Dan Gosland bought his 1 bedroom Kilburn flat back in the 90s. This charming Victorian flat was his home for years before he got married and moved out. At that point Dan decided he would remortgage and turn the property into a rental, rather than give it up and sell.
In the beginning it was easy to find tenants, Dan says. The property has a lovely roof terrace and loft space that can be used for guests or a home office. On top of that, any time a maintenance issue cropped up - he was on it.
As time went on though, Dan found it was becoming harder to rent out (skip straight to the video here).
"I felt it wasn't right but there was no way I would know what to do, or wanted to do it."
By the time he approached us, he had been letting and managing the property himself for years. As he puts it, when our Lettings Director Spencer first walked in, "he took one look at it and said 'Oh my gosh Daniel, you need to fix this flat.'"
Not only was it severely outdated, there were some potential compliance concerns. Not to mention patchwork fixes that were costing him majorly over time.
The thing is, this isn't uncommon when a landlord has been managing a property themselves. And not because they lack the care or the right intentions. When you don't know what you're looking for, it can be difficult to know when there's something wrong - until it's really staring you in the face.
So Paramount Refurbishments came in and transformed this great little property in the North West of London into something Dan could be proud of (his words - you can watch his story of what the refurbishment was like here).
The great news is - now Dan's property meets our Gold Standard.
This means it falls into our category of properties that will rent quicker, keep tenants longer and have the highest potential rental income for comparable properties in the area.
But Dan's property isn't the only thing that's been transformed...
Dan went through a transformation himself.
Now he is adamant, "I would never try and rent a flat out myself again. Everyone has such high expectations, the regulations are so much higher, it just takes up so much time. It's so much better having someone that knows what they're doing - doing it."
"I used to do repairs myself. If there was a leak I'd go round myself and try and fix it. And there's no way I'd have time to do that now."
"I would do it to try and save money but it's a false economy really. Because I kept on getting leaks and I wasn't doing it properly. And it would take me so long to fix things. Now if anything needs fixing it just gets done and it gets absorbed into the rent."
And Dan has a point. There are more rules and regulations - and ongoing changes - than ever before that landlords must be aware of if they manage their own property.
For example, a property will need to have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of C or above for all new tenancies from 2025. This will apply to existing tenancies from 2028. The current minimum is an 'E' rating, so it's not a small jump.
A good agent will be working with their landlords now to help prepare for the change. Otherwise they'll be facing heavy competition for contractors and higher prices as the 2025 deadline approaches.
This is just one example, but there is no shortage to the kinds of headaches a landlord can face when they self-manage.
And if working with a good agent can achieve a higher rental income that covers the cost of management - leaving you in a better position financially and mentally - why wouldn't you do it?
Watch Dan describe his experience here:
If you find yourself in a position like Dan - call us today to find the joy in property ownership again!