment


          #5
          Have a read of this, all the way to the bottom of the comments...

          http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/201...21960449218750

          It suggests that the interpretation of the Law/acts is that it only needs to be an address for the service of documents in England and Wales.

          For Landlords who live abroad, this applies even more so..

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            The reason you have to give the tenant your address (residence or business address if you are one) is one of the Landlord and Tenant acts.
            If you don't the tenant isn't obliged to pay the rent they owe (although they still owe it).
            It's not well enforced as you can imagine, most tenants have the agent's address!
            No.

            No rent is due if the tenant wasn't provided with an address in E&W for the purposes of serving notices, not the landlord's address.

            Originally posted by sparkie View Post
            It suggests that the interpretation of the Law/acts is that it only needs to be an address for the service of documents in England and Wales.
            That's what the law explicitly states, so it's more than just an interpretation.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by nessa View Post
              7) n5b I can do online anyhow. Mmm if the tenant disputes my claim, might be tricky. But I guess in such instances I would have to get a solicitor involved.
              The N5b can be completed but not submitted online.
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                No.

                No rent is due if the tenant wasn't provided with an address in E&W for the purposes of serving notices, not the landlord's address.
                Yes that's my understanding. As long as it's an address for serving notices/documents in E&W it will suffice. It does NOT have to be the Landlord's residential address or place of abode. Especially if the Landlord lives abroad/overseas.

                That's what the law explicitly states, so it's more than just an interpretation.
                Ok, so we are in agreement then. As some member's think it HAS TO BE the Landlord's personal residential address where they live..

                Comment


                  #9
                  This is the statute:

                  48 Notification by landlord of address for service of notices.

                  (1) A landlord of premises to which this Part applies shall by notice furnish the tenant with an address in England and Wales at which notices (including notices in proceedings) may be served on him by the tenant.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks guys for all your replies, really helpful and really appreciate it.

                    As regards getting a professional property manager, any ideas how would I go about sourcing one of these? i have typed it into google but letting agents seem to come up.

                    Comment

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