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How To Manage Properties Efficiently For Long Distance Landlords

When building a portfolio or purchasing their first buy to let property most landlords will operate in their local area. This is perfectly understandable. They know the market and being local makes it easier to manage their properties.

But not all landlords stay close to their roots. Long-distance landlords can be based hundreds of miles away from their rentals.

Why become a long-distance landlord?

Becoming a long-distance landlord can happen through choice or circumstance. For example, a homeowner may choose to live abroad and rent out their UK home for part or all of the year. Another common scenario is needing to relocate for work and deciding to let their current home instead of selling it.

But for others, it's a conscious decision to become a long-distance landlord. They do so because they find an outstanding investment opportunity away from their usual base. And there are so many great buy-to-let properties around the UK it's easy to see why being a long-distance landlord is no longer that unusual.

The challenge of being a long-distance landlord

But those long-distance landlords who build a portfolio of properties spread throughout the country face obvious practical and logistical challenges. Not the least of which is 'how do I manage my property when I'm not physically present'?

But, there are plenty of other obstacles to overcome too. For example, what happens when an emergency repair crops up? Trying to sort out a burst water pipe from hundreds of miles away isn't easy.

Other challenges include collecting rent. What happens if arrears build up? Who's going to deal with the tenant? Or what about when the gas safety certificate needs renewing? How do you inspect the property to make sure the tenant isn't breaking their tenancy agreement? DIY property management is far from easy.

In fact, even letting the property becomes challenging. You need to:

  • Market the rental.
  • Arrange viewings.
  • Reference the tenant.
  • Complete paperwork.
  • Protect the deposit.

    All while being nowhere near the property.

    Remotely managing your rental

    If you're a long-distance landlord or thinking of becoming one you need to find solutions to all the issues we've mentioned above. But how do you remotely manage a property?

    You could, of course, choose to leave the tenant to their own devices. As long as the rent is coming in it's easy to assume everything is fine. Managing the rental is simply a case of returning at the end of a tenancy to spruce up the property and find a new tenant. But this is almost like crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Who knows what you could return to? So, not really a satisfactory arrangement. Or at least one which has the potential to go seriously awry.

    The alternative is to enlist the help of an agent to manage the property on your behalf. This could be an individual you find yourself or you can use the services of an online letting agent. Employing a manager, even on an ad-hoc or part-time basis is an expense most private landlords won't be able to afford. However, a letting agent can provide the same service at a much lower cost.

    Using a letting agent's property management service

    The levels of service vary between agents but as an example, the MakeUrMove property management service includes:

  • Rent collection.
  • Arrears management.
  • Legal expenses and rent payment protection.
  • Maintenance management.
  • 24-hour emergency repair phone line.
  • Legal compliance management.
  • Tenancy renewals.
  • Regular property inspections.

    The cost of employing someone to do this would be way too high for you as a buy to let landlord. But an online letting agent can provide this comprehensive service in a very cost-effective way. As an example, the MakeUrMove property management service costs just £65 per month. Even remotely managing multiple properties is affordable.

    Of course, it isn't just money you save by using a letting agent. You also save the time and hassle of looking after a tenant yourself. And many long-distance landlords do prefer a hands off approach. It's far more convenient. As we've already mentioned using an agent is a far more practical way of running your business.

    But a property management service also provides one further priceless benefit. Knowing professionals are looking after your property business will bring great peace of mind. And of course, the monthly rent money will continue to arrive on schedule. No matter where you are. For even more reassurance the MakeUrMove full property management service includes rent protection.

    Private landlords can find tenants fast by listing their property with MakeUrMove the online letting platform bringing landlords and tenants together.

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