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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Do-it-yourself or don’t?

Do-it-yourself or don’t? That is the question

I’ve ended today exhausted but satisfied. Problem tenant ‘Jordan’ has finally left the building, cue very hardworking, happy-to-be-there and seems-very-honest-to-me new tenant ‘Carol’.
After ages on the phone trying to get a waste permit for our new trailer, three trips to the tip, shifting a massive delivery of wood for the new fence, and completing a photo inventory so detailed it’s bordering on OCD, I was ready for a sit down and a cup of tea.

The fruits of your labour

There’s nothing like seeing a property your tenant’s neglected restored to its former glory. After a magnolia makeover and loads of elbow grease, my new tenant is happily installed and on her best behaviour. I now have the wonderful sensation that all is well in the world and I might get through the next few weeks without a phone call about ‘leaky tap/creaky floorboard/I can’t find the remote control/all of the above’.

Call me an optimist, but with every new tenant comes the hope that they will be no trouble, exercise a love of gardening and DIY, keep the house spotless, and maybe even send me a Christmas card. For some of my tenants, this wonderful honeymoon period has never ended and they’re the ideal caretaker of the property. Let’s have more of those please!

The guilt of letting go

I make it sound like I’ve been busy today, but it’s all a smoke screen. Mr. D and I are still coming to terms with the fact that for the first time, we outsourced the lion’s share of the work to our handyman ‘Chris’. He’s fantastic. Worth his weight in gold. Trustworthy, fairly priced, and grateful for the work. So why are we still feeling guilty for not doing all those end-of-tenancy jobs ourselves?

Spinning too many plates, or a case of Lazy Landlord Syndrome?

Until now, we’ve done virtually everything ourselves. We’ve used up all our holidays DIYing;painting through the night, doing umpteen B&Q runs, fixing, gardening, sweeping, scrubbing and tiling. Clocking off late on Sunday and squeezing in a few hours sleep before getting up for our day jobs on a Monday morning has always been the norm. So why do we feel so guilty for handing over the mantel to ‘Chris’? It’s a mystery to me.

Did you struggle to outsource jobs you know you can do yourself? 

If so, I’d love to hear from you – help me assuage the guilt of letting go!

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Anonymous said...

I have a tenant presently who is our cleaners nephew. He asked if he could redecorate and wasn't even keen to take the money for the paint, the place looks lovely every time I go and he looks settled as if he might stay for years. I would be almost tempted to kill to protect him from other landlords :)

Clwyd Smallwood said...

DIY or not?

I have been contemplating becoming a landlord with a pension payout. I intend to keep on working and do B2L on the side.

My problem is I would be a DIY landlord as I don't see anyone doing jobs like I would do them and everybody charges the earth for even the smallest job in my mind. It's a mindset I would have great difficulty getting out of.

I can see me decorating til midnight and getting up at 5am to do a 12 hour shift. Spells disaster I know but I would find it difficult not DIYing.

Should I leave B2L alone? Honest replies from all sorts of landlords would be interesting

clerks said...

I've been through three changes of tenancy in as many years in relation to letting a property that used to be my home. So it felt very natural to do the work on my old place, in the hope that the prospective tenant would see it was a real "home". I've not had any nightmare experiences yet (not really) but it hasn't all been plain sailing partly because I now live 150 miles from the property. I have a letting agent in place to manage the place, plus two trusted tradesmen - a good general builder and a plumber/gas engineer - but at the end of the tenancy, I'd rather look the place over for myself.