Being a landlord isn’t just about sorting out the finances, finding the right property and filling it with good, reliable tenants – there’s a lot more to it than that. For the long-distance landlord, there are agencies, insurers and utility companies which can however do a lot of the work for you. How does the practicality of being a long-distance landlord compare?
Your biggest ally as a long distance landlord is going to be you letting agent and so you need to choose wisely. Some agents will happily advertise your property to potential tenants, screen your tenants for you and fill the property when they are satisfied whereas others will be happiest leaving the bulk of the work to you. There is a sliding scale of what you pay for and what you get, so expect to be charged a good proportion of your income if you want the full package.
For those little things, there are management companies. Breakages, damages and day to day maintenance can all be dealt with by a management company and it’s this sort of thing that, as a long-distance landlord, you don’t want to be spending your time doing. A good management company will offer you an all inclusive package which completely takes the pressure off your shoulders.
The final essential as a long-distance landlord is a good landlord insurance policy. The more hands on you get with property letting, the more scope there is to save money. As a result, your margins are likely to be quite tight. Don’t underestimate the cost of damages and make sure you’re covered at all times for all your properties.
It’s possible to be a landlord without really putting too work in, but the financial risk is still very much on your shoulders. Letting agents and management companies will all do the job for you, but they will cost. It is important to find a balance between what you can and can’t afford and how much work you’ll have to put in yourself in order to be successful.