Advice on setting up a property business

Every time we open our newspapers or attend a property-business exhibition we come across people who have, in our opinion, got totally misguided ideas of how to run a legal and profitable property business.

Business Advice

Some of these people have , in fact, been able to make a profit, though in many cases they have not been nearly as profitable as they could have been.

Others have skated across the law, not really carrying out all their obligations to their local authority or, more importantly, to their tenants. They may have survived by the skin of their teeth but one day their short-comings are going to turn on them and bite them. Sweet Apartments was started on no money whatsoever. Nevertheless we had good credit, some knowledge of the business as one of us had worked at an estate agency in their lettings department. We also knew something about the legal processes involved, how to find a sound property and how to furnish and “dress” the property so that prospective tenants would want to live in it. Above all, we had a basically friendly attitude towards estate agents, tenants and the workmen we employed. Without that, we would not have survived for the past eleven years. With that fundamental trust and helpfulness we can proudly say that some of our tenants have now become our friends. We are still with our original mortgage broker. We have long-standing working relationships with our plumbers, decorators and suppliers of furniture. We have only once had to throw out a tenant and that was someone who, unknown to us, was being pursued by the police for money-laundering. It was a sad situation but one that has taught us a great deal.

If you are considering setting-up a property business without any prior experience and would like our advice and help, you need only contact us. We would be willing to give made-to-measure advice either in the form of written answers to particular questions or a day-long meeting in which two of us will pass on all that we know about this tricky, though rewarding, way of making a living.

However, we must warn you in advance that any thought that your rents will be all for you to spend as you wish is simply an idle dream. Any thought that your rents will cover your mortgages and the remainder will be for you to spend are equally unsound. You will have to maintain the fabric of your properties, pay local taxes, pay legal fees, keep your tenants and workmen happy, keep up to date with changes in the law and refurbish and professionally clean your properties from time to time. You will need free time in which to carry out all of these tasks or you will have to be prepared to pay a respectable and experienced company to manage your business for you.

We will advise you how to carry out these responsibilities and we will warn you off certain wide-spread practices in the property business which add to your work and diminish your profits.

If you think we can help you, please e-mail us and tell us the kind of help you would like us to give you. This could be anything from a written document to a one-day meeting or an on-going relationship where you consult us every time you feel in need of help.