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Lighten The Load: De-Stress By Delegating

6 October 2005, by Alison Parkinson

WHEN psychologists repeatedly tell us that moving home is one of the most stressful experiences, surpassed only by a family bereavement or getting married, it is easy to overlook the stresses faced by landlords.

Landlords play an increasingly important role in the UK housing market as more and more people, for financial reasons or simply because it suits their lifestyle, rent rather than buy their own home.

Everyone hears the stories of bad landlords, quick to clamp down when the rent is late but slow to respond to a faulty boiler, caricatured so effectively by Mr Rigsby in the TV series Rising Damp. The reality is that the vast majority are honest, decent people who have invested in property in addition to, or instead of, traditional forms of making money on their capital.

The landlord has always taken on board the possibility of nightmare tenants and their property being abused but a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Landlords (NLA) says an increasing number of Government regulations is today the main worry for 62 per cent of its members.

Most investor landlords are business people, many of whose prime income is not derived from their property but from a demanding job. Dealing with letting out a property can cause untold stress because it is not their area of expertise.

The art of effective delegation comes effortlessly to most in high positions and an increasing number are now realising that handing over the management of their investment properties to an expert, from marketing to carrying out repairs and collecting rent, is the way to avoid unnecessary stress in their lives.

The major factors which make the difference between a good investment and a poor one have been clearly identified by property professionals through their experience. They include:

* Buying the right property in the first place
* Presenting it appropriately
* Marketing it effectively
* Finding and selecting good tenants
* Complying with legislation
* Carrying out repairs swiftly
* Minimising periods when the property is empty
* Collecting the rent promptly
* Identifying problems early

Accord Sales & Lettings has more than 16 years experience exclusively in the property market and its services and working practices have evolved over this time, and continue to improve with changing conditions, to provide a total solution.

There isn't a problem we haven't encountered and solved, and the fact that 44 per cent of our business comes on recommendation and 98 per cent of our customers are happy with the services we provide speaks for itself.

The National Association of Estate Agents says that on average its member agents let 45 properties a year. Accord's Birmingham branch let 49 in August this year alone, due simply to having a finely tuned system and a spectrum of services to cater for every need while providing the lowest possible running cost.

The services range from providing advice to prospective landlords on the type of property to buy, in which area and how much to pay for it, to providing advice on and carrying out if required any necessary decorating and furnishing in a cost effective way which will increase its appeal, and providing insurance against malicious or accidental damage.

Our properties are marketed in the press, on our state-of-the-art website and we keep a register of tenants' requirements so when a new property comes on our books we can telephone, e-mail or text them immediately if it is a match. We conduct the viewings ourselves, including late night and on Saturdays when required.

All prospective tenants are vetted and credit checks carried out, property inventories conducted and deposits held in a secure clients' account.

The rent is collected promptly and transferred swiftly to landlords' accounts. Properties are inspected regularly and repairs are carried out by our own approved contractors. Notices are issued at the appropriate time.

And in the light of the NLA survey, perhaps one of the most important aspects is that we are fully au fait with all the current and pending legislation regarding landlords' responsibilities so ours don't have to worry about being fined in court for negligence.

Because of our prime location offices and highly effective marketing, properties on Accord's books are empty for far less time between tenancies than the industry average, which means landlords can expect the maximum return on their capital.

The money saved in this way normally more than covers the management fee we charge landlords who delegate everything - except spending their profits - to us!

Delegating to an expert can only reduce stress levels for landlords - giving them the freedom to spend more time concentrating on the things that need their personal experience and skills - or simply relaxing.


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Accord Lets - Property Agents for Leamington Spa, Warwick and Birmingham

Birmingham and Leamington Letting Agents

Accord Lets are an established Letting Agents with property to rent in Birmingham, Warwick and Leamington Spa. Our online database of properties is updated daily and currently has an extensive range of property for you to view. Our properties to rent range from flats and apartments in Birmingham City Centre to family homes to let in Leamington Spa and the Warwick area.

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